Frequently Asked Questions

What is your theoretical orientation?

 

I have comprehensive training in Complex/Developmental Trauma, Existential and Humanistic Approaches to treatment, and Motivational Interviewing (MI). I look from a systemic perspective not only because of my personality, but also as a result of my graduate school studies as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). I use myself in therapy as a “here and now” experience with my clients.

Since you’re an MFT, do you only see couples and families? Do you see individuals?

 

Let's debunk a myth here that MFTs only see couples and families! Majority of my clients are individuals, whom I see as being part of systems (couple, family, community, culture, school, race, ethnicity,.. you name it, we're all part of many systems). We don't live in isolation, and everything makes sense within a context. Individuals and systems affect each other all the time, and as an MFT, my expertise is to be able to recognize patterns in these dynamics and part of our work is to increase your awareness of this so you can make more conscious choices.

What is your take on diversity issues? I’m a member of a minority group, and I don’t know if I can trust you.

 

I cannot ask you to trust me, since I know I need to earn your trust over time. My bicultural background broadens my insight and respect for different values and belief systems, any kind of diversity including gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, which in turn informs my strength-based approach to therapy.

I am not sure if therapy will stir lots of emotions for me. What if I start crying in sessions?

 

Well, being in therapy is not full of roses, rainbows, and butterflies. Maybe some roses, but with the thorns. All kinds of emotions are welcome (and encouraged) in sessions, including joy! I always look for ways of bringing humor into sessions, because laughter is a very powerful medicine for healing.

Which issues are you most experienced with?

Due to my experience and special interest in these areas, I am enthusiastic to work with people going through the following issues: 

Life transitions

Family of origin issues

Acculturation, immigration, cultural differences in many aspects of life including parenting, lack of sense of belonging

Special issues with kids in (or have been in) foster care and adopted children

Growing up with "emotionally absent" parents

Complex/inter-generational trauma history

Relationship issues

Changing career later in life

Women going back to the work after having kids

Parenting

Becoming a first time parent

Growing up or raising children in an “achievement culture” in privileged communities

Depression/Anxiety/Mood Disorders

Self-esteem issues

Finding your voice

Grief and loss

What is your background and education? 

I have a counseling degree from California State University of East Bay (CSUEB) and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT94911) with more than 10 years of experience in working with children, adolescents, and adults through a variety of treatment modalities around a vast number of issues.

I am certified in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and I am a Certified Grief Informed Counselor through Evergreen Certifications.

I provide FREE therapy services though a non-profit organization called A Home Within, which provides free services for people who have been a part of the foster care system at any point in their lives.

I am the current secretary of the SF Chapter of CALAPT (California Association of Play Therapists), volunteering my time to assist the chapter events. 
 

I am a Co-director of the nonprofit organization called BAPTI (Bay Area Psychotherapy Institute) in Lafayette, which provides high quality and affordable mental health services to the community and training for clinicians working towards licensure. During our initial phone call or first face to face consultation, if you decide we are not a good match for each other for any reason, I would be happy to refer you to one of our skillful associates at BAPTI or to another licensed therapist. 

 

Last but not least, I provide training for other service providers who are working in community mental health agencies throughout Bay Area as well as supervising Associates who are on their path to become licensed clinicians. 

 

Well, it all sounds good, but I don’t know if I can connect with you. Who are you as a person outside of your work?

 

Thanks for asking! I’m very open with my clients, so please, do not hesitate to ask these kinds of questions. I am originally from Turkey, have two children, and also have an engineering degree. I am fluent in English and Turkish. I love reading, swimming, camping, traveling, hanging out with friends, going out for date nights with my husband, and cooking from scratch. 

I am also working as a volunteer for a non-profit organization called Lucky Dog Rescue in Pleasanton, fostering dogs that have been rescued from kill shelters, until their forever families are found. 

What is your fee for standard therapy sessions and Neurofeedback? Do you accept any insurance plans?

My standard therapy and Neurofeedback (NFB) session fee is $200 for a 50-minute sessions

NFB sessions can pro-rated, based on clinical needs and measured response to NFB. For fast results, 2-3 sessions a week is highly recommended. Your feedback on the effects of the NFB session will determine the length of treatment, since I will be making the protocol adjustments based on your report. Although there is no pre-set number of sessions and/or length of treatment I can provide, if NFB is working for you, you should start seeing positive effects within the first two months of treatment. 

NFB sessions can be part of your treatment with me and incorporated into your sessions or they can be scheduled separately (whether you are currently receiving therapy services from me or another therapist).  It is also possible to receive NFB treatment without being in therapy, when clinically appropriate. If you are in therapy and/or on prescribed psychotropic medication, please inform your therapist/psychiatrist, and let them know that I am available to collaborate with them as needed.

 

Although I do not accept any insurance plans, I would be happy to provide you with “Superbill” that you may submit to your insurance company for partial reimbursement. Not all insurance plans cover “outside of network providers” and/or NFB though, so it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company.

Also, please be advised that using your insurance requires a diagnosis, and then the diagnosis will become part of your health records.

I heard that some therapists offer “sliding scale”. Do you?

 

I do! However, there are only a limited number of slots I reserve for clients who need sliding scale to be able to afford therapy, and these slots are available only during school hours.

What is Good Faith Estimate (GFE)?
  • You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost. 

  • Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services. 

  • You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services. 

  • You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service. 

  • If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.

  •  For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises

Any questions? Please contact me at nespinar@gmail.com or (925) 405 - 6040.

Looking forward to meeting you soon and working together!

Therapist San Ramon