Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of therapies do you practice?

Psychodynamic, Somatic, Humanistic, Expressive Arts Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

How do you choose which one may be best for me?

Each individual is unique. I use my training, knowledge and experience to intuitively offer interventions that I believe will facilitate my clients’ healing.

What kind of training do you have?

I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy. I am also a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor. Additional trainings include Sensorimotor and Psychophysical Psychotherapy (both Somatic Psychotherapies) which have an emphasis on healing trauma somatically (through the body) and have their foundations in Hakomi Therapy. I have extensive trainings in various trauma and recovery interventions. Further, I have training in Dialectical Behavioral and Cognitive Behavioral therapies and addiction treatment.

What should I expect when I come to your office the first time? On subsequent visits?

The first time we meet I will review policies and procedures around fees, insurance, payment and confidentiality. You will also fill out forms that will be our contract for working together as well as emergency contact forms, etc.

In subsequent visits, most clients come in to each session with issues they are interested in discussing that day. Sometimes I suggest beginning with a sand tray or a drawing or a painting.

How long are visits?

Individual visits are 50 minutes, unless previous arrangements have been made for longer sessions. Sessions with couples are typically 90 minutes.

How often do your clients come? Weekly or something else?

Most clients come to therapy once each week. That is usually the best approach for type of therapy I provide. However, some clients do come to therapy more often and others, less often.

Is there a typical length of therapy your clients undertake? Do you discuss this with me at the start of therapy?

There is no typical length of therapy. Some clients stay in therapy long enough to work out a specific crisis. Other clients stay in therapy longer, as a tool towards spiritual and psychological self-growth and development, focusing on a deeper understanding of their internal life and how that affects their external life.

Do you take insurance? If so, what kind?

No, I do not take insurance, but would be happy to write you a “super bill” for you to get reimbursed from your insurance company or health savings plan.┬áIf a report is needed, I can also provide a clinical diagnostic and prognostic report to your insurance company. My standard hourly session fee is charged for writing these reports.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, I accept MasterCard and Visa.

Do you assign “homework,” journaling or readings to your clients?

Yes, though not necessarily every week.

How long have you been doing this work?

I have been a therapist since 1998.

Why do you do this work?

I was called to this work to help people, having been inspired by others in my life (teachers and therapists) that help me have a richer life by more deeply understanding my inner life. I found that I love this work, especially when having the opportunity to work in a creative way and using the creative process. It’s important to me to help people make changes in their lives.

As your client, if I have after-hours concerns, what do I do?

During crisis times, I am available for short phone calls (approximately 10 minutes) without additional charges. However, for general therapy related issues, it is best to wait to discuss issues in the session.

What happens if I cannot reach you and I need to speak to someone urgently?

I have a referral phone number on my outgoing phone message and also on this website. The 24/7 crisis number is 415-781-0500.

Will you also counsel my partner and / or family members?

Under special circumstances, we will arrange for you to bring in your partner and/or family members for a single or a few sessions as part of your therapy. However, it is best if a partner or family member meets with their own therapist and I am happy to provide you with referrals to other therapists.

Do you have any special areas of interest in your practice?

I have specialties in addictions and trauma, especially working somatically and using the creative process.

How will I know if I am making progress?

It’s different for everyone. However, some clients report responding to difficult situations differently or experimenting with alternative behaviors to previous behaviors. Increased awareness is also one of the markers for therapeutic progress.

If I need to be admitted to an in-patient facility, do you continue to see me?

Yes. I will and I will also work together with your doctors and other treatment providers at the in-patient facility, to coordinate treatment.

Do you work in any clinical or hospital settings?

I have worked in numerous clinical and hospital settings, but don’t currently work regularly in a clinical or hospital setting.

What if I need more or different care than what you offer?

I will provide you with referrals to other professionals.

How do you keep my records and information private?

I keep my records in a locked file cabinet.

What information do you share with my insurance company? My employer? My spouse, partner, children, parents, etc.?

Everything is confidential, except in certain situations where I am required by law to break confidentiality. These situations are discussed in our first meeting together and I provide you with this information in writing. Additionally, insurance companies often require confidential information. I never discuss information with others without your permission.

Can a court of law make you reveal information I tell you in confidence?

Yes, if a judge court orders me, I am required by law to break confidentiality.

Do you work with children?

While I have worked with children, the population I most work with are adults.

Do you offer group therapy sessions?

Yes, I offer several types of groups:

  • Healing Addictions through the Creative Process
  • Healing Trauma through the Creative Process
  • Creative Solutions to Conflict Resolution

I may offer other groups in the future. Please e-mail or call me for group start dates and to get on my group waiting list.

In an atmosphere of compassion and acceptance, therapy can help a client look at self-defeating behaviors and learn there are healthier choices to make. This is the opportunity for transformation!

Mena K. Zaminsky
55 New Montgomery Street, Suite #326
San Francisco, CA 94105
415 420-4464
Email me

My office is conveniently located in the Historic Sharon Building, 1/2 block from the Montgomery Street BART Station.

I have a second location in Berkeley.