FAQs

Where is your office located?

My practice is 100% virtual right now. The beauty of this is that I can serve people all over California, and you can do sessions wherever you are. Just make sure you have a secure and private place to log on!

How long are your sessions?

Sessions are typically 50 minutes. Family therapy and EMDR sessions can be longer, but we will determine that together when necessary.

Do you take insurance?

I am an out-of-network provider and accept credit/debit and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards.

But I can provide you with a Superbill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. For details regarding reimbursement, call the number on the back of your insurance card.

Here are some questions to ask your insurance provider:

Do I have out-of-network benefits for mental health services?

How much do you reimburse for out-of-network mental health benefits?

Where can I forward my Superbill receipt to obtain that reimbursement?

Note: You may also be able to use your Superbill as a receipt for tax deduction purposes. Please speak with a tax professional for more information about this.

How do I set up an initial appointment?

You can send me a message through my contact form below, call or text me at (619) 663-6433, or email me at gina@northstartherapyinc.com

What is your cancellation policy?

Please provide me with at least 48 hours’ notice (email, text, or call), or you will be charged the full rate of the session.

What can I expect at my first session?

During the first session, the focus is on getting to know you, your history, what brings you to therapy, and your goals for our time together.

It usually takes a few sessions to get to know each other, and you may not be able to open up totally right away. That’s okay!

How often do I need to come to therapy?

This is something we’ll decide together, but I usually recommend that you come in once a week initially to build rapport and get into the flow of therapy.

After a few months, you might come every two weeks… and then once per month for maintenance. I understand that time and finances can be barriers to weekly therapy. So, as long as there are no safety concerns, there’s no pressure from me about how frequently to come.

What is your professional training and experience?

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Studies, UC Santa Cruz
  • Master of Social Work, Boston College
  • Health Resources & Service Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Fellow
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) International Association Certified Therapist
  • EMDR International Association Consultant in Training
  • Advanced training in EMDR with Somatic Experiencing
  • Advanced training in EMDR with Ego-State Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Why North Star Therapy?

My way of working as a therapist is to help you tap into and cultivate your inner resources rather than heal you. The North Star is the anchor of the northern sky and, to me, represents what we are all seeking within ourselves: a guiding light in the darkness and the hope to find a home.

My mom has also always said that my dad, sister, and I are her North Stars, so the name also holds a great deal of personal meaning.

What are some resources you use and recommend?

I LOVE any meditation by Sarah Blondin. You can find her on the free app called “Insight Timer.” If we work together, I’ll probably suggest that you listen to her.

I do Emotion Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping in some of my free time, and have found it very valuable, especially around topics of abundance, health, and deeply unconscious limiting beliefs. You can find tons of free EFT stuff on YouTube! Feel free to ask me more deets on people I follow.

I love yin yoga and use the Inner Dimension TV platform.

I’m super open-minded about anything that helps people feel better, get to know themselves more, and grow. That being said, I’m usually reading up on/watching something that helps me make meaning of my own life and pushes me forward, from astrology (I’m a Taurus, in case you’re wondering!) to Tony Robbins.

Slowing down is a concept I have been actively putting into practice, as I’ve experienced burnout and vicarious trauma from earlier periods in my career. I’ve done a lot of reading about moving from the masculine energy of productivity to embracing the feminine energy of pleasure. For fellow clinicians/healers on Instagram (especially those identifying as BIPOC), I love @thenapministry and @decolonizingtherapy, both of which address this concept and so much more.