Amy E. Ellis, PhD
|Professions: Counseling, Psychology, Psychotherapy|
|License Status: I'm a licensed professional.|
|Primary Credential: Psychologist - PY9396|
Billing and Insurance
I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage
See other therapists in Plantation, FL.
My approach to therapy is one that is collaborative and that seeks to be deeply understanding of not only the presenting problems, but the context in which those problems developed. I was trained in a Contextual Model of treatment, developed by Dr. Steven N. Gold. This approach focuses on understanding how life events, along with early family environment, can contribute to areas of impairment or poorer functioning. What this means, is that everyone is innately capable of living a fulfilling and satisfactory life; however, some individuals may or may not have had access to developing particular skill sets to achieve this. These skill sets may include difficulties in learning to regulate your emotions (e.g., sensitivity to rejection or abandonment, anger and irritability, overwhelming sadness or anxiety), developing skills to interact with others to get one's needs met, accepting and understanding past experiences to "make sense" of your world, etc. I believe that you are the expert in you, and through a warm, positive relationship, we can either further hone in on these skills and/or develop them, to create a richer, more satisfying life.
Email or Call Amy E. Ellis, PhD at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 30813
More Info About My Practice
Although I do not accept insurance at this time, my office can assist you with filing claims for out-of-network benefits. I also believe that access to therapy is important, and will work with you and/or your family on a sliding scale to increase affordability.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
PTSD; Complex-PTSD; childhood sexual, physical, emotional abuse; childhood neglect; eating disorders and body image; psychosis, Bipolar Disorder, depression and anxiety; personality disorders (e.g., Borderline Personality Disorder)
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
This is totally normal! I hope that you'll feel comfortable to reach out to me either by phone or by email so I can know what has you teetering on "should I or shouldn't I?" A lot of times it can be a fear of the unknown. What will the therapist ask me? Will I have to lie on a couch and talk for 60 minutes straight? What are they going to "do to me"? What will they think of me? In answer to some of those questions, my sessions are typically 50 minutes long. I do have a couch in my office; most of my clients sit or "curl up" on the couch across from me. I try to make therapy interactive and a back-and-forth conversation. I won't "do" anything except talk to you and try to better understand what's going on. If I feel that a particular tool or intervention might be useful, I'll discuss that with you and we will determine together if that's something you'd like to learn or try. I encourage you to ask me ANY questions, to lessen your anxiety about being on the fence. I'm happy to help make the transition to going to therapy smooth.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
A negative therapy experience can be "bigger" issues such as a breach of confidentiality and poor boundaries on the part of your therapist to "lesser" issues such as a poor fit with the individual. That's why I feel it's important to do an initial consultation (for free of course) on the phone, so that we can feel each other out. I approach therapy with transparency; I am upfront and honest about my limitations in terms of maintaining confidentiality (for example, if you're going to hurt yourself or someone else in the imminent future, I would need to report that), what my treatment entails (which is designed collaboratively by the two of us), etc. It is important to be informed about what your treatment looks like and can look like, so that you can make the best decision for you. And if you decide that treatment with me does not work, all I ask is that we talk about it to better understand what is or isn't working. From there, I'm happy to assist you in finding another therapist. Therapy may be distressing or unpleasant at times (after all, you're stirring the pot of emotions), but it should never be negative, devaluing, or unethical.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The cornerstone of my treatment is the relationship between the client and therapist. I've done research and written in this area because I value it that strongly. Studies have actually shown that the relationship between therapists and clients is the biggest predictor of therapy outcome, over and above things like treatment orientation or interventions. That says to me that we have to work hard to develop a strong connection so that we can tackle the difficult issues that bring you to therapy.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
My view on disorders is that they were, at one time, adaptive approaches to dealing with life issues. The difficulty is that while they may have been advantageous at one point, they are no longer functioning in that capacity, which is why we present to therapy. For example, when we are sad or overwhelmed, we are often tempted to stay in bed. In the short-term, this functions quite well for us. We don't have to go to work or handle the responsibilities that cause us anxiety. Yet, over time, these behaviors seek to paralyze us in life. In this sense, a disorder is a reaction to a problem that is no longer working for us. In therapy, I try to first understand why that behavior is there - what function does it serve? Once understanding it better, we can then implement other tools and adaptive actions that may actually better get our needs met.
Services I Provide
- Individual Therapy & Counseling
- Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
- Family Therapy
- Clinical Supervision
- Online Counseling / Phone Therapy
Ages I Work With
Groups I Work With
Survivors of childhood abuse
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