My Approach to Helping
I believe and recognize that people are part of a larger system that includes family, community, work, culture and belief systems. Hence, all interventions and/or solutions I create must consider the presence of those systems as an integral part of peoples' lives. I use an active manner in which I address the family organization and style by identifying with the children and parents, affirming the family strengths, monitoring interpersonal distance, and re-framing reality. I work hard to respect hierarchies of authority and values, supporting subsystems, and speaking the language of the family.
I use an all-inclusive approach that focuses on the family system in its entirety, and not just the distressed member. My techniques have been synthesized from a variety of schools of thought, including client-centered therapy, behavioral therapy, collaborative therapy, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, mindfulness concepts, cognitive behavioral therapy, and many other innovative approaches. Most recently, I have been engaged in a candidacy for a PsyD program in organizational leadership. I continue to experiment with collaborative practices, believing that the human experience is one dominated by meaning-making and conversations, with language as the medium for this "transformational" experience.
More Info About My Practice
I accept a few insurance plans and will file your claim for you if you are covered by one of them. If your plan has a co-pay for office visits, I am required to collect the co-pay before our session starts. If you do not have insurance, I will ask you to pay at the end of the session. I accept cash, local checks, Visa, and MasterCard.
Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please contact your insurance provider with the following questions:
Do I have mental health insurance coverage?
What is my deductible and has it been met?
How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover for mental health and counseling/therapy?
What is my co-pay?
Do I need pre-authorization? If the answer to this question is "yes," please obtain a pre-authorization number and bring it to your first session and present it to your therapist.
My rate for a 45-minute session is $80. Rates for couples and family sessions are available upon request. I am also conducting Anger Management groups.
My Role as a Therapist
If the client is the expert, the knower and the author of his or her stories, conversely and logically, it appears the therapist will have to take a subordinate role in this interactional process called therapy. Adopting the Foucaultian adage that knowledge is power (with language as its tool), as a Narrative, Solution-Focus, and post-modern therapist, the therapist assumes a non-expert, and curious posture while relinquishing the focus of story-telling expertise to her clients.
The therapist is a facilitator in the negotiating process of a socially constructed moment-by-moment narrative called therapy. Thus, the therapist is empathetic, concerned, respectful, compassionate, diligent, patient and curious during the entire process to maximize a collaborative partnership with the client. Besides minimizing hierarchy, it also allows the therapist to relate with the client(s) as a way of being with them and to establish a bond, which is such a necessity in this transformational process.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Clinical examples that this practitioner experiences underscore the importance of understanding the intrapsychic dynamics at play which allows this therapist to more precisely understand the primary role that a personality disorder is serving, as well as the function and meaning of the projections flung onto the therapist. It is with this understanding that the therapist can conceptualize her counter-transference and its therapeutic meanings within the transference-countertransference matrix. Another strategy is for the therapist to reasonably anticipate the different kinds of counter-transferences she will expect depending upon the presenting diagnosis (be it narcissistic, borderline, or schizoid). Essentially, a differential diagnosis potentially instructs the therapist on the best treatment plan to address the presenting interventions that facilitate developing a therapeutic alliance. As the client can manage his or her symptoms and process the core effects from the abandonment of depression, the degree of projection dissipates and so does the counter-transference to the therapist. Constant debriefing with the professional helper, colleagues, and peer support have become a part of daily routine as a practitioner (Marriage & Marriage, 2005).
The bottom line to managing counter-transference stress is through vigilant self-monitoring, staying abreast of professional education, and remaining curious, but empathetic.