Questions

How much does a session cost?

All sessions last for 50 minutes. The first 30 minutes of the initial consultation are free, either over the phone or in person. If you wish to complete the remainder of the 50 minutes, the cost is $50.00. After the initial session the full fee is $140.00 with a sliding scale as low as $70.00.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes.

Do you take insurance?

I do take MHN and Blue Shield. If your insurance allows for out-of-network providers, I am happy to bill them on your behalf; I am not on any HMO panels.

What is a session like?

Sessions are like sitting down with a close (highly trained, smart and objective) friend for a cup of coffee or tea, where you don’t have to listen to one thing about their life—you get to have the entire focus on YOU!!! (Friends don’t appreciate such selfishness!)

What is your theoretical orientation?

Primarily, I follow Cognitive Behavioral theory which contends we have beliefs that, upon further examination, are faulty. Often we have ideas about ourselves that might have been true when we were young but we've outgrown. We spend our lives trying to prove that we're right about our strengths and weaknesses, thereby getting more evidence as we go. If we begin to expand our consciousness, we can let go of ideas and beliefs that are no longer serving us. For example, we've all known someone who said, "I can't...dance...sing...cook...garden...etc.," who had just never tried it! Upon attempt, they absolutely COULD and had a blast. Of course, not everyone can do everything, but often we don't even let ourselves try.

That is about faulty thinking. So, think of the ramifications of subtle thoughts like, "I will always be alone" or "I'm not worth it."

My work is also guided by Psychodynamic theory, which contends that we carry unconscious (or subconscious) unhealthy behaviors and patterns from our childhoods. It is the original psychotherapy, with multiple revisions over the years. While it is important to touch on what it was like in our families of origin, I don't want you to fear that we'll get stuck there, rehashing your childhood over and over. I see it as a way to understand the underpinnings of the current issues and then move on.

All research has shown that, regardless of the theoretical orientation of the therapist, successful therapy is reliant upon three factors: warmth, empathy and genuineness. Those three qualities happen to be my strengths! Honest!

Irwin Yalom, MD, psychiatrist and author, states, "It's the relationship that heals." Psychoanalysis in the past always promoted therapists who were "blank slates," revealing absolutely nothing about themselves in the course of treatment. I believe that is why psychoanalysis goes on forever (i.e., Woody Allen). Similarly, Humanists recommend listening and affirming—"That must have been awful," or "How does that make you feel?" Now that style is rightfully the stuff therapy jokes are made of!

I will be an active participant in your process, giving you feedback and sharing my opinions. I will not insult your intelligence by asking you stupid questions or parroting your feelings back at you! Additionally, I will encourage, even beg, you to keep me in the loop about what you feel is working for you and when you feel you're wasting time. After all, you are the one in charge of your life and your therapy.

So, let’s get started!