My approach to therapy draws inspiration from multiple theories and perspectives, from psychodynamic and psychoanalytic ideas, to cognitive-behavioral techniques, brief therapy models and the framework of Eastern medicine. I strongly believe that who we are and how our problems and ailments manifest results from the interaction between our innate character and constitution, the important formative relationships in our lives, our physical and social environment, and the various demands with which we are asked to contend.
Whether I am working with you in ongoing, long-term therapy to understand and alter unhealthy or disruptive lifelong patterns, or briefly consulting on a circumscribed issue, my therapy approach always includes openness, compassion, and a dedication to developing an understanding of the issues at hand within the context of who you are and your particular circumstances.
Appointments are generally available Monday through Friday, with start times between 8:30am and 6:30pm. Therapy sessions run 50 minutes. Longer session times may also be arranged. I require at least 48 hours notice for cancelled or changed appointments. Under certain circumstances we may be able to have sessions by phone or video chat. This is available after we have established a working relationship in person.
The process and overall length of therapy varies quite a bit and is wholly dependent on the nature of the problems being addressed and the goals one hopes to achieve. The more recent and isolated an issue, the more likely it can be improved or resolved in a relatively short period of time. The longer a problem or condition has lasted, the more likely it will take time to heal or resolve. I have expertise in both brief, solution-focused methods as well as long-term psychotherapy. A discussion of your current situation, goals and resources is always a key component of developing a tailored approach to fit your particular needs.
I do not prescribe psychiatric medications but I have a strong working knowledge of them, and I work closely with prescribing physicians and psychiatrists as a normal part of coordinating a patient’s treatment. I can provide referrals for an initial medication evaluation if necessary.
I am not on any preferred provider panels (except for ValueOptions) and do not deal directly with any insurance companies. However, many PPOs offer reimbursement for out of network mental health providers. I will provide you with monthly statements so that you are able to seek reimbursement from your insurance company. It is your responsibility to pay our agreed upon fee for services at the time they are rendered, regardless of your insurance arrangements. Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking your insurance provider the following questions:
• Do I have mental health benefits?
• What is my deductible and has it been met?
• How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
• How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
• What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
• Is approval required from my primary care physician?
• What exact information is necessary to submit for reimbursement (i.e diagnosis code, provider tax ID, etc.)?
ValueOptions Members: Please confirm with ValueOptions whether or not you need an authorization to see me for psychotherapy. Please also bring in your ValueOptions ID number to our first appointment.
In general, the privacy of all communications between a patient and a psychologist, and all written treatment records, are protected by law, and I may only release information about our work to others with your written permission. There are a few exceptions, under California law, when disclosure is required. When:
• There is a reasonable suspicion of child, dependent or elder abuse or neglect
• A patient presents a danger to self, to others, to property, or is gravely disabled
• A patient’s family members communicate to the patient’s therapist that the patient presents a danger to others
These situations have rarely occurred in my practice. If such a situation occurs, I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action. I occasionally participate in professional consultations. In such cases neither your name nor any other identifying information about you will be revealed.