About Psychotherapy

Finding a therapist can be a daunting experience, especially since we are usually looking for one when we are experiencing considerable stress and distress in our lives.
Psychotherapy is a method of 'treating' or 'healing' one's psychological distress using one or several different educational, supportive, and problem-solving techniques. Generally, psychotherapy involves you, the client, talking to the therapist about your concerns, issues, desires, and goals. Together, you explore possible beliefs, early learnings, and behaviors that may be keeping you from achieving your goals. You then use any of several approaches to making the changes that allow you to get what you may want in your life.
It is difficult for most of us to sit with a stranger and reveal some of our more personal information. If you now find yourself here searching for someone who seems to fit your needs, I will attempt to give you an idea of who I am and how I work as a therapist. Should it seem to you that I might be an appropriate person to work with you on your particular issues, I will be happy to discuss this further in a telephone conversation. Generally, I find that a phone contact will give both of us an idea of whether or not I am a good match for you. However, I do not ask either you or myself to commit to working together until we have a face-to-face consultation.
My training in psychotherapy is widely diverse, including psychoanalytic, experiential, cognitive behavioral, gestalt, transactional analysis, and exposure to numerous other theories and practices. Thus, it is difficult to describe the 'one form of therapy that I do'. I would have to say that I am eclectic in my approach. That means that my approach may vary greatly depending on your needs if you should become my client.

In practical terms, I try to fully understand the goals of each person with whom I work and join him or her in exploring his or her blocks to achieving these goals. I attempt to maintain an attitude of curiosity, and I teach and encourage this same attitude with my clients. I believe it leads to a deeper understanding of oneself and a much-increased control of one’s destiny.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will answer my phone call or email message?

I will personally respond, generally within 24 hours during weekdays

What will my first appointment consist of?

Your first appointment will be a consultation visit lasting approximately 70 minutes. This is a time for me to become acquainted with your current life and what you wish to address in therapy. It is also a time for you to get a sense of who I am and how I work. Generally, by the end of this consultation, I will be able to offer some initial observations and recommendations for how to proceed.

How can I evaluate my insurance plan for mental health coverage?

Contact your insurance health plan to determine if outpatient psychotherapy is covered. The customer service phone number should be on your insurance card. There may be a separate phone number for mental health benefits. Some insurance companies have comprehensive information on their websites.
Ask if the full cost of treatment is covered or only a part. Benefits vary widely. Ask about limits of coverage, such as the number of visits per year or annual or lifetime maximums.
Find out if there is a group of “preferred providers” or a "network," that you must choose from or if you can choose any qualified provider. If you are a member of an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), you generally must see a therapist who is contracted with the HMO in order to receive any benefit. Otherwise, the entire fee for services will be your full responsibility. If you are a member of a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), you must choose from the “network’ in order to receive the maximum financial benefit. Generally, with PPO’s, you will also have “out-of-network” benefits, which allow you to choose any qualified provider and your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher.

Do you take insurance?

I do work with insurance companies as an out-of-network provider. It is a simple process, and I will be happy to help you with it. First, contact your insurance company and inquire about your mental health "out-of-network benefits." Generally, insurance companies can reimburse anywhere from 50% to 100% percent, depending on your plan and deductible. You will pay my fee upfront. Then, I will provide you with the necessary form for you to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.

How long are all subsequent sessions?

Most individual sessions are 45 minutes. However, I find that some clients prefer longer sessions. If we decide that longer sessions are more useful, we will work that out together.

Is what I share with my therapist confidential?

Your confidentiality is protected by state law and by the rules of my profession. All information concerning patients is held confidential and is released only through procedures consistent with the law and professional ethics. If you have questions about the limits of confidentiality, I will be glad to discuss these with you.

What if I think I need to be evaluated for medications or I am already prescribed medications?

I am licensed and trained to practice psychotherapy, and I do not prescribe medications. However, I am well acquainted with most psychotropic medications and frequently consult with physicians who prescribe these medications in an effort to provide you and your physician with observations that might be helpful in your medication management.