Matthew Engel, LCSW-San Francisco-Licensed Psychotherapist

Psychotherapist San Francisco

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a type of counseling to assist in sorting through and transforming your experience with a variety stressors. It includes in depth discussion of the presenting problems, feelings associated with them, previous attempts to cope, life history, consequences of behavior, relational styles, emotional patterning, and exploring possible alternative courses of action. Psychotherapy evolves differently for each person, but many people begin to feel better after a few psychotherapy sessions as they have an opportunity to unpack feelings that have been building for a while with a trained professional. With that said, psychotherapy takes time and requires an on going commitment. Psychotherapy sessions occur weekly or biweekly. I offer 55 and 90 minute psychotherapy sessions. 

Psychotherapists come from a wide range of theoretical orientations and specialities and bring equally diverse interactive styles, personal experiences and repertoires to their work. My own therapeutic style is a mix of being compassionate and direct. I tend to work best with people who are committed to their inner growth and willing to be gently challenged. I also find it helpful to build upon the unique strengths that you already have. Many people find my psychotherapy approach to be refreshing because I’m definitely not the silent type. I bring a lot of my own personality to the mix. I’m also deeply passionate about the overlaps between psychological and spiritual growth. Many of my clients find it helpful that I have extensive background working with other modalities as well as an appreciation for holistic health, nature as medicine, and artistic process to support healing.

Psychotherapy: Research shows that finding the right match in a therapist is one of the most influential variables contributing to positive outcomes from psychotherapy. For people who are new to therapy, I generally recommend meeting with at least two therapists prior to making a commitment to doing on going work with one. That way you can get exposure to more than one style to evaluate what feels right for you. If you’ve been in therapy before, you may be more likely to have a sense of what type of therapist is best. Similarly, I have an ethical obligation to tell you if I don’t think I’m best suited to work with you. You deserve to work with a therapist who has the right expertise for you.

Getting Started with Psychotherapy: I require a phone consultation of 15-20 minutes so that I can get a preliminary sense of your presenting concerns. If it feels good from there, we can schedule an initial session. From that point, I find it helpful to use up to 3 sessions before contracting to work together on an on-going basis. That way we both have an opportunity to evaluate the fit.

Insurance & Psychotherapy: I don’t belong to any insurance panels. If you have a PPO, however, you may be able to get partial reimbursement for your psychotherapy sessions. You would still have to pay my full agreed upon psychotherapy fee up front. Please let me know in the beginning if you plan to use your insurance.

FSA’s/HSA’s/Cafeteria Plans for Psychotherapy: These can be valuable aids for reducing your out of pocket costs for psychotherapy. With these plans, you invest money before taxes into a supplementary fund and get reimbursed for psychotherapy sessions in pre-tax dollars. In other words, the money you spend on therapy is tax free. Depending on your tax rate, that may equate to a 20-40% savings. Please check with your Benefits Office.

Small Business Deductions for Psychotherapy: Please check with your tax professional.

Sliding Fee Psychotherapy: Occasionally I reduce my psychotherapy fee. Please keep in mind that therapy requires a prioritized investment. Living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, my own overhead costs are exceptionally high. I can’t lower my fees as a matter of convenience or personal preference for you. But I am committed to doing what I can to make my services a little more accessible to people who are genuinely committed to the therapy process but who truly cannot pay my full fee. Please contact me for details.

Psychotherapy License: CA LCS 24169

Psychotherapy with Matthew Engel, LCSW - Licensed Psychotherapist

Testimonials About Psychotherapy

“Matthew therapeutically guided me through my own self, selves, connection & soul. I trust him and am living the benefits of his wisdom, divine guidance and skillful counsel. Together we carved a pathway through my deepest wounds, the manifestations that resulted and the healing process that is possible. As a fellow licensed therapist I deeply value Matthew's integrity and professionalism.  ~ K.K. ~ Oakland, CA

"I've had other therapy before we worked together and I know that it's tough to find a really good therapist. Matthew, the therapy that you offer and the way you work is really something special. ~ K.S. ~ San Francisco, CA

"Matthew, So much has happened that I want to catch you up on because you really have been a big part of my journey through our therapy together....past life memories, animal encounters, visions, returning to my creative inner child..... even started writing a book. Anyway, you keep popping up in my head so just wanted to send you a huge thank you!" ~ P.S. ~ Los Angeles, CA

Psychotherapy Ready?
Give me a call for a free 15-20 minute phone or video consultation. Let's have a direct conversation. No texting, please.

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