My Approach to Helping
My approach to helping is to connect with you in psychotherapy, individually or in a group, authentically exactly where you based on safety, privacy, and a non-judgmental attitude. Not much can happen that will be meaningful and long-lasting in overcoming problems unless a genuine personal connection develops between you and me.
Many people get in their own way either with self-condemning beliefs, powerful bad feelings or habits that keep us from living our best lives. Sure, people can tolerate not living their most abundant lives but why settle for not living fully? We all know and sense that life goes quickly.
Psychotherapy can help you experience more joy and fewer experiences of 'shooting yourself in the foot.' For example, do you find yourself depressed for no obvious reason, irritable at the people you love, or too anxious to connect with people or a job or other experiences that you know would make you happier and more fulfilled? If yes, then you are not alone. That is an example of how we get in our own ways. Many people like you can struggle to feel connected, cared about, or safe in a fast-moving, sometimes aggressive or dismissive society.
I am available to meet with you exactly where you are and walk with you to a place of renewal, healing, and a more mindful, less conflicted way of living that you want to rather than the ways you feel compelled to. I hope that you will call me to see if we can make positive, lasting, meaningful and needed changes in your life. Personal growth like this does not come quickly and it requires costs in money, time and emotional grit. But I have seen people's lives permanently altered for the better and I hope you will experience that kind of change too.
More Info About My Practice
I have a self-pay hourly fee of about $165 for individual psychotherapy and $55 for group psychotherapy. While paying directly means the highest confidentiality (i.e. using insurance requires a clinical diagnosis) I have slots for people with insurance who cannot afford my hourly fee and for people with limited resources and income who don't have insurance. I am an in-network a provider for some insurance companies including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare and Tricare, and Value Options are in process. I expect to take Tricare and Value Options by late 2015.
I am happy to file your insurance claim for the companies I am a provider for if you want to use your health insurance. Please call to verify that your policy covers work with a Licensed Psychologist and bring any "authorization numbers" with you to your first session. Keep in mind that for some policies having a high deductible can mean paying approximately $120 per session even with insurance until the deductible is reached.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I love getting to know you and walk with you from your point of suffering to an endpoint of thriving, healing and significant resolution of harsh inner conflicts. No one makes this transformation in the exact same way because you are different from all other people. Each person like you that I can meet and work together for positive, lasting change is a joy of my life. If someone 10 years after the end of a 3-year intensive psychotherapy or psychoanalysis with me doesn't remember my name but is fundamentally happier, freer and less afflicted than I am the happiest person. This is why I am a psychologist and want to work with as many people as possible. I am not in this to get rich but to help people make profound changes for the good in their lives.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
I am not familiar with many people who have NOT had some doubts, concerns or outright disbelief that psychotherapy can actually make a difference. We as humans tend to be suspicious of what we have not experienced so I don't blame you. However, I encourage you to try it out. I regularly meet with people 4-6 times for us to get to know each other. That means I get to know you but you also can get to know my style, personality, office environment, and any other intangible details to see if I am the right psychologist for allowing you specifically with all of who you are to open up and work through whatever is bothering.
Are you on the fence, I say do a trial. If you don't like it, then you can stop. Keep in mind, however, that getting to know if psychotherapy with me or someone else will work for you takes time and cannot typically be decided in one session. You need to see if you feel safe, understood and if you feel a connection with the therapist and that takes multiple encounters in my experience.
You can always walk away, no harm no foul.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
If you have had a negative experience in therapy, then I cannot hold anything against you for not wanting to try again. I have heard too many stories from patients about other therapists and psychologists who have acted incompetently, unethically and otherwise selfishly with them. I cringe when I hear those accounts. I know that such bad therapists are hurting many people by turning them off of all psychotherapists.
Nevertheless, you are in a good starting point by looking at this website of goodtherapy.org. I am a member because I am an expert in something called "Virtue Ethics" and I have long know that solid and excellence in ethics is the foundation for the best psychotherapy. Also, I am in a school of psychotherapy (psychoanalytic/psychodynamic) that states unequivocally that a therapist to others must first work on him or herself in psychodynamic therapy. That is the wisdom to know that everyone has conflicts and internal triggers that can get in the way of providing psychotherapy if not dealt with in a serious and sustained manner. It is the same reason that anyone who is a "psychoanalyst" has been required to have their own, personal psychoanalysis often throughout all the years of training. After the therapist has had years of his or her own therapy, then it is ethical and solid practice to be in consultation/supervision with peers and older/wiser leaders on a regular basis and especially during a crisis.
Therapists who have spent considerable time in their own
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
It is normal to be anxious, worried and skeptical about the therapy process. There is nothing quite like psychotherapy anywhere else in the world. It is about meeting with an ethical, well-trained psychologist who you like and trust (and if the person isn't this way then change) and who you can talk about anything that comes to mind with an attitude of curiosity and vitality of wherever the conversations and explorations may go. We ALL have defenses and resistance to change. People who are contemplating psychotherapy for the first are actually wise to choose the right person and then acknowledge normal anxiety and give it a solid try. It might just change your life.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
There is still a stigma in our society about consulting with a psychologist or other therapist so if you feel weak or flawed for reaching out to someone like me you are not alone. I, on the other hand, know from experience that many people who take the risk, spend the money, time, effort to work on themselves in psychotherapy have made rich gains in personal happiness and in the well-being of their children, spouses, family, co-workers. If you are healthier emotionally and psychologically all the people in your life benefit from your infant to your neighbor. In my book (or in my good therapy profile), I believe that people who invest the energy and money to grow and heal in psychotherapy are some of the strongest and healthiest people in our society.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The connection that the client feels with the therapist is crucial to a successful and fruitful psychotherapy. If you and I meet for a few sessions, and you sense that we don't have a strong, working relationship, then I will want you to find that kind of bond with someone else. I will give you names of people I trust in the community for you to meet with. This is not offensive or rude at all. This is intelligent and careful choosing of a psychologist for psychotherapy. At the end of the day, it best to genuinely like and enjoy to some degree the psychologist with whom you will do this kind of work.