Why is therapy important?

Almost all people suffer some form of intense inner pain at some time in their lives. The suffering might be depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or suicidal thoughts and it results from the battles we wage against our thoughts as we futilely try to get rid of our history.
— Steven C. Hays, PhD

You are not alone.

California has one of the highest rates of depression in the U.S.

Adults put a great deal of responsibility on themselves.   We expect ourselves to maintain steady work, provide for our families, stay in shape, find love, and write that book, all without missing a beat.  As we transition from our teenage years, we become more independent and self-reliant – which also makes us hesitant to seek help. 

Depression, anxiety, loss of control, and relationship problems have become commonplace in the United States.  The CDC’s latest survey (2011) of health estimated that 25-50% of the U.S. population suffers from mental illness.  California has one of the highest rates of depression (estimated 8-10%, or 1 in 10 people; CDC, 2011), which means adults in Newport Beach are also at risk. 

Common symptoms for mental illness include (DSM-5):

  • Changes in sleep (e.g. poor sleep quality)
  • Thoughts of suicide *
  • Binge eating or drinking
  • Persistent worry
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Anger outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Fixation or obsession

  *   Suicidal thoughts are common for adults, and safety is the upmost priority. 

If you (or someone you know) is having thoughts of suicide, contact IMALIVE Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-784-2433) and/or call 911 immediately. 

Tell your psychologist (including me) if you are having thoughts of suicide.  We care, and we are here to help.

Life events can trigger many of these symptoms, such as:

  • Long term or chronic stress (e.g. stressful work environment)
  • Brief stress (e.g. loss of employment)
  • Relationship stress (e.g. divorce)
  • Moving to a new place
  • Changing careers
  • Loss of a loved one

Without proper support and treatment, poor mental health can upend lives and effect entire families (Hallion, Taylor, & Roberts, 2016).  

Thankfully, cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for adults suffering from a variety of mental health symptoms (Cuijpers, Berking, Andersson, Quigley, Kleiboer, & Dobson, 2013).

Psychotherapy can help you overcome difficulty, restore your relationships, and improve the quality of your life.  The first step is to reach out, seek help, and take control.  

How does Dr. Montgomery run therapy for adults?

Together we will work toward your personal goals

My priority is your health and wellbeing.

Together we can make improvements to your life.  I utilize research-based techniques to help you reach your goals and support your needs.  Our work together is confidential, which means you can share freely and securely without fear of judgement. 

The process begins with an initial intake session, where I try to learn as much as possible from you about your life story.  Your journey is important to me, and I want to understand how you came to be who you are. 

My therapy process relies primarily on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, which focuses on shifting your thoughts, noticing your feelings, and changing your behaviors. 

As we meet, you will begin to learn how to:

  • Hone attention and focus
  • Quiet your mind
  • Overcome intense fears and worry
  • Manage thoughts of suicide
  • Increase your motivation
  • Relax and rest
  • Repair relationships
  • Notice patterns in your life
  • Change bad habits
  • Find purpose and meaning
  • Make new friends
  • And much more

Therapy tends to be dramatized and stigmatized by our culture and the media.  Many adults have questions about the practical aspects, and I’m happy to answer any question you might have about how therapy works. 

Here are a few of the most common questions I get about therapy:

Question – Will I need to lay down on a couch during therapy?

Answer –I do not have clients lay on the couch, although it is very common to do so in psychoanalytic therapy.  

Question – I’m not sure if I am ready for therapy, can we still meet?

Answer – Absolutely!  Sometimes an initial meeting can help you determine whether therapy is useful for you right now. 

Question – How much does therapy cost?

Answer – Take a look at the Pricing page to find out more about rates and insurance coverage.

QuestionHow long / often will we meet?

Answer – If therapy is a good fit for you, we will plan to meet weekly for anywhere from 8 to 20+ weeks.  Each session is typically 45-50 minutes in duration.

Question  – What is confidentiality?

Answer – Confidentiality is part of the legal and ethical mandates for all psychologists (see Nagy, 2011).  Essentially, this protects information shared in therapy sessions with a few exceptions to help keep you and others safe.  Examples might include suicidality, plans of harming other people, abuse to children or elderly/disabled individuals, and more.  These exceptions are in place to minimize the risk of harm to yourself and others.  If you have questions about confidentiality and what is protected, feel free to contact me.  We will also discuss this in the beginning of treatment.

You have the power to make real changes in your life. I believe that we can work together to help you on your journey to health.

Interested?  Let’s Connect!

If you are interested in therapy services, please contact me as soon as possible. I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have about my practice. 

It is never too late to receive treatment.  I believe I can help make a difference in your life. 

Read About Dr. Montgomery

Dr. Montgomery holds dual certifications in Clinical Psychology (California Board of Psychology PSY28475) and Family Therapy (California Board of Behavioral Sciences MFT49608). He has dedicated his professional and academic activities to understanding and addressing psychological, behavioral and interpersonal health in children, adolescents, families and adults. 


  • Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology
  • M.S. Counseling Psychology
  • B.A. Psychology

Want to learn more about me? 

Click on the About tab to find out more about my credentials and get a better sense for who I am.

Want to Learn More? 

Want to learn more about therapy, assessment, and mental illness?  

Check out the tabs above, or click on the links below:


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011).  Mental Illness Surveillance Among Adults in the United States.

Hallion, M., Taylor, A., & Roberts, R. (2016). Complete mental health in adult siblings of those with a chronic illness or disability. Disability and rehabilitation, 1-6.

Nagy, T. F. (2011). Essential ethics for psychologists: A primer for understanding and mastering core issues. American Psychological Association.