5 Reasons You Might Want to Consider Me
- I have been practicing for 38 years. I love my practice more each year.
- I encourage people who contact me for the first time to come to my office for a half hour consultation at no charge. This is essentially a brief meet-and-greet as opposed to actual therapy or counseling. You can ask me questions about my background, my training, my approach, or anything else that is important to you. We can see what the chemistry is like between us. Chemistry is an important predictor of therapeutic outcomes. I can determine whether or not you fall within the range of what I do well. I am happy to recommend someone else if my waiting list is too long or if what I have to offer is not what you need. I am often not able to start therapy or counseling with new people for quite a while, but I can usually meet for this brief free consultation within a week or two of when you contact me.
- If, after the half hour consultation, you want to schedule a psychotherapy or couples counseling session, I will likely recommend that you set aside three hours for that initial session. Although you may be scheduled for three hours, I charge only for the time we actually use, even if that ends up being 15 minutes; however, people can be on their best behavior for 45 minutes, which is when most professional therapy sessions are over. If you choose to stay for the full three hour session we can get a lot more done in those three hours compared to spreading them out over three weeks. After the initial three hour session, therapy usually reverts to the more familiar one hour a week pattern until you are finished, though some people prefer longer ongoing sessions. My one hour weekly sessions are 60 minutes as opposed to the usual 45 or 50. We will most likely know at the end of the initial three hour therapy session whether or not I am going to be of help. You should actually feel significantly helped in that first therapy session. If that is not happening we can figure out why together and make adjustments, or we may determine that necessary adjustments are beyond my range and I will recommend someone else with a different approach who might be a better fit. I often work with people from out of town. We meet less frequently but for larger chunks of time each session, sometimes as long as 5 hours each day, on 2 consecutive days. The length and frequency of sessions varies, depending on travel time.
- In the interest of keeping therapy short-term, I will encourage you to contact me between sessions at no charge, not just for critical emergencies but for the ongoing difficulties that prompted you to seek therapy in the first place. I can often be of help on the phone. In addition, because you called, I can be much more up to speed at our next session versus you trying to reconstruct something on your own that happened a week ago. In addition to my office phone, I have an after hours cell. Phone calls are best for me but I also respond to emails and texts. I am a solo practitioner so I cannot provide 24 hour coverage. I sleep, I shower, I go to movies, I babysit my grandchildren. But when I do answer the phone or get back to you, I am not a stranger on call, leafing through your chart trying to figure out who you are.
- In your sessions I will carefully attend to your current life and what brings you to therapy. I will also focus on what is happening in the moment between us, and between you and your partner in couples counseling. How are you conveying feelings? What is not being said or said indirectly? What is happening with your anxiety? What patterns are emerging in your interactions with me that are also prevalent in your life? To what extent and in what circumstances are you aware of your feelings? Are certain feelings more difficult for you than others? I will share my observations in real time. My observations could be inaccurate and you can tell me what I missed or misinterpreted. You may like what I say or be annoyed or feel sad or have mixed feelings. We can learn about you very quickly by observing together how you handle your feelings with me, which is most likely how you handle the same feelings outside of therapy. This focused immediate experiential component is essential to getting to the bottom of your problems and shortening the duration of therapy. I was in psychotherapy training with Dr. Habib Davanloo in the late 80's. He once said, "If intellectual knowledge alone was sufficient to bring about change, no one in our profession would be neurotic."
I would be very happy to answer questions, provide additional information, or meet with you for an initial half hour consultation - at no charge.