Andrew Santanello Psy.D., Psychologist in Towson, Maryland, 21204

Andrew Santanello

Psy.D.

Andrew Santanello

Psy.D.

Professions: Life Coach, Psychotherapist, Clinical Psychologist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Psychology - 04568
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

Fees: I charge a flat rate of $150 for an initial, 90 minute evaluation and $100 for 55 minute therapy sessions. All services are provided via secure videoconferencing.
Free Initial Consultation

Offices

Towson, Maryland 21204

My Approach to Helping

Anxiety. Panic. Depression. Insomnia. Worry. If you are tired of being stuck, you need an action plan and a coach. Life is short. I provide Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which is a time-limited and evidence-based therapy. CBT is designed to help YOU become your own therapist. I work with my clients to clarify their goals, to identify barriers to achieving those goals, and to learn the skills to take those barriers down. Not only is CBT efficient, but it is also convenient. I provide all of my services are through secure video conferencing, so you don't even need to leave your home to meet with me.

I am a clinical psychologist with 15+ years of experience providing CBT. I specialize in problems related to panic, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. I specialize in providing online therapy ("telehealth") over secure video chat. Telehealth is a convenient, effective, and less costly way to CBT. Why telehealth? Well, in my experience, many people struggle with the decision to meet with a therapist. Several barriers include cost, time, convenience, and stigma. Telehealth is generally less expensive for clients, saves time because clients don't need to drive to the therapist's office, convenient because all services are provided to clients through video chat, and private because telehealth is provided through encrypted and secure hosts such as

Ready to make some real changes in your life? Ready to face your fears? Now you don't even need to leave your home! Stop reading and call or email me today for a FREE phone or video consultation. You can also learn more about my practice at Let's plot a course toward recovery together.

More Info About My Practice

What's it likes to do therapy with me?
My approach to therapy is straightforward. First, I help my clients figure out the specific things that they want to achieve in therapy. Second, we work together to discover the thoughts, emotions, and habits that are making it hard to achieve those goals. Third, I help my clients to learn new skills to manage their thoughts and feelings and develop more effective strategies for managing their lives.
Each person is unique, so the specific treatment plan for every one of my clients is also unique. Ideally, I'd like each of my clients to experience therapy as an empowering experience.

Training and Experience
I earned my doctorate in clinical psychology from La Salle University in 2006. After completing graduate school, I received years of intensive training and supervision in many forms of CBT for a variety of different conditions. Specifically, I've had very good results in providing CBT to clients experiencing panic attacks, excessive worry, social anxiety, different types of fears, phobias, PTSD, depression, insomnia, and difficult life transitions. In addition to providing online therapy, I work as a full-time Military Behavioral Health Psychologist and a National Trainer in Cognitive Processing Therapy.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

Although I have broad training in CBT techniques, I'm especially skilled when it comes to working with clients who are having panic attacks, social anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Panic attacks can be very frightening because often they can seem to come out of nowhere. If you've had a panic attack, you might have been concerned that the symptoms you were experiencing were a sign of a severe medical problem, that you were about to lose control, or maybe even that you were about to "lose your mind." Those catastrophic interpretations probably led you to become even more anxious. To make matters worse, you might then fall into a sort of chronic anxiety about the possibility of having another panic attack which can actually bring on more panic attacks. CBT for panic helps clients to understand the way that normal, natural activation of the "fight-flight" response creates panic and teaches straightforward ways to interrupt panic attacks as well as cope with anxiety more effectively.

Social anxiety is one of the most common problems that my clients report. Whether it is anxiety related to public speaking, fear of being judged or made fun of by other people, or difficulty "being yourself" around other people, CBT for social anxiety can be very helpful. Treatment usually involves increasing awareness of the negative, automatic predictions that the mind makes about impending social situations and then using skills to challenge that thinking. Next, the client learns how to use a powerful technique called exposure to face their fears and practice doing the things that they want to do in social situations even if they are feeling anxious.

Depression can make you feel like everything is overwhelming, even the simple, day to day parts of your life. CBT for depression is designed to help clients to recognize and challenge overly self-critical and self-defeating thoughts and to begin to take action on the things that will make life more enjoyable and meaningful.

You might be surprised to know that about 50% of men and 60% of women in the general population will experience or personally witness actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault during their lives. First responders and service men and women may be at even higher risk. Although most people who experience these types of events can recovery with enough support from friends and family, about 20-30% of trauma survivors seem to get "stuck" in the recovery process and continue to have symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Ironically, the main way that many PTSD suffers cope with their symptoms, avoidance (basically trying to push away painful thoughts, memories, and emotions and/or staying away from people, places, and things that might remind them of their trauma), tends to get in the way of recovery. CBT for PTSD helps trauma survivors to come to terms with their experiences by helping them talk about what happened and learn new skills for coping with their symptoms.

