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 we can deepen the understanding we achieve in any given session since it is followed by another session soon after. The depth and thoroughness of psychoanalysis can generally bring about more lasting change.
Psychotherapy works similarly as far as my active focus on your symptoms, problems, and their current effects. With fewer weekly sessions, psychotherapy may not go to the same depth as psychoanalysis. Yet, that also depends on many personal factors.
Any patient I see, at whatever frequency we meet, will benefit from my psychoanalytic thinking. Psychoanalytic work, whether psychoanalysis or psychotherapy, penetrates below the surface of your symptoms to find their unconscious origins. Your current problems are understood in light of your particular vulnerabilities and constitution, your unique history, as well as how your “child mind” interpreted your early experiences.
I am respectful of any patient’s financial limitations as well as desire to engage or not to engage in the frequency of psychoanalysis. I believe in the effectiveness of psychoanalysis, but I also work very actively in each therapy session to help you achieve the results and change you need, no matter how frequently you see me.
Therapy takes time for changes to take effect.
Building a trusting relationship with me is a process that doesn’t happen overnight and its importance can’t be underestimated. Effective therapy is an emotional, not a cognitive, process. For therapy to be work, we have to respect whatever pace you require to get to the feelings and experiences that need to be understood.
Understandably, everyone wants solutions. There are no quick answers, though. It may be hard to believe that lasting solutions come out of understanding the very feelings you have found ways, for good reasons, to avoid. Often, these feelings have deep roots, and it is necessary to re-link feelings to your current symptoms, difficulties in relationships and, mostly, with the ways you feel about yourself – for real change to occur.
There is no set-in-stone time frame for any given therapy. Each person’s therapy unfolds in its own way. The time therapy takes isn’t determined by any external proscription, by me or even by you, of what “should” be expected or required. Instead, we find fluidly, together, what you need.
When you feel understood in a new way — perhaps even in a way you’re problems have never been understood before — you may feel some relief of your symptoms fairly quickly. The amount of time that takes is unique to each person and, although I know it would be reassuring if I could, I can’t give time lines or guarantees.
Therapy is far from linear. My focus and attention to the specific details of your symptoms and their links to your history, along with my active approach, allows the best chance to give you the beginnings of change as fast as possible. Real, lasting change takes time and is much more than symptom relief.
If you have a lot going on in your mind and your life, once-a-week therapy poses the risk of reducing our time to “filling-me-in” or “catching-me-up” on your week. We, then, won’t have a chance to go more deeply into the kinds of understandings we only begin to touch on together. If you can work with me at least twice a week, therapy can unfold with less urgency and pressure.
I’m a psychologist with a Ph.D., not an M.D., and I don’t prescribe medication myself. I work with several psychiatrists if medication is something you wish to try, are already on, or need for immediate relief of intolerable depression, anxiety, or panic attacks.
Many patients I see don’t want to take medication and find they don’t need to. If our therapy schedule is frequent enough to provide the necessary support and understanding for your acute symptoms, you may not need to either.
Medication is not a substitute for therapy. It can be useful, but only serves to offer temporary symptomatic relief. Resolution of the symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic, even OCD, comes from in-depth understanding and working out of the root causes of these symptoms.
I discuss fees either in a brief initial telephone contact or in our first consultation. At times, I can provide some sliding scale therapy if your financial situation is limited. If I’m not able to meet your financial needs, I can help you find a therapist or reputable clinic that can.
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. I ask you to pay your therapy bill to me directly, but will provide a monthly insurance receipt to attach to your claim form so that 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 and what they allow per session and per year for an out-of-network provider. If you’re unable to get the information you need, I can call your company for benefits after we have one or two consultations.