What should I expect from therapy?Our first session will be spent clarifying your key concerns and identifying what it is that YOU hope to accomplish. The sessions are tailored to address what is important to you. I take a supportive, collaborative and enthusiastic approach to encourage you to gain understanding and insight. Although my style is active and I offer a lot of feedback, I do not presume to tell you how to live your life! Rather, I help you to gain the confidence and capacity to come up with your own answers to your biggest worries and the assurance to take the necessary steps to make progress.
Why should I seek out help from you and not one of the many therapists in this community?When you come to see me, you have my commitment that you will have my undivided attention and that I will take your most important concerns very seriously. I pride myself on being compassionate, open-minded, and warm. Our work can be intense at times. Although we might cover issues that could be difficult for you to face, I will remain concerned and supportive throughout. Having said that, I think a sense of humor is valuable, so the work is often engaging and energizing.
Although we live in a world of enormous pressures and challenges, I believe we have to find a way to stay positive and forward thinking. I apply my coaching and positive psychology skills throughout my psychotherapeutic work, and encourage my clients to look for “the light at the end of the tunnel."
My clients know that I am very committed and accessible to them. They know that they receive the time and attention that is important to them, even between appointments. I return calls as soon as possible and will set up additional appointments in the case of emergency. I collaborate regularly with colleagues and medical personnel, so my clients are assured of comprehensive, coordinated care.
My professional and academic training were rigorous and thorough. I trained in New York, and hold degrees from Cornell and Columbia. I began my career working in four different psychiatric settings (Cornell, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Long Island Jewish-Hillside Hospital, and Fair Oaks Hospital), both inpatient and outpatient, so my formal training and supervision proved to be very extensive. I have been in private practice since 1980. I went for post-graduate training at the Ackerman Institute for Marital and Family Therapy in Manhattan and more recently trained at Mentor Coach (a program that teaches coaching skills to experienced mental heath practitioners.)
How long does treatment last?A great question, which does not have a clear answer. My style is to be active and to focus carefully on the stated goals. The specific number of sessions and duration of treatment depends on the type and severity of the problem. Most important, though, is how motivated YOU are to make changes, and to apply what we work on to your every day life! For those who are interested, I make suggestions on what to try out during the week, so that you can maximize the benefits of our work. I also encourage clients to send me emails in between so they can report how they are doing and get feedback.
Insurance:My decision not to take insurance at this time is based on a desire to ensure that the decisions made during treatment are made with your best interests in mind, rather than by an insurance company with a different set of priorities. Managed care companies often try to dictate the goals, style, length, frequency, needs and type of treatment. Some companies even try to dictate what techniques they want used, and can put up unnecessary roadblocks to treatment. Most disturbing, though, is that full confidentiality is not an option. Managed care companies usually require therapists to fill out reports that disclose very personal material in order to get approval for additional sessions. There is also the possibility of having to discontinue treatment before you are ready to do so, due to no longer meeting the criteria set out by the insurance carrier.
My payment policy is fee for service. A portion of the cost of my services is reimbursable by most insurance plans, and I will provide you with a statement that you can submit to obtain out-of-network benefits. Oftentimes, clients get back 50 to 80% of their payment, after their deductible. Please note that some insurance plans require you to seek their approval before starting therapy (known as “pre-certification”) For specifics, please call your insurance company directly. I know that this can be very confusing. Please feel free to discuss financial arrangements with me and I will be happy to assist you with this as best as I can.