Frequently asked questions

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Who are my clients?

I work primarily with adults and adolescents in individual, group, and family therapy. I see children in the context of family therapy (and I have a playroom). Most of my clients came from referrals from physicians, other psychologists and patients.

I work with people experiencing such symptoms as depression, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, stress, alcohol abuse, and poor body image. I see these symptoms as signals that the person’s psychological homeostasis is out of balance. Together we examine situational, biological, and psychospiritual factors that contribute to imbalances. We will work together to find ways to help you cope more effectively and feel more at ease.

What are my fees?

Psychotherapy fees are individualized.

How long will treatment take?

The answer to this question depends on your needs, your current life situation and even events that might occur during treatment. We do discuss your progress and goals throughout your treatment.

How long are psychotherapy sessions?

Therapy sessions for individual patients are 45 minutes, for couples are 45-90 minutes and for groups are 90 minutes.

Should a psychologist disclose personal information to a patient?

There is a great deal of controversy about this. Some professionals believe that under no circumstances should a psychologist talk about her personal life with clients. They believe questions such as "are you married" or "have you ever been depressed" should be explored but not answered. The rationale is that the psychologist should be a blank screen onto which the patient projects fantasies. My belief is that self disclosure can actually be beneficial to a patient's progress and treatment. While the psychologist should not impose personal opinions, life stories and values upon the patient, direct questions should be answered respectfully and courteously. However, while answering the question the psychologist should also explore the reason for the question and the meanings of the possible answers with the patient.

What is insomnia and what can I do about it?

Insomnia is defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as problems falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up and lying awake, or experiencing poor sleep quality. At least 30 million adults suffer the effects of chronic insomnia. Many physicians prescribe pills as temporary palliative to relieve insomnia. However, the temporary relief afforded by medication does not repair what has put your body into deregulation.

Most of us recognize insomnia either from our own experiences or those of our friends. When someone with insomnia lays down to sleep he/she is startled by an alertness they cannot put to rest. They toss, turn and worry that if they do not get enough sleep tonight, tomorrow will be a nightmare.

Sound sleep is vital for psychological and physiological balance. We know that sleep consolidates and reorganizes learning, rebalances the nervous system, cools down the nervous system and is necessary for homeostasis. We know that without regularly going through the stages of sleep--including REM and NREM sleep--, people become cannot perform optimally. My work with patients experiencing sleep disturbances includes assessing sleep habits and finding personal behavioral adjustments to create an environment conducive to sleep. Some behavioral suggestions for enabling sound sleep include:

What is the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist, and a social worker?

The difference is primarily in training. A psychiatrist goes to medical school where he/she gets a medical degree (MD), which permits the doctor to prescribe medication and to admit patients to hospitals. A psychologist completes college and then attends graduate school for psychology. It typically takes an additional 5-8 years to earn a PhD or PsyD. To earn the title of psychologist in the State of New York, you must have a PhD or PsyD, two years of supervised experience and pass the NYS licensing exam. A psychologist cannot prescribe medication.

A social worker completes a two-year program following college to earn an MSW degree. After licensing requirements are met, a CSW is earned. Social workers often continue additional training in psychotherapy.

Be aware that anyone in the State of New York can call themselves a psychotherapist. However, it's important to make the distinction that the titles of psychologist and psychiatrist and clinical social worker all require a license.

Do you follow government rules for privacy?

In compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), all records are confidential.

Do you prescribe medicine?

No. I am not a medical doctor. I do work in close association with excellent psychopharmocologists if medication is advised. I am a member of the Prescribing Psychologist’s Register and am knowledgeable of medications for the treatment of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders. I am also a member of complementary alternative medical (CAM) associations and I work closely with doctors in balancing mind and body using nutrition, exercise and psychospritual methodology.

How do psychiatric medications work?

Medications help to balance neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers in the nervous system necessary for all body functions. Neurotransmission can be impaired by a number of factors including stress, toxic chemicals, infections, and genetics. Levels of neurotransmitters can become too high or too low and can be adjusted by medication. Neurotransmitters can be divided into two categories: those that excite or stimulate the nervous system, and those that calm the brain and body. A balance between the two is necessary for optimal health.

Can an imbalanced nervous system be treated without medication?

Multiple treatment modalities (psychotherapy, nutrition, exercise, sleep, meditation) are complementary to - and sometimes even alternatives to - medication. Indeed, I believe that treating anxiety or depression only by taking medication is insufficient for healing these conditions in the long term. By utilizing multiple approaches to treat your symptoms, you are more likely to find psychological health and well-being.

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