Do you do supportive psychotherapy?
All psychotherapy is (and should be) supportive psychotherapy. To feel safe getting to the heart of what’s causing your symptoms, support and caring must be the foundation of any psychotherapeutic relationship. Yet, in my experience, support is not enough. I also provide in-depth attention to the roots and causes of your symptoms. Plus, in either psychotherapy or psychoanalysis with me, I will give you the help you need to work these out over time.
Are psychoanalysis and psychotherapy different?
Although I do offer both, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy are different in a number of basic and essential ways.
Psychoanalysis, by virtue of the usual four or five sessions per week, allows for a deeper and more active working out of your symptoms and problems; as well as the ways they affect your life. The benefit of working together often is that each session is followed by another session soon after. Because of this, we have the chance to deepen the understanding we achieve in any given session.
Psychotherapy, with fewer weekly sessions, may not go to the same depth as psychoanalysis. The thoroughness of psychoanalysis generally offers a chance for more lasting change. Yet, change depends on many personal things, and frequency is not the only deciding factor. Anyone I work with, at whatever frequency, will benefit from my psychoanalytic thinking.
Most importantly, I’m respectful of your financial limitations as well as desire to engage or not to engage in the frequency of psychoanalysis. I believe psychoanalysis’ effectiveness, but I also work very actively in each psychotherapy session to help you achieve the results and change you need, no matter how often you see me.
All psychotherapy I practice is psychoanalytic therapy. Your current problems are understood in light of your unique history, your particular vulnerabilities, as well as how your “child mind” interpreted your early experiences.
How long will I need to come?
Therapy is about change and change takes time and trust.
Building a trusting relationship with me doesn’t happen overnight; and the importance of trust can’t be underestimated. That’s because effective therapy is an emotional, not a cognitive, process.
For therapy to be successful we must honor whatever pace you require to get to the feelings and experiences that need to be understood. Trust is a holding place for this “feeling” work to safely be done.
Of course everyone wants solutions; but there are no quick answers.
Lasting solutions come out of closely understanding the feelings you’ve found ways (for good reasons) to avoid. These feelings have deep roots and, for real change to occur, it’s necessary to take the time needed to link those feelings to your current symptoms, your difficulties in relationships; and with the ways you feel about yourself.
Because of this, there is no “set-in-stone” time for any given therapy. Each therapy unfolds in its own way. We will find – together – what you need.
How quickly will I see results?
From the beginning of our work together, I’ll actively focus on the specific details of your symptoms and their links to your history.
If you feel understood in a new way—maybe even in a way your problems haven’t been understood before—you might feel some relief of your acute symptoms fairly quickly.
Real, lasting change takes time, though, and is much more than symptom relief. So let’s say you have a lot going on in your mind and in your life. Once-a-week therapy poses the risk of you only having time to “fill-me-in” or “catch-me-up” on what’s happened during the week.
If you can work with me at least twice a week, therapy will unfold with less urgency and pressure and you’ll see results more quickly.
Do you prescribe or recommend medication?
I’m a psychologist with a Ph.D., not an M.D., so I don’t prescribe medication. If medication is something you wish to try, are already on, or need for immediate relief of depression, anxiety, or panic attacks, I work with several psychiatrists and I will make a referral.
Many of the patients I work with don’t want to take medication and find they don’t need to. If we meet frequently enough to provide the necessary supportive psychotherapy and understanding for your acute symptoms, you may not need medication either.
Medication, in any event, is not a substitute for therapy. Although medication can be useful, it only serves to offer temporary symptomatic relief. Resolution of depression, anxiety, panic, even OCD, comes from in-depth understanding and working out of the root causes of your symptoms.
What are your fees?
I discuss fees either in a brief initial telephone conversation or in our first consultation. If I’m not able to meet your financial needs, I can help you find a therapist or reputable clinic that can.
Do you accept insurance?
No, I’m not on any insurance panels and, therefore, am an out-of-network provider. I don’t bill insurance companies or accept payment from them. My policy is for you to pay your therapy bill directly to me at the end of each month.
I will provide an insurance receipt or super bill with your monthly statement. You can attach it to your claim form. Your insurance benefits can be directly reimbursed to you.
If you have an HMO, they will not reimburse you for sessions with a provider who is out of their network, except under very rare circumstances.
However, if you have a PPO, you can call your insurance company and inquire about your mental health benefits. They will tell you what they allow per session and per year for an out-of-network provider. If you have benefits, your company should pay some portion of you monthly therapy bill.