Diane Sagen, Marriage Family Therapist - Common Questions Header

Common Questions

I've always been able to handle my own problems

Everyone goes through difficult situations in life, and while you probably have successfully worked through other difficulties you've faced, seeking out support when you need it is a positive thing. It means you have enough self-awareness to realize you can’t do it all yourself. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

How can therapy help?

A therapist can provide support, problem-solving skills, and coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. New approaches to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life are other benefits.

What is the process of therapy?

My therapeutic orientation is psychodynamic. I usually begin each session asking you what is going on presently in your life. I don't start with my own agenda. During the therapy session we explore your issues together, weaving between past and present.  You may wonder why you do all of the talking and I ask an occasional question to lead you to your own insights. This is the “process” of therapy. Weekly sessions, lasting 50 minutes, are the standard of therapy. Sometimes we can work through your issues in just a few sessions, but often longer-term therapy will help you understand yourself in a deeper and more helpful way.

Here are some things you can expect from therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

What about medication?

Medication combined with therapy has been proven by the research to be effective for some conditions.  However, this is not the right plan for everyone.  Therapy goes beyond the chemical causes of depression or anxiety and gets to the root of the problem.  As a Marriage Family Therapist I cannot prescribe medication, but if we decide together that that is the way to go I will refer you to your MD or Psychiatrist for an assessment.


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Diane Sagen, MFT, #39750 - 1000 Quail St., Suite 175, Newport Beach, CA 92660 - (714) 269-4061