What happens in Therapy?
Step I: Consultation
I provide a complimentary phone or brief in-person consultation to help determine whether my therapeutic style is a good fit for your personality and your goals from therapy.
Step II: Evaluation
If we decide that we may be a good fit, you will come in for a 90-minute intake interview and evaluation. This interview will be comprehensive, but mainly focus on your current problems and their history. You may decide to have a significant other (e.g., spouse, partner, adult child) accompany you to this session, if you think that would contribute to the interview.
Step III: Treatment Planning
At the end of the intake interview, I will review your treatment goals with you, and we will mutually decide how to prioritize them. I will propose a treatment plan, which sometimes includes a referral for a medication evaluation, if you haven't had one recently.
Step IV: Beginning and Continuing Treatment
I typically begin therapy with a brief information session about the mode of therapy and structure of the sessions. Individual therapy sessions may be structured or not, depending on your style and preference. In the beginning, the focus of therapy is typically on the acute problems for which you sought therapy. Later sessions may focus more on underlying emotions, motives, and intentions, their roots, and their function in maintaining anguish in your present life.
I encourage all my patients to begin with weekly sessions, but the frequency of sessions is ultimately based on your needs and goals. You will typically begin to see changes after 4-6 weeks of weekly therapy.
Who should seek Therapy?
Most people who seek therapy need the support and tools to cope with difficult emotions and/or difficult life circumstances. Some have a mental illness, but many do not. Therapy can facilitate a deeper understanding of your psychological processes, strategies and skills, and facilitate personal growth. Good therapy can help you live the life you want in the broadest possible terms despite your emotional or life challenges.
I am experienced in conducting therapy with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, mood instability, psychosis, developmental challenges (particularly those related to aging, e.g., medical illness, grief, age-related cognitive impairment, partner diagnosis of dementia or psychiatric illness).
I have the most experience working with older adults, and 75% of my patients are age 65 or older. While I enjoy serving this population, I also love working with younger adults, anywhere from 18 to 64 years of age. My style of therapy is relational, compassionate, and supportive.
What kinds of therapy are used?
My therapeutic style draws on Contemporary Relational Gestalt Theory that emphasizes the therapist-patient relationship as a means to bring about awareness and appreciation of the patient as a whole being, rather than one defined by his or her emotional responses and/or psychiatric diagnosis. I incorporate many techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), both of which are empirically supported treatments for most issues that my patients need help with. My goal is to help you reach your treatment goals in the most effective and efficient way possible.
To learn more about these theories and their components, please click on the links below:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; pronounced "act" like the verb)