How does your service work?
Psychotherapy is a process by which people can gain insight into the decisions they have been making and make changes in their thinking and behavior that can improve their lives.
In psychotherapy, people discuss what is going on in their lives. I look for patterns in their thinking that may be keeping them from realizing their full potential. In discussing specific events and looking at the thought processes behind them, we can target specific areas that can be changed. This process works well with individuals, couples and families.
What kind of clients do you see?
I work with individual adults, both men and women, couples, families, adolescents and children. Recently, I’ve been seeing some military – both active and veterans – who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
How long does each session last?
Each session lasts for approximately 50 minutes. I believe my time is not any more valuable than my clients’ time, so I strive to start and end on time. At the end of each session, I collect payment and schedule the following session.
When are appointments available?
I see clients in the afternoons and evenings several days a week. I do not believe children should miss school to participate in ongoing therapy, so I strive to see them after school in the afternoons and early evenings. I do not overbook and over commit to my clients, so if you become my client, you can anticipate being able to meet with me weekly.
How long does therapy take?
That depends on a lot of things, including the depth of the problem, how quickly a client can institute effective change, how much a client follows through with “homework” assignments, and how frequently a client can meet. I ask that new clients commit to meeting weekly for the first 4 sessions. I find this really helps to establish a connection and rapport. After that, we assess how regularly we’d like to meet.
As clients improve, we typically begin meeting once every two weeks. I’ve seen some clients successfully resolve their issues in a few sessions, and have met with other clients for several years. The average time for successful completion of therapy is approximately 5-9 months.
How much does therapy cost?
Therapy is covered by most health insurance plans. I am on many insurance panels, including TriCare, Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, Medicaid, Medicare, Centpatico, Wellcare, Amerigroup and Humana. I am considered a specialist by insurance companies. If you look at the front of your card, there should be a place where “sp” is listed. That would be your copay for my services. There is usually no copay when Medicaid is your primary insurance provider.
You can also pay for therapy “out of pocket”. My standard fee for a 45-50 minute session is $120.00. However, I am willing to work with clients to come to a financial arrangement that both of us are comfortable with.
What happens in therapy?
Clients talk about their problems and issues and, together, we explore the underlying thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to their painful emotions. Therapy is a dialogue between my clients and me. Sometimes we discuss things that are currently going on. At other times we explore things in their background that are contributing to their current problems. There is no set “agenda” for therapy sessions – it changes from week to week.
For example, if I’m working with a couple who are getting into heated arguments on a regular basis, I may listen to some arguments in sessions to discover their ineffective patterns of communication. We may then work on modifying these communication patterns so that they can successfully resolve their issues, rather than have the “same old argument” over and over again. In effect, I teach them to argue effectively (“fight fair”) in a way that doesn’t hurt the other person emotionally, and can resolve the issue.
Another example: If an individual is struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed and feeling tugged between her current family and her family of origin, we may look closely at her expectations and beliefs. Utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy, we may examine things that, in the past, she felt she “had” to do, which were really choices. As she begins to realize the true freedom she has always had (kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz), she will start setting limits with other people in ways that keep her more emotionally protected and her depression will lift.
What issues do you treat?
I treat a large variety of problems and issues, including dealing with past abuse and trauma for all ages, individuals suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (including current and former military), grief and bereavement, depression, and anxiety. I also work with people who are trying to improve the quality of their life – whether it be in helping them choose a career path that is a good fit for them, enhance their relationships, provide support through a rough patch (such as divorce or empty nest), or bolster their creativity.
I work with numerous kinds of children’s problems, including behavior disorders, ADHD, depression, anxiety, bed-wetting, school phobia, problems with their parents’ divorce, sexual identity, separation anxiety, and bereavement.
I work with couples struggling with marital discord, unfaithfulness, and other behaviors that cause distress. I have a high success rate with couples when both want to remain together. I can also work with a couple to help them determine whether they want to stay together or divorce. If children are involved, I can help them divorce in a way that keeps the children “out of the middle” and reduces the children’s’ pain.
I also work with families who are struggling with issues such as remarriage, parenting, adoption, dealing with adolescent development, and empty nest syndrome.
Is Psychotherapy Confidential?
Yes, it is, with some qualifications. First, by law, I’m required to report any child abuse that I become aware of during psychotherapy. Also, I may break confidentiality if I determine a client is a danger to himself or others. If I file claims with an insurance company, I have to provide a diagnosis and dates of treatment in order to get paid for the sessions. Also, if therapy is Court Ordered, I may be required to report back to the Court about the content of our sessions.
The best way to insure the maximum amount of confidentiality is to pay for sessions out of your pocket. Then, as long as no child abuse is reported and you are not suicidal or homicidal, I am under no obligation to report any information about our sessions, including diagnosis, to anyone.
How Private is Your Office?
I work in a setting that is ideal for those who want to ensure being discrete about their therapy. When you call you will speak to me over the phone and will not have to deal with anyone else. In addition, I avoid sharing my waiting room with other professionals to likewise increase your sense of privacy.