Ellen Lewis, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

Areas of Specialization Include:

  • Depressive Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Poor school performance
  • Sexual Problems
  • Grief and Loss
  • Relationship Problems
  • Stress Management
  • Childhood abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Chronic Illness
  • Career Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Premarital Counseling

I want to thank you for visiting my page on the Orange County Therapists Directory. If uncertain as to whether psychotherapy would be a positive step for you,  I would be happy to discuss your options with you. If  we both feel that you could benefit from our working together, we would then explore the therapeutic modalities that would be most comfortable and helpful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is wrong with me? This is a question that is asked by almost everyone who is experiencing emotional difficulty. I would like to help you figure this out, and with a thorough assessment I am confident that this can be done; Just remember that something may be wrong, but you are not wrong; just because you are having problems does not mean that you are at fault.

Am I the only one who feels this way? No, you are not the only one who feels this way. You would be astonished at the number of people who are in therapy for depression, anxiety and a multitude of other problems. In fact, most people need help at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, many people lack an understanding of therapy and do not pursue it even though it would be very helpful for them. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to ask for help. Remember this!!!

Will I be judged or criticized for having problems? As a therapist, I am trained to maintain a nonjudgmental and unbiased attitude. As a person, I believe that judging others is unfair and hurtful. My goal is to help my clients, not judge them.

Will I be blamed because my child/adolescent has problems? No, you will not! Blaming does no one any good! I will work with you to identify changes that you as a parent can make in effort to help your child and make your own life less stressful. Examples of this include teaching you new ways to discipline your child, and helping you cope with the anger and frustration of parenting a child with behavior problems.

Is it true that therapy is confidential? Yes, it is except if you are actively suicidal and will not agree to refrain from harming yourself, confidentiality can be broken. If you are going to physically harm another person or have harmed a child, confidentiality can be broken. If you are using your insurance to pay for your therapy, basic information regarding your therapy may be requested. However, information is never given to insurance companies without your consent. Exceptions to confidentiality are reviewed with you during your first session. To put you at ease, please know that it is rare that confidentiality must be broken. Most clients never even have to think about this. Since effective therapy begins with confidentiality, I do everything possible to preserve it.

What do we do during the first session? The first session consists of a thorough assessment that lasts approximately 1 ½ hours. After completing paperwork in the waiting room I will ask you (and your child/family, depending on your circumstances) to talk with me about the problems you are having. I will also ask a variety of questions about you and your life in effort to get to know you. Later, I will share my assessment of your problems and together we will develop treatment goals. I will then decide what treatment approach, or type of therapy, will benefit you the most. Usually this process takes a few sessions. If your problem is beyond the scope of my expertise, I will refer you to another therapist. Also, if it is determined that you need more intensive therapy than I can provide, I will refer you to the appropriate facility or program.

How often do I come to therapy? Typically, my clients come to therapy one time per week, for a session that lasts 50 minutes. When needed, I will see a client twice weekly.

How long does therapy last? This is a difficult question to answer since each person’s problems and response to treatment is different. However, we will discuss this as you progress in therapy, and I can assure you that I will help you reach your goals in the most time effective way possible.

What if I need medication? Sometimes both therapy and medication are needed. If we decide that this is the case for you, then I will arrange for you a medication evaluation by your family physician or a psychiatrist based upon your needs.

What do I do if I can’t leave my job every week to go to therapy? I work very hard to meet my clients’ scheduling needs. I offer both weekend and evening appointments. I have also found that most employers and schools are willing to make accommodations for people to go to therapy appointments. I can also provide you with a note requesting that you be excused from school or work and/or showing that you were at your appointment.

Will my insurance cover the cost of treatment? Usually insurance will cover a significant portion of the cost of therapy. Since I am very familiar with insurance companies and know the questions to ask, I will be more than happy to spare you the hassle of this task. All you have to do is give me the information on your insurance card and I will check your benefits. If it is not feasible for you to see me then I will obtain names of other therapists from your insurance company.

What if I have more questions? Please do not hesitate to call me if you have additional questions about the services I provide. You can reach me at 949-612-2395. If I am not immediately available, please leave a message and I will prioritize your call, contacting you as quickly as possible.

Education & Qualifications

Graduated 2003
The University of Oklahoma – Norman, Oklahoma
M.S.W. – May 2001, Interpersonal Concentration
The University of Oklahoma – Norman, Oklahoma
B.A., Social Work – May 1999

12 Years in Private Practice

Cost (per session): $95 - $130
Sliding Scale: No
Accepted Payment Methods: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Check, Cash, American Express


Ellen Lewis, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
2801 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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