My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy

I think the overall goal of therapy is to help my clients learn to be their own therapists. Often, I use the metaphor of player and coach or personal trainer to describe the process of therapy. For example, if you wanted to get in better shape, you might get a membership at a local gym and meet with a personal trainer. They would help you define your fitness goals, get some baseline data about your weight and measurements, and then design a workout and diet plan for you. Training sessions would focus on teaching you the right exercises and troubleshooting your technique. However, it would be up to you to get to the gym and do the work to get the results. After several sessions with your trainer, you should start to know how to work out on your own, and the trainer moves into a supportive or coaching role.

In my opinion, therapy should be a similar process, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. I work with my client to collaboratively define their goals, do some baseline assessments to get a sense of what diagnoses and symptoms are getting in the way, provide a treatment plan outlining the major strategies to address symptoms, and then work with my clients to develop the skills they need. Therapy is over (and, yes, therapy absolutely has an endpoint) when the client has achieved their goals and feels confident in using their new skills.

On the Fence About Going to Therapy?

Just the other day, I was talking with someone who I've known for a very long time about the reasons that people don't go to therapy. They said, "You know, who wouldn't want to go to therapy? You get to talk to a person about anything without worrying if they will judge you. The main problem is that it costs money, takes time, and I don't want anyone to know that I am seeing a therapist. It is kind of embarrassing."

I totally understand. Most people (including a lot of my therapist friends) know that therapy can be really helpful, but they don't go for all sorts of reasons. That is why I thought it could be helpful to offer telehealth. I wanted to remove as many barriers to treatment as I could because I know there are a lot of you out there who really know they could benefit from treatment but have been dragging your feet.

Here is the thing: if you've been struggling with the same issues for years, just hoping that they are going to go away, it might be time to consider the fact that maybe you won't just "grow out of it."

Had a Negative Therapy Experience?

Boy oh boy....there are some bad therapists out there. I've heard horror stories about therapists who talk about their own problems for a whole therapy session, who just sit in silence as their clients pour out their hearts, give very simple advice about very complex issues.

If you've had a bad experience in therapy, you might be reluctant to try again. Let me give you a piece of advice: if your therapist cannot explain their approach to you (including basic descriptions of the interventions they use, pros and cons of their approach versus other approaches, etc.), don't work with them. Therapy shouldn't be a mystery. In fact, therapy should be a collaborative activity, and your therapist should be helping you to achieve YOUR goals. They should also be open to feedback and be willing to change their approach to fit your needs as long as it doesn't interfere with effective treatment.

I'll be honest: I am not able to help every single person who contacts me. When I don't think that I can be helpful or may not be the right fit, I do my best to point people in the direction of a therapist who can.

If you have had a bad experience and are thinking about trying therapy again, it's really important to talk about those experiences when you interview potential new therapists. That's right! You should think about your initial consultation with a new therapist as a job interview. After all, you are hiring them to work for you, right? If you don't get a good feeling about the conversation or aren't sure if the therapist is the best fit, interview some other therapists before you make your decision. Also, make sure you are an informed consumer when it comes to the types of therapy that are offered. Not all forms of therapy are equally effective for every presenting issue. Try to find therapists who offer the types of therapy that seem like the best fit for you.

Services I Provide

  • Coaching
  • Consultation
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Online Counseling / Phone Therapy
  • Psychological Evaluation

Ages I Work With

  • Adults

Languages

  • English

Groups I Work With

    Online CBT is best for clients who are motivated to actively work on solving their problems and who are comfortable using secure video chat. I find that the clients who do best in therapy tend to:

    1) Come to sessions prepared with the things they want to discuss,
    2) Practice CBT skills in between sessions, and
    3) Try new things before deciding if they are useful or not.

    (Note: if you don’t like corny jokes and puns, then I might not be the right therapist for you)

    I seem to be particularly helpful to clients who have struggled with panic attacks, depression, social anxiety, chronic stress, grief/loss, and trauma/PTSD. Unfortunately, I am not able to work with clients who have recent histories of suicide attempts and self-harm due to the fact that telehealth services are not appropriate for emergency care.

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety
  • Breakup
  • Career Choice
  • Communication Problems
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • First Responders
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Inadequacy
  • Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Men's Issues
  • Military and Veterans Issues
  • Panic
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Stress

Types of Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
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