Frequently Asked Questions
"Is therapy covered by insurance?"
Most policies offer partial coverage for talk therapies. Check the details of your policy. Many companies use the term 'behavioral health benefits' to refer to reimbursement for talk therapies. With one exception, I am not on managed care panels.
"What is your theoretical orientation?"
My extensive experience means that I can tailor my "book learning" to what is going to be most helpful to you. I was trained in the interperonal relational model, which means I am going to focus on troublesome ideas and feelings as they come up in relationships.
We will look at prior experiences that may be affecting current life experiences and relationships. I am knowledgeable about medication and alternative treatment approaches; I can advise you about complimentary strategies that will ease your distress.
"How long does therapy take?"
The length of treatment should be in proportion to the goals that are established. People know when they are feeling better. Problems that are a lifetime in the making are rarely addressed by a "quick fix". That being said, time is precious. Patients and therapists should routinely assess progress.
"How often do I need to see my therapist?"
I see most patients once or twice a week for 50 minute sessions. I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. With advance notice I can usually offer alternative times and dates.
"Do you have a sliding scale for your fees?"
My fees are comparable to other psychologists at my level of expertise and experience. However I do have a sliding scale and I will lower my fees in certain circumstances.
"How is a clinical psychologist different from a psychiatrist?"
A clinical psychologist has a Ph.D. that allows them to do cognitive testing and psychotherapy. A psychiatrist has an MD. He or she may then choose to specialize in the field known as psychiatry. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications and psychologists cannot. However most psychologists have an ongoing work relationship with a number of psychiatrists and use 'team approach' when medication is indicated. Some psychiatrists do talk therapy, but increasing numbers of them work in hospital settings or private practice settings where their priority is prescribing medicine. Other mental health care professionals, such as social workers, offer psychotherapy as well. Some of them offer briefer interventions, such as CBT, DBT and 'hands on' work with the body.
"What is a psychoanalyst?"
The human mind is complex and for this reason, psychologists and psychiatrists may elect to obtain a Certificate in Psychoanalysis. This involves an additional 4 to 6 years of supervision, theoretical study and a personal analysis. Candidates are taught the "art and science" of psychoanalysis.
In general, the comical stereotypes about analysts as silent, distant and committed to endless treatment "on the couch" are no longer valid. Most psychoanalysts use this intensive study to refine their skills as clinicians. Most of them practice a modification of psychoanalysis in the way they conduct psychotherapy. There are different "schools of thought", but all of them make use of the patient-analyst relationship, inquire into the role of the past and the present and attempt to access issues that are "unconscious".