Dr. Lisa Foo



"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." ~Maya Angelou 

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly." ~ Proverb

1.       Why should I consider seeing a psychologist instead of a different type of mental health professional?


Several kinds of professionals offer mental health services. Ultimately, the best therapist for you regardless of profession will be someone with whom you feel comfortable, who serves as a good listener, and who has the knowledge and skills to help you better understand yourself and how you can improve your own life and ability to cope with challenges. A doctoral degree (PhD) in clinical psychology represents the most rigorous training available in psychological theory, research, and practice. 

7.       Where can I learn more about the potential benefits of therapy services and the connection between emotional and physical well being?


Please feel free to explore the following links to gain more information about psychology and therapy services. I also welcome you to contact me with any other questions or concerns.


The American Psychological Association Help Center and PsychCentralprovide information about psychological issues and psychological services. 


The Mayo Clinic and WebMD share information about the effects of stress on health. 


The Health Psychology Network includes detailed descriptions of the connections between mental health and physical health. 

Doctoral training programs in psychology are extremely selective due to the high number of applicants coupled with the handful of slots available. These small class sizes allow for intensive and individualized instruction and training. As described by the American Psychological Association:


“A doctoral degree to practice psychology requires at least 4-6 years of full-time study after completing an undergraduate degree. Coursework includes areas such as ethics, statistics, individual differences and the biological, cognitive-affective and social bases of behavior, as well as specific training in psychological assessment and therapy. While in graduate school, psychology students may also participate in research and teaching. A one-year full-time supervised internship is required prior to graduation and in most states an additional year of supervised practice is required before licensure. Psychologists must pass a national examination and addition[al] examination specific to the state in which they are being licensed. Once licensed to practice, psychologists must keep up their knowledge, which is demonstrated by earning several hours of continuing education credits annually, as required by their state’s license and regulations.”


2.       Will the information I share with you stay private?


Absolutely. I will only share information beyond this practice if you give me written permission, or in the rare situation in which I am legally required to do so (for example, if someone is in imminent danger). These strict standards for confidentiality are the same that apply to medical information provided to any healthcare provider in the nation. When I work with children and adolescents, I speak together with these individuals and their parents to establish guidelines that everyone can feel comfortable with regarding allowing children to share some information with me in confidence without me relaying every detail back to their parents. This type of privacy is important for children to feel safe being open in our visits. As I make clear to the whole family, I will always make parents aware if children share information with me that leads me to believe that there is an immediate safety concern. When there are topics that are difficult yet important for parents and children to discuss, we might decide to use part of our time to discuss them together with me being available to support all individuals in communicating and listening effectively while feeling supported.


3.       Will I be forced to talk about things that I don’t want to?


Never. The more open that you are regarding your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, the greater my ability to help you. I strive to create a safe environment in which you feel comfortable sharing this information, and I encourage you to give me feedback if you have suggestions for how I can serve you better. However, I will never require you to talk about anything that you don’t want to.


4.       Will I be expected to take medication?


My role in your care is to provide evaluation, consultation, and therapy services. Many individuals who see me do not require psychiatric medications. Even individuals with a higher level of current symptoms often prefer to first see what symptom improvement they are able to achieve through therapy, as the techniques that we use are non-invasive and do not have the potential risks of medication side effects. Additionally, whereas the benefits of psychiatric medications generally end once you stop taking them, the coping strategies learned in therapy have the power to lead to permanent improvements in mood. I will discuss with you if I believe that you might want to consider short- or long-term use of psychiatric medication. This recommendation could be due to you experiencing a higher level of symptoms, or if I believe that short-term use of medication might help you be in a better emotional position to actively participate in therapy. If we do decide that it is worth exploring medication further, I will assist you in locating a healthcare provider who will medically evaluate what type of medication might be appropriate and who will prescribe it for you as needed. Primary care providers often feel comfortable managing these prescriptions, and sometimes it is helpful to consult with a psychiatrist (a physician who specializes in mental health medications). With your permission, I will be in direct contact with your chosen provider to share information about your current mental health needs and to provide updates on your progress as our treatment progresses so that your medications can be adjusted as needed.


There are several benefits of seeing a psychologist separate from someone who manages psychiatric medication. Since we do not need to manage these medications during our sessions, we are able to devote our full attention to discussing your thoughts and emotions and to developing enhanced coping strategies. Medical providers who prescribe psychiatric medications have received rigorous training in the biology of the brain and how to use medicines to improve brain functioning. The amount of academic and supervised clinical training that medical providers receive in assessment and therapy services is typically considerably less extensive than what psychologists receive. Since I am solely devoted to being an assessment and therapy provider, both my training and experience have been exclusively tailored to provide you with the highest level of these services.


5.       How long do sessions last? How frequently do I need to come?


Our sessions typically last approximately 45 minutes. I usually recommend that we start seeing each other once a week for at least a few weeks. When it feels appropriate, we will decrease this frequency as needed. In some situations we may decide to start with sessions twice a week or every other week, it all depends on your needs and scheduling limitations. Our work together will only last as long as you find it helpful and you are never “locked in” to committing to any certain number of sessions. To assist you with making progress between sessions, we will often discuss things that you can do at home to practice the skills that we are learning, or ways to gather “data” such as by observing and writing down some details about your thoughts, feelings, or behavior. While I encourage you to complete this work between sessions to help you make better and faster progress during our work together, I will never force you to do so.


6.       If a physician refers me, does that mean that he or she thinks that I’m crazy or that my medical symptoms are all in my head?


Absolutely not! If someone referred you to come to me, it means that he or she cares enough about you to want you to be able to benefit from the support and services that I am able to provide. Some medical conditions are associated with an increased risk of mental health symptoms, and medical conditions are also frequently a cause of increased stress. Mental health services help decrease stress and distress, helping you feel better emotionally. Additionally, research has proven that decreased stress can actually improve a variety of medical conditions and symptoms.