Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of doctor are you?
I am a Psy.D., which is shorthand for my credentials as Doctor of Psychology. This means that I completed a doctorate in clinical psychology. Commonly, I’m referred to as psychologist. I have achieved the highest level of professional education among all mental health professionals, having 10 years in education and training after receiving my undergraduate degree. I am licensed by the Board of Health in the state of Florida to provide psychotherapy services.
Is there a difference between a psychologist and a counselor or coach?
This distinction should be an important one to patients. While master’s level clinicians (a LMHC, LMFT, or LCSW) can provide counseling services, their academic programs are not as rigorous as those of doctors and they may lack sufficient training to effectively treat patients. People must especially be warned of unlicensed individuals marketing themselves as “life coaches” to unsuspecting people.
Is treatment right for me?
Psychoanalytic therapy is a highly individualized and intimate treatment. Anyone wanting to know if he or she is an appropriate candidate for this type of therapy should call me to consult. In my experience, the person who may best be able to undergo this form of therapy is someone who, no matter how troubled at the time of reaching out, is basically an individual who has some personal strengths and is motivated to be engaged in the process.
What can I expect in my first session?
I will schedule an appointment with you and we will meet in my office where you will be invited to speak confidentially about your concerns. I will spend time inquiring about who you are, the people that populate your life, and your present difficulties. Whatever the problem you come forward with, it can only be properly understood within the context of your total life situation. Sessions thereafter will gradually feel more conversational.
How long will therapy take?
Individual therapy will be most beneficial if we meet on a consistent weekly basis. Length of treatment varies according to the individual. My approach is unlike other structured therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). While some of my patients come to session with a particular focus, others navigate in an exploratory manner and the format arises organically.
What if I don't want to change who I am?
“Change” is not the primary goal in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, which is why I do not give advice, teach techniques, or assign homework. It’s understanding that we are after in psychoanalysis. It usually happens that people do change as a result of the psychoanalytic treatment, however, sometimes they choose not to. Patients often gain awareness and understanding of their symptoms and take responsibility for them.
What if we're not a match?
Almost everyone who begins treatment has significant and important fears. If I sense reservation, I will invite you to fully voice your concerns so that they may be addressed. A treatment founded in extreme mistrust, like any other relationship, is likely destined for failure unless the underlying anxieties of each patient are explored. When we reach an impasse, I will do whatever I can to work through it.
What happens if I miss a session?
Therapy is a mutually honored agreement. I will be here, and I expect that you will too. If one of us is not present, then by definition no real therapy is taking place. Planned absences can be accounted for by rescheduling for another day or time. Unless it is a true emergency, you will be billed for the missed session. Any forgetfulness or last minute changes in priority will be discussed in the following session.
How does it end?
Endings are as important as beginnings. Therapy draws to a properly timed close when personal progress is sustained and the patient is given opportunity to express his thoughts and feelings about parting ways from the therapeutic relationship. The patient leaves this relationship on mutual accord, with a new way of looking at the self, others, and the world.
Is there an introductory rate?
No, my standard rate is $125 per 50-minute individual session. Ongoing therapy can be a substantial investment, so I make effort to work with that reality. On occasion, I use a “sliding scale” depending on individual circumstances. I may consider this for potential patients who are committed to the process but are experiencing a financial hardship, or for those who are graduate clinical psychology students.
How are fees handled?
Fees are discussed early in consultation and established by the first session. I consult with you to sort facts from feelings so we can make a decision about what is best clinically. I try and make treatment available and manageable for patients as long as they themselves can afford to. I collect fees prior to the start of each session. I accept cash, check, and debit or credit card transactions.
Do you accept Insurance?
No, my practice is “fee for service." I am, however, professionally registered as an out-of-network provider. Depending on your health insurance plan, you may qualify for total or partial reimbursement from your insurance directly. Contact your health insurance carrier to determine if your policy includes mental health coverage with out-of-network providers.