Joseph Contorer LMFT provides virtual/telehealth therapy sessions. This may include use of programs like Zoom, FaceTime, Skype or telephonic appointments.

For more information and appointment scheduling please contact the office at any time at:

310-486-0087 or you may also email directly:

                    Marriage and Family THERAPY                       PERSONAL GROWTH AND IMPROVEMENT



Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)





Daytime and evening appointment times are available on most weekdays.
You may also email me at



Psychiatric Emergency Team of LA County 800-854-7771

Joseph Contorer MA LMFT: Background, education, training, personal experience

Joseph is originally from Portland, Oregon and has been in Southern California for over 30 years.

His undergraduate training was in Community Health Education, Promotion and Wellness.

Prior to working in the mental health field, Joseph worked in the Corporate Wellness / Health and Fitness industry with Marriott Corporation. Therefore, a focus on holistic health has ­­­­­served as a positive purpose and a foundation to a specialty in mental and emotional health.

Joseph’s Approach to treatment

I believe that psychotherapy should be geared to meet the client’s individual needs and comfort level. I view the therapist to be a provider of objective and supportive understanding, with a general emphasis on unconditional acceptance. It is my intention to support clients in their efforts to explore, address and improve their chosen therapy goals. I believe that ultimately, clients have the power and capability to activate change for themselves.

Often times therapy will identify and explore the “here and now,” present time and address “cognitive-behavioral” components (thoughts-feelings/insight development). Consideration and analysis of past experiences/history, family of origin and earlier development is also often times a valuable element of therapy and may be combined with present or more recent symptomology.

I believe that the past has a direct impact on the present. While focusing on the present is important, there are predictably observed patterns, which are multi-generational. This means that family history, such as the client’s interactions with and between other family members may be repeating in the present time or they may be influencing or causing conflict in the current life. Identifying the less healthy aspects of these patterns is helpful in breaking the cycle of dysfunction. While exploring and understanding the past can be a process of release and vindication, focusing on the present (with implications to the future,) is the only place that we have an option to modify.

Joseph’s Life Matters: Philosophy and Propositions for Healthy Living

  • Learning from mistakes includes the notion that we can and should learn from mistakes. Sometime it feels like we learned the "hard way," but it eventually will happen.
  • Joseph’s theory of psycho-social relativity: Everything is relative to one’s personal level of awareness. This includes self-awareness as well as life, and the external world around you.
  • You may figure things out on your own timeline, but at least you figure something out eventually. Inner-work on yourself allows for learning life lessons.
  • Understand that every individual has a potential history or story behind their current presentation/situation. There are reasons for all behavior and scenarios, whether they are considered valid excuses or not. (subjective interpretation.)
  • The destiny of destiny: Different outcomes can result from what would otherwise be contradictory precursors. For example, a seemingly more fortunate advantaged individual may have been raised with financial or other similar advantages. This prototype can still destroy their lives for a variety of reasons. In contrast, a person who had a more challenging earlier life including various realities like poverty, various forms of abuse, alcoholic family or mental illness in the family, could still develop in to a strong sufficient confident person.
  • Some people endured an extremely dysfunctional, mentally ill or alcoholic family upbringing. There is a need to choose to fight that much harder rather than succumb to a victim mode or remaining a subjugated pacifist.
  • Success- you keep on fighting and pursuing your dreams and goals. If one trajectory is blocked, you proceed with another route. If the other routes are also eventually not obtained, you proceed with a different goal to work towards.
  • Blaming is bad news- it is distressing behavior when some people persistently blame others for their failures, their inadequacies and their poor choices.
  • Luck of the Draw- There are factors that would predictably render some individuals as just luckier to begin with, thus having a greater likelihood for success and overcoming adversity. Some do have to work harder and with less-than others. Therefore, they can opt to make a choice to persevere.
  • Change can happen- If you have any of the above issues, such as adversity, challenges, problems and limitations, you have the option to make a change. It will hopefully be worth it to do so even with the hard work or hurdles along the way to generate an improved situation/resolution.

Areas of Interest/Specialty

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  • Abuse history/trauma.
  • Addictions: alcoholism, compulsive behaviors.
    Alcoholic Behavior.
  • Behavior Modification/Goal work/Personal Growth/Coaching.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or similar traits/features to this.
  • Boundaries and Codependency.
  • Depression/Anxiety/Panic attacks.
  • Eating Disorders- Compulsive Overeating/Weight Management/Eating Disorder Related Complex (EDRC)™.
  • Entertainment Industry/Narcissism/Grandiosity/Fallout from Nepotism Hierarchy/Sociopathy “Alcoholic Behavior.”
  • LGBTQ- Extensive experience working with gay clients; sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ Clients.
  • Self-Worth Enhancement: Self-esteem, Empowerment and Self-Affirmation and Assertiveness training.

