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client approach

Every client will experience sessions tailored to their unique situation. This is therapy that attunes to you, your experience, culture, developmental life stage, and personal goals. Each meeting gives you the opportunity to tell your story freely in a safe and judgment free space.


Everyone is welcome here. Collaborating with you on your holistic journey and practicing cultural humility, you can be your authentic self, the key to discovering your truth. I will meet you where you are and help you bring harmony to your mind, body, and soul.

My integrated therapeutic approach draws from many frameworks including person-centered, internal family systems, attachment theory, neurobiological, somatic, mindfulness, and trauma-informed.  

Michelle L Bakalarski therapist santa cruz
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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much do Sessions Cost? And do you take Insurance?

Cost per session (53 minutes) runs from $115 - $150, with sliding scale based on total gross household income.


I can provide documentation for reimbursable services if your insurance plan offers out-of-network benefits for services provided by an APCC or AMFT. 


As an out-of-pocket payer, you will receive a Good Faith Estimate upfront, explaining the cost of your care.

Do you offer telehealth sessions?

Yes, for specific clients (individuals only). While I am able to do online video conferencing, I reserve this only when deemed clinically appropriate for a client.

How do I prepare for my first session?

First, take a deep breath. I will join you were you are at and we will figure out your needs and goals together. The only thing you have to do prior to your first session is to create a Theranest account and complete the intake paperwork. This paperwork must be completed 24 hours prior to your first session.

What can I expect during my first session?

Imagine sitting on a comfy couch in a serene, cozy office with ultimate privacy and safety. You are no longer alone. You now have someone to help you on your journey to well-being. The first session entails reviewing the Informed Consent agreement, understanding your therapeutic needs, and answering your questions.

What do I need to know for my first session (parking etc.)?

The office is located at 127 Jewell Street, Santa Cruz, 95060. It is tucked behind two  brown colored buildings. There is ample parking available in the lot in front of the office. Enter the glass doors to the building and then enter the David Powers office suite 127 and wait in this waiting area. Please help yourself to water, coffee, or tea.  I will greet you promptly at your session time.

What is your cancellation policy?

Your commitment is to come to therapy as we agree during our initial consultation, to maximize your therapeutic benefits.  Clients can typically expect to attend weekly 53 minute sessions. Cancellations must be made 24-hours in advance to avoid a charge equal to the cost of the usual session fee (unless due to an emergency). If you know in advance that you have a schedule conflict, I try my best to reschedule your session to another time that works for both of us but this is not a guarantee.

What if I'm sick - If you are sick, please take care of yourself and stay home. If you feel well enough and would like to keep your session appointment, telehealth may be an option for you. I will discuss this option with you during your first session.

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We can do this


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