My Approach to Helping
My goal is to provide counseling, psychotherapy and treatment for individuals, couples and families struggling with a variety of psychological and mental health issues including stress, relationships, marital problems, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol, eating disorders, learning disability attention problems etc... As the Coordinator of Campus Alcohol and Substance Awareness at Temple University and as the past Assistant Director of Student Health and Counseling at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia I have a lot of experience working with clients facing all the above issues and more.
I believe that counseling is a collaborative process where clients sort out their thoughts and feelings in order to get a better understanding of who they are. My approach is eclectic or integrative but I use many psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches in my work. I trust that clients know deep down what should be talked about in therapy and that they mostly need help knowing how to access these thoughts and feelings in order to realize what it is they want and need from others and their lives. I am very open to sharing my personal thoughts and experiences as a way of helping others. I find that it often helps patients to know that their therapist is a human being too and much can be learned from the relationship of therapy. Many clients come to a therapists office because they struggling in their relationships. Paying attention to how your relationship develops with your therapist can help you understand how the really important relationships in your life outside of the therapeutic relationship work.
More Info About My Practice
My fee is $160.00 per session and sessions are 50 minutes long. I charge the same rate for an initial consultation. In some instances I can do a sliding fee scale and this depends on your financial situation. When working with students I can often slide lower if their parents are not helping with psychotherapy. My ability to offer a sliding fee scale also depends on how many current patients I have who I am seeing on a sliding feel scale. I have several sliding fee slots so please don't hesitate to ask. I require 48 hours notice for cancellations and so it is important to remember that I do have to bill for sessions that are canceled without at least 48 hours notice regardless for the reason for the cancellation. This is standard in our field. People can pay by check, credit, debit or cash at the time of the session.
Since I am a licensed clinical psychologist and also a certified addictions counselor you can be reimbursed for our sessions. However, I don't sign contracts with insurance companies for several reasons, described below, but I can work with your insurance company as an out-of-network or paneled provider. It usually an easy process and I can help you with it. You'll have to contact your insurance company and ask about your mental health or substance abuse "out-of-network benefits." Insurance companies can reimburse any amount they chose to though which may be 30% and may be 80% percent depending on your plan and deductible. All my patients pay my fee at the time of our session or before and then I will provide you receipts that you can submit directly to your insurance company for reimbursement. It's important to ask your insurance company whether you will have a deductible, how many sessions they'll pay for and what percent they'll pay for. Also ask them if they will need a diagnosis and if you are concerned ask if your diagnosis will be keep confidential or will it be transmitted to future insurance companies should you ever change plans. Unfortunately, because of the difficulties with insurance companies today many people I work with do not end up using their insurance plans at all. About half of my patients submit claims at all and for those that do there are a large range of reimbursements that they receive. If you really need to be fully reimbursed for all of your treatment the only way to do that is to contact a therapist that has contracted with your insurance company. . If you want to choose a therapist that you have a good match with this may be the only way of doing it.
There are many ways in which I can help o evaluate individuals. Often people want to be given a diagnosis or suggestions for treatment. Many parents bring their young adult children in for a session in order to have a level of care evaluation. In other words, the parents and children need to know if outpatient therapy is advised or intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment is more recommended. I can provide evaluations to determine if someone is fit to go back to work after being suspended or away in treatment. I can also provide an evaluation to determine if someone is fit to return to school and function as a student or live in residence halls.
Consultation goes hand in hand with evaluation. Sometimes therapists refer to me for a second opinion about a treatment plan or treatment progress especially with drug and alcohol issues. Consultations are often for clients who are not sure they want therapy but who are interested in meeting with someone to learn more about it. Many times consultations are appropriate for a concerned loved one or family member when they aren't sure how to encourage the person they care about how to begin treatment. Consultations are also appropriate for parents who are in the beginning phases of learning about different kinds of therapies and treatments for their sons or daughters.
While I don't consider myself to be a professional coach it is easy for me to provide this service effectively. I have helped several clients with their career or businesses and have worked with others in very directive ways providing homework, advice and consultation rather than more intensive psychotherapy.
Since I have worked in the field of clinical psychology and addiction for 20 years in Philadelphia I know many psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and professional counselors in the area. As the son of a psychiatrist and social worker who also live in Philadelphia I grew up with all of my parents friends who are in the field as sell. I have worked at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling Center, Drexel University Counseling Center, Rehab After Work, Temple University, Hahnemann University and the University of the Sciences and maintain numerous connections from these positions. My involvement with the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association also allows me to easily find therapists with particular specialties easily.
I work with people struggling with all sorts of addiction. While many people may need intensive outpatient, detox or Inpatient treatment a good place to start is to meet with an individual therapist to be the quarterback for your treatment. The goal of treatment is often to provide the least intrusive and least costly treatment that still enables an individual to maintain responsibility for their own health and wellness. Unfortunately some addictive behaviors get worse before they get better because of denial and other factors. Still many individuals don't want to go to more treatment and just want to do the minimum. When and addiction is severe though a person may need a lot more support than once a week outpatient therapy. I can meet with people several times a week if necessary in lieu of intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment.
Drug and Alcohol
There are two approaches I use for drug and alcohol use, the Disease Model and the Harm Reduction Model. The Disease model is for individual clients who identify as having the disease of addiction. These are people for whom no alcohol or drugs at all is a possibility. Most of these clients have decided to attend AA or another 12-step program. The type of treatment I provide for these patients in recovery is quite different than treatment for people who have not yet decided that they want to stop using drugs or alcohol. For more on the Harm Reduction model, see below. For patients who have decided that they are addicted to drugs and alcohol, treatment focuses of maintaining abstinence, recognizing relapse triggers or cues, gaining coping strategies for stress and developing relaxation techniques. Treatment also can focus on introducing patients to 12 step programs or strengthening connections and commitment to those programs. I do work with people who do not want to have anything to do with AA/NA etc... and that is fine too. I have worked with many clients who don't attend AA meetings and still stay sober for the long term.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Addiction, drug and alcohol abuse and harm reduction is my specialty. I am twenty years clean and sober myself after getting clean and sober at age 25. As a Certified Addiction Counselor and Psychologist I am uniquely qualified to address the combination of mental health issues that can occur in concert. I treat people struggling with all forms of addiction including food addiction, eating disorders, binge eating, sex and love addiction, gambling, cutting and self mutilation as an addiction, computer, internet gaming addiction as well as individuals who want to learn how to control or moderate their use of substances, symptoms or behaviors.