What should I expect from the first few sessions?
In order to know how to help you, I have to listen and gather information from you to come up with a plan. No doctor starts treating a problem without doing an assessment and making a diagnosis first. And therapy should be the same way. In order to come up with a plan we usually need a couple of sessions to gather information and get to know each other.
The first few sessions are an opportunity for me to get to know you and what has brought you to seek counseling. It is also a time for you to get to know me, to see if you feel comfortable with me and have a sense that I “get” you. I will be listening to what your concerns are and will also be asking questions to help me understand what you may need. I will also need to gather some history from you. Everyone has a history for the problems they are dealing with and discussing this history will help you to understand and deal with the issues that impact you. I will then ask you to identify what it is you want to get out of therapy and will give you feedback about where I see issues are and how we might tackle them. At the end of these few sessions, we will come up with a plan and identify your goals of therapy.
How long will I need to do therapy?
Many people feel relief in the first few meetings and get some good strategies for feeling better. However, it is hard to put a time frame as each person or couple is very different. Some may be in crisis and only need several sessions while others may be struggling with long-term issues will need much more time. At the end of our initial assessment, I will be able to give you a better sense of how long I think we will need together.
How often do we meet and how long are the sessions?
Sessions are usually 45 minutes for an individual and 60 to 75 minutes for a couple. I like to meet on a weekly basis as we begin our work and establish a relationship. Over time, we may make a decision to meet bi-monthly as we start to wind down our work but I do not typically feel it is good to do this at the beginning of therapy.
What is your style as a therapist?
I have been described as active and interactive, warm and nurturing. I take an eclectic approach in helping my clients find what works best for them to develop new skills for dealing with their problems, enhancing self-esteem and resiliency, and finding better strategies for improving relationships through healthier communication.
What is your training and background?
I received my Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 1973. My early training was in psychodynamic psychotherapy and family systems but over time I have integrated other orientations into my work—particularly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mind-Body Skills training. Over the years, I have taken numerous courses focusing on couples therapy, grief therapy, treating depressive and anxiety disorders, and perinatal and postpartum mood disorders. I also attended intensive training at the Mind-Body Program at Harvard University School of Medicine and have continued with CBT and imagery training. Because of my work in reproductive medicine, I have been involved with every aspect of counseling training for fertility and third party reproduction.
Do you accept insurance?
I do not participate with any insurance plans. However, I will provide you with a billing statement containing service codes and diagnosis required by insurance companies that you may submit for out of network reimbursement, if you chose to do so. It would be good for you to check with your insurance provider for details on submitting for outpatient psychotherapy services.
How do I pay for sessions?
Payment can be made at each session or monthly. You can pay by check, cash, credit card, or direct payment. You may also use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) credit card, if you have one.