My Approach to Helping
I use a comprehensive approach that focuses on the family system in its entirety, and not just the distressed member. I believe and recognize that people are part of a broader system that includes family, community, work, culture and belief systems. Therefore, all interventions and solutions that I create considers the presence of people's belief systems, their family of origin, and work as an integral part of their lives. I generally use a non-directive approach in the narrative and collaborative style by listening to the client'(s) stories and working with the couple, individual or family. I also 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 each person's view of reality. I work hard to respect family hierarchies (especially of authority) and values, people's supporting subsystems, and "speak" the language of the family. Within this approach, I will seek to determine each partner's (or family member's) growth areas or most disagreement areas that they want to improve. Simple and brief questionnaires and scaling may be used intermittently to assess or discuss these growth areas.
Most recently, I am pursuing training in trauma-informed care (for example, EMDR; Trauma-focused CBT). I continue to experiment with innovative and collaborative practices, believing that the human experience is one dominated by how people make meaning and engage in conversations using stories as the medium for this exciting transformational (becoming and change) experience. My approach to mediation in family conflicts is a combination of the collaborative, facilitative, and transformative models, with the aim of lessening conflict, fostering self-reliance, building relationships and finding a harmonious resolution for all parties.
More Info About My Practice
I accept several 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 begins. If you do not have insurance, I will ask you to pay at the end of the session. I accept cash, direct pay modes (such as bank-to-bank), 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 mental health benefits cover for mental health and counseling or therapy?
What is my co-pay?
Do I need a pre-authorization? If the answer to this question is "yes," please obtain a pre-authorization code and bring it to your first session and present it to your therapist.
My rate for a 45-minute session is $90-$100. Rates for couples and family sessions are available upon request. I am also conducting Anger Management groups on a demand basis.
My Role as a Therapist
I believe the client is the expert, knower, and author of his or her stories. Subsequently, I, as the therapist will have to take a subordinate role in this interactional process, we call therapy. Adopting the theory that knowledge is power, with language as its tool, as a collaborative therapist, I assume a non-expert, and curious posture while relinquishing the focus of story-telling expertise to my clients.
My role in the therapeutic relationship is one of facilitator and guide in the negotiating process of the here-and-now conversation. Thus, as your therapist, I will show empathy, concern, respect, compassion, diligence, patience, humility and curiosity during the entire process to maximize a collaborative partnership with you as the client. Besides minimizing hierarchy, it also allows me to relate with you, my client(s), as a way of being with you, and to establish a rapport, which is such a necessity in this change and becoming (transformational) process.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Many clinical examples of what a practitioner experiences underscore the importance of understanding the intrapsychic dynamics at play during therapy. This understanding allows me, as the therapist to more precisely understand the primary role that a personality disorder serves, as well as the function and meaning of the projections that are unconsciously transferred onto the therapist. With this comprehension in mind, I can conceptualize counter-transference and its therapeutic meanings within the transference-countertransference matrix. Another strategy is for me to reasonably anticipate the different kinds of counter-transferences I can expect depending upon the presenting diagnosis (whether it is narcissism, borderline, or schizoid). Primarily, by ruling out the improbable diagnoses, I can craft the best treatment plan to address the presenting problems that facilitate developing a feasible goal-achievement for the client. As the client manages "hisherziehirs" (gender pronouns) symptoms and processes and 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 a professional helper, colleagues, and peer support have become a part of the routine for me as a practitioner.
The bottom line to managing counter-transference stress is through vigilant self-monitoring, staying abreast of professional education, and remaining curious as a continuous learner.