My Approach to Helping
My clients seek my services when personal problems or relationship failures and disappointments drain the joy, fun and creativity from otherwise rewarding lives and careers. No one wants to remain stuck or feel sad, depressed or anxious for long.
By using a warm, interactive and pragmatic approach, I actively engage with clients to help them gain perspective and insight into patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that no longer work. With this understanding, clients move forward and make successful life changes. I believe that relief from emotional pain comes from self-awareness, gained in a safe, compassionate, and supportive environment.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years experience working with adults, couples and families. Originally trained in England in the 1960's, I later earned a doctorate in clinical social work, a level of education far beyond that which is required for licensure, so that I could bring advanced training and expertise to my clients.
I also specialize in treating the psychological challenges that accompany serious health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. I have extensive experience leading support groups for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
I strongly believe that good psychotherapy can be a profound and life-altering experience.
Can therapy help me? People seek psychotherapy when they have a strong sense that their lives are not in order.
Some have trouble in relationships. Others have difficulty in their professional lives. Some see themselves repeating unsuccessful patterns in love, work and friendships. Perhaps there has been a loss. They have an awareness that their lives could be different. People come into therapy knowing some of these things and wanting to change but needing a place to explore and make these changes. They fear becoming a burden to friends or family. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit what they are thinking or feeling. Others may seek a compassionate listener who has training and expertise in new ways of coping. Ultimately, such exploration can and often does lead to productive change and a happier, healthier lives.
Treatment helps us to feel more confident, happier, have more fulfilling relationships, and brings a sense of hope for the future.
More Info About My Practice
Fees and Insurance Therapy is an investment in your own well-being. My fee for a 50 minutes psychotherapy session is comparable to rates of doctoral level psychotherapists in this area. Unless we make specific arrangements, payment by check, cash or credit card is expected at each session. I am able to accept Visa and MasterCard.
My policy on insurance companies: I once belonged to several preferred provider insurance panels but have since resigned because I felt that they were preventing my clients from getting the treatment they deserved and compromised my client's privacy. I do not deal directly with insurance companies for the following reasons: I feel strongly about protecting your confidentiality and privacy rights. When insurance pays for your therapy, I cannot guarantee that your personal information will remain private. Many clients put a greater value on their privacy than using their insurance. I also object to labeling you with a clinical diagnosis that becomes part of your personal record. I object to the paper trail this creates about my clients. Most insurance companies require a diagnosis, dates of service, and some require a comprehensive assessment of your distress or illnesses and regular progress reports. Most insurance companies will only pay for serious diagnoses such as depression or anxiety, and most do not cover marriage counseling. I am unwilling to allow insurance companies to determine the course, type and duration of your therapy. This is confidential, and is between you and me. I prefer to work directly with you around payment and to discuss options that may accommodate your needs.
If weekly therapy is too expensive for you, one option might be to set up a bi-monthly schedule, taking into consideration your needs and the nature of your issues. Some PPO insurance plans do offer insurance reimbursement for "out of network" providers. Of my clients who submit their monthly billing statements to their insurance company, most are able to receive some reimbursement. I encourage you to call your insurance representative to enquire about your policy regarding seeing a therapist for "Out Patient Therapy" who is "Out of Network". While I am not affiliated with many insurance companies for the reasons stated above, you may still be able to receive reimbursement. If you plan to use insurance, it is important to call your carrier, before you begin therapy, to acquaint yourself with their policies and procedures.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
I provide a brief initial phone consultation at no charge, which may give you a sense of if we would work well together. Some people opt to call several therapists to find someone they feel comfortable talking with. I suggest you to do this to get a better basis of comparison.
If you think we're a good fit, I'll encourage you to come in for a face-to-face assessment. Clients who feel somewhat at ease, or have enough of a positive experience in the first meeting often opt to continue in treatment. It may take a few sessions before a person can fully know if they wish to continue. Like any new relationship, the passing of some amount of time will help determine how to proceed.
Having a good working relationship is critical in being able to talk about troubling thoughts and strong feelings; in fact, research shows that finding the right match between client and therapist is imperative for a successful outcome.
However, this should not be confused with being expected to feel comfortable immediately. Seeking help and talking about difficulties with a relative stranger may initially feel intimidating or scary. Sometimes people feel a little worse before they feel better. This is normal and usually a sign that we are making progress.
The therapeutic relationship is a relationship based on truth and honesty, and if the client decides that it is not a good fit and the therapy is not working, I am happy to assist the client in finding them another therapist who might be