For best results and your own welfare, it is important that you understand what it means to be in psychotherapy.
WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Psychotherapy is a special kind of human relationship offered as a professional health care service. My approach to relationships and life reflects the lessons of continuing scholarship and the sciences. The goals of psychotherapy are to assist you to better understand and appreciate yourself and others, to develop skills in solving problems and coping with challenges in your life, and to encourage your efforts to develop in directions that you find fulfilling and meaningful. It emphasizes your strengths and abilities since challenges in your life repeatedly ask you to exercise and refine your abilities. These challenges emphasize the importance of your choices and actions, particularly in those periods of your life when you may see only limited or distressing options. I will do my best to understand and honor your distress. I may also suggest things that you might do. Exercises may include our talking about your feelings, your problem(s), your experience of yourself, and your situation. I may ask you to keep personal notes about some of your experiences or to complete some self-report forms. I will honor your needs for privacy, and I will respect your decisions about what you choose to share with me. I encourage you to do the same. I may ask you to experiment with new or different ways of thinking, acting, or feeling. Your imagination, your honesty with yourself, and your commitment to your development will be important assets. We will work together during psychotherapy sessions, and I will ask you to try some exercises at home or work.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
The length of our work together will depend on your personal goals, your energy, our abilities to communicate with one another, the challenges you face, and the unfolding of events in your immediate future. Too much change or changing too quickly may feel overwhelming. Too little change or changing too slowly may feel discouraging or frustrating. I will try to pace my recommendations according to your needs. We can arrange to meet regularly or periodically. I will do my best to accommodate changes in our meeting schedule. If our work together continues for more than a month (and that is common), I may ask that we periodically review and jointly evaluate what we have done together. If you cannot come to a scheduled meeting, please let me know this at least 24 hours before our appointment. I bill for scheduled appointments that have not been cancelled.
WILL THERAPY HELP?
Most people benefit from psychotherapy, and I believe that these benefits are amplified when such therapy is conducted in a constructive manner. The most common benefits include improvements in self-awareness, self-esteem, self-confidence, hope, feeling understood, relationships with other people, emotional expressiveness, and taking an active and responsible role in one’s life. There can also be risks associated with being in psychotherapy. You may already be in the midst of stressful changes or challenges in your life. My role is to help you to cope with these challenges in ways that serve your well-being and that of the people in your life. Periods of change are often stressful, and they are sometimes stormy. You may experience a range of emotions and changes in your relationship with yourself and others (including me). It is rare for people to be harmed by their experience in therapy. When clients are harmed, it is most often because of a violation of their boundaries or pushing too hard for dramatic change. I will honor your boundaries and your personal pacing.
You always have the right to choose whether or not to continue in psychotherapy. If you feel that you might work better with another helping professional, I can offer information about possible referrals. With or without therapy, you may derive valuable benefits from self-help and social support groups, bibliotherapy (therapeutic reading), exercise, hobbies, music, nature, and religious or spiritual practices. I will be glad to help you explore possibilities in these areas.
HOW DOES PSYCHOTHERAPY WORK?
Communication is essential to successful psychotherapy. I encourage you to ask me questions and to express your feelings and concerns as openly as possible. I will respect that the information you share with me is private (confidential). Legislation dictates some limits on your privacy, however, and you should be aware of these. I am legally obligated, for example, to report acts of child abuse or threats of violence. Please feel free to discuss the issue of your privacy with me. I am committed to serving you as best I can; honesty and trust between us are extremely important.
The most important factors contributing to success in therapy are persistence and patience, the quality of the relationship that we develop together, and the optimal pacing of exercises and experiences that encourage and strengthen new patterns of action, thought, and feeling.
WHAT WILL PSYCHOTHERAPY COST?
I will be clear about my fees and the arrangements for their payment. You should understand that payment by “third parties” (usually insurance companies or government agencies) often requires a diagnosis or treatment plan. These agencies sometimes limit how much they will pay in a given period of time. Please feel free to ask me questions about billing and how to obtain information about your health care and employer benefits and options.
The services offered are set up to address and meet the needs and challenges of teen-age and adult individuals, couples and families.
CLINICAL TRAINING AND SUPERVISION SERVICES
Clinical training services are offered through Workshops and Clinical Supervision.
- Psychotherapeutic Processes and Effectiveness
- Trauma Responsiveness and Resiliency
Clinical Supervision is offered on an individual or group basis
Current research is being conducted in the areas of personal knowledge systems, levels of change and transformation, enabling and disabling beliefs and values and personal growth.