common questions

How do I know if I/my child/my partner and I need therapy?

I firmly believe that therapy is successful when:

1.  There is a readiness to engage in the process (not because it will be easy but because it's vital), and

2.  There is trust and compatibility with the therapist.


You may want to consider the following:

 1.  Do I want to begin therapy?  (Not should I, but do I need to), and

2.  Does Alair seem like the best fit for me/my child/my partner and I?

How long does therapy last?

While every therapy process looks different, there are a few factors that can help us understand how long this process might last:

  • Your motivation and consistency.  From my experience, the clients who see (and feel) progress quickly are the ones who attend sessions regularly, are motivated to be open and transparent with me, and implement suggestions and recommendations in between the times we meet. 
  • The nature of your struggles.  There are a few factors that may slow down the therapy process, namely trauma, addiction and attachment injuries (wounds from relationships, such as affairs, abuse, etc.).  These factors require an extra amount of care and support, which may mean that our progress moves at a slower pace.
  • How safe you feel with me.  I’m guessing that, for most of us, we’re not going to be vulnerable and share with someone we don’t completely trust.  As we move along in this process, please feel free to share any feedback or concerns with me about what you need to feel safe and comfortable in therapy.

Does therapy mean there's something wrong with me?

I've heard many people describe past/imagined experiences with therapy where they disclose a great deal of personal information and the therapist responds with a quick answer and suggests medication.  When I work with clients, I see myself as one part of their "team" of support.  As we go along, if I think that we need to add more support, I may suggest other resources like occupational therapy, psychological evaluations, various assessments, physical exams, creative outlets, or support groups (just to name a few).  For some, medication provides a great deal of relief but that is not my first go-to suggestion.


How do I know when I'm done?

From our very first session, we will be talking about our last session.  I don't believe therapy must last forever, nor do I believe that therapy is a quick-fix.  Throughout our time together, I will check in with you to see if we are addressing the reasons why you came to see me in the first place, and whether or not you are experiencing growth and change.


As time goes on, you'll need to meet with me less and less often.  There will come a point where you may be ready to take a break or stop therapy altogether, because you feel confident in the "new home" we've created.  Even then, you can always come back to work with me for any length of time - I'll still be there to walk alongside you.


Come on in- how can I help?

Some different options about where we can start

Couple's Therapy


Understanding why we feel disconnected, and creating new ways of being with each other

Individual Therapy


Letting go of what needs to be released and discovering what needs to be found

Family Therapy


Finding out why we don't get along, and figuring out how we can be a family 


Play Therapy


Helping kids use play to feel safe and strong, especially when bad things happen

sit and stay a while

Some thoughts I share on "Rooted + Grounded"



The New Normal | Do I Want to Go Back?


 "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi

in the neighborhood

Some helpful resources in the nearby and virtual community


 Museum Month

San Diego Museum Council


Explore the fun during San Diego Museum Month with 50% off admission to over 45 San Diego County museums, historic sites, gardens, zoo/aquariums and more. Just pick up your pass at a San Diego Macy’s store or one of 75 libraries throughout San Diego County.


Alair Olson, M.A.

 Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT#86504)

858.634.0302 |