Therapy- what to expect, how does it work?

"Therapy for the mind"... Psychotherapy, also referred to as "counseling," is a process that helps people learn about themselves, their environment and ways to handle their roles and relationships. Psychotherapy is a treatment and experience that is designed to bring about changes in emotions, mood, attitudes and behaviors as well as the client's personal adjustment to self and others.

Therapy is appropriate for almost anyone and can help a variety of conditions. Often times, people seek treatment to address unpleasant feelings and situations in their lives. Frequently, they hope to develop an improved understanding about individual identity, which may include personal growth and exploration.

Psychotherapy addresses the underlying origins of a wide array of problems. Symptoms of relationship/interpersonal difficulties, depression and anxiety are some of the commonly reported reasons to seek treatment. Addiction to drugs and alcohol, eating disorders, feeling out of control, hopeless, stuck or blocked, confused or insecure are some other struggles that can be helped through counseling.

Therapy works by exploring and confronting issues in a constructive empathetic manner that may not have otherwise been effectively assessed. The alternative is that clients continue to exhibit symptoms and or “act-out” the manifestations of the various conditions they are seeking treatment for. This treatment does not include specific medical or legal advice. Referrals will be given for any needs that cannot be provided from this psychotherapy.

Length of Treatment

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There is no formal set time frame for individual therapy. Generally, therapy is most effective if it is consistent and uninterrupted. Ideally, this means initially meeting at least 1 time per week and more if necessary. Many clients see their therapist on a regular, on-going basis. The period of time clients decide to remain in therapy depends on individual needs; progress and relief might not be immediately evident. There may be times when clients feel less hopeless or even “stuck” before they realize the scope and importance of improvements.

People seek therapy or are referred to (seek) psychotherapy for a variety of mental health and psycho-social issues; some are more severe than others. There are more common pre-cursors where psychotherapy is indicated for mental health treatment. Examples are conditions such as depression, anxiety, addictions, interpersonal/relationship/family problems and distress.

Some people find themselves in therapy for other valuable reasons, such as personal growth and achieving an elevated level of self-awareness and insight. In recent years therapy is sought for other matters as well, such as “coaching” (which is technically not the same as psychotherapy, although it has a therapeutic effect or some similar elements.)

Identifying and Unblocking Feelings and Emotions

What role do emotions and feelings, especially “repressed feelings” play as it pertains to psychological wellbeing/psychotherapy? Sigmund Freud MD, sometimes referred to as “The Father of Psychology,” suggested that depression was actually a function of "anger turned inward'." What Dr. Freud meant was that when strong feelings, such as anger, love, hate or jealousy, etc., are not properly channeled or expressed, they are repressed. The psyche then reverts to a sort of emotional shutdown. The combination of emotional blockage, difficulty and frustration in identifying and expressing feelings can lead to more severe feelings of inadequacy and depression.

Many people have become experts at repressing their feelings. Therapy is useful to explore feelings of depression and anxiety that underlie repression. Anger, rage, resentment, jealousy, fear and self-contempt may also be related to repression.

Typically, compulsive behaviors such as substance abuse, over-eating, co-dependency, and "acting-out" are dysfunctional methods used to manage anxiety and emotional disturbances. Negative self-dialogue and self-destructive actions/choices are other ways some people may manage these types of unpleasant feelings rather than face them directly.

The Psychotherapy process can explore the meaning and origins of your discomfort. Identifying, exploring, discussing or journaling about feelings and emotions may accomplish this. By actively engaging in this treatment, clients are provided with a constructive opportunity to recognize and manage these thoughts, emotions and behaviors.


Office Polices and Fees

  • Length of sessions: Most sessions are generally 45-55 minutes in length depending.
  • Length of therapy treatment/ Number of sessions- depends on the presenting problem.
  • Fees- The regular, non-insurance, non-network fee per session is $285 due and payable at the start of each appointment. For insurance plans there may be a variety of fees that differ depending on the plan and deductibles if applicable. This office will do the billing, so you may only need to pay the copayment/coinsurance up front at the start of each session. Office accepts all forms of payment.
  • Insurance plans are accepted and billed on your behalf but only as an non-contracted provider other than with Anthem Blue Cross of California or most other *Blue Cross plans (*Does NOT Include Blue Shield Plans.) Joseph also was recently approved to accept Medicare.
  • Joseph is contracted as an in-network provider for Anthem Blue Cros, Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal, and as of 1/2024, most Medicare plans, however...
  • Preferred rates are offered for various insurance plans based on coverage. Please inquire for more details.
  • Attendance: Cancellations are highly discouraged and may result in termination of treatment.
  • Confidentiality limitations: Therapy remains confidential unless there is reason to believe the client(s) is/are an imminent danger to self or others, including physical or sexual abuse and harm or viable potential harm to others, particularly children/minors and dependent adults or elderly.