Q. Can seeing a psychologist really help me?
A. Of course therapy can help, if you’re willing to try! Research definitely shows that there are worthwhile benefits of psychotherapy, but there are reasons why some people benefit even more than others. People who are motivated tend to do best in therapy. Being insightful also helps, but is not necessary for change to take place. Having a goal in mind, or something you hope to accomplish in therapy, will also help you. Talking to a psychologist about what is on your mind can provide you with support, encouragement and even the strategies to cope with life’s challenges that enable you to grow. It is through this kind of personalized, individual attention that you begin to focus on what matters most to you – your needs, wishes and feelings.
Q. How do I know if I would benefit from psychotherapy?
A. Like anything else you do, your time and sincere effort yield the best results. The simplest way to know the answer to this question is to think about the amount of stress you experience as the result of your challenges. If you feel that your feelings or your stress interferes with your everyday living, getting things done, and feeling all right, you would probably benefit from seeing a psychologist for psychotherapy.
Q. What can I expect from the experience of being in therapy?
A. What you give, you get. Therapy varies as an experience from individual to individual. Factors defining the experience include your age, current and previous level of functioning, what are the issues you face, what insights you currently possess regarding your challenges, and what are the stresses and supports existing for you. In psychotherapy, you should expect to gain a more insightful understanding of yourself and your challenges, greater comprehension of important relationships in your life, the ability to formulate your thoughts and communicate your ideas more effectively. Of course, what you ultimately gain from your experience in therapy depends on your individual issues. And, most importantly, what you gain from therapy depends very much on what you put into the experience.
Q. How long is each session?
A. Most sessions run 45 or 60 minutes, depending on the service. Initial sessions usually last 60 – 75 minutes, depending on your individual needs. Individual sessions after that typically last 40-45 minutes, including time used for billing and scheduling. Group therapy lasts 1 hour, except for younger children, whose group therapy sessions last 45 minutes. Family therapy may last 45 or 60 minutes, depending again on the needs of the family.
Q. How often do I need to come to therapy?
A. Weekly works best! Usually once a week is best for most people. Regular, weekly sessions insure the best chance for progress because there needs to be just enough time in between sessions to process the session, apply behavioral strategies, bringing appropriate substance to the next treatment session. Sessions occurring more frequently help those in crisis; sessions less frequently are best for individuals who are winding up therapy. Meeting more frequently may help therapy progress more quickly; meeting less frequently will most certainly delay progress considerably.
Q. How long does therapy take to work? Or, when will I see results?
A. This depends on YOU, your situation, and your willingness to work on your issues. Short term therapy lasts 6 months or under, provided sessions have been on a weekly basis. Many issues may resolve with short or shorter term therapy. Complex issues may require more time or more intensive therapy. Most psychologists consider long term therapy to be anything over 6 months. Long term therapy is best when there are multiple issues, the issues are more challenging, there is limited support, or you have complex, problematic circumstances. In these cases, you may require more intensive treatment.
Q. What issues do you address in treatment?
- Anxiety, Excessive Worrying, Insecurity, or Panic Disorder
- Obsessions or Compulsions (OCD)
- Depression, Low Self Esteem, Feelings of Inadequacy
- Sleep Difficulties
- Concentration, Executive Function or Organizational Difficulties (ADHD)
- Stress Management
- Anger Management
- School Avoidance, School Phobia, or Separation Anxiety
- Oppositional, Argumentative or Defiant Behavior
- Relationship Difficulties, Separation, Reconciliation
- Blending or Combining Families
- Identity Issues
- Impulsiveness or Control Issues
- Emotion Regulation
Suicidal Thoughts or Feelings
- Body image and weight management
- Parenting and Co-Parenting
- Divorce or Marital Conflict
- Women’s Issues
- Social Skills (Friendship Building)
Q. What services or treatment modalities do you offer?
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Family-Systems Therapy
- Behavior Modification
- Friendship Group Therapy
- Women’s Therapy Groups
- Emergency Risk Assessment
- On-Site Observations of Children at School
- On-Site Consultation with School-based Professionals, Physicians and Management
Q. What can I do to help therapy move more quickly?
A. Be optimistic but realistic, and give time and thought to any assignments. Your active involvement in your treatment is the most important component to determine your success. First, keep your regularly scheduled appointments, and be on time. Second, give thought to your therapy in between the sessions, and actively engage in homework assignments. Consider what else you can do to help things move along. Third, be open and candid with your therapist, especially if things are not improving, or if you have thoughts or feelings interfering with your growth. Fourth, speak your mind as freely as you can and ask whatever questions you need. To me, all questions are good questions.
Q. What are the costs?
A. Please call me to discuss your needs as well as my fees. The fees for my services vary depending on the service provided and the duration of the service. An individual therapy session, for example, lasts 45 minutes. Intake sessions last approximately 75 minutes. Comprehensive psychological testing may take several hours, and would be billed accordingly. You may contact me at 908-222-1099 to discuss your needs and what the fees would be for you.
Q. Will insurance cover the cost?
A. Probably. Just check with your insurance company first. You should check your insurance coverage by calling your insurance company directly, or consulting your human resources representative. You will need to ascertain important information including your deductible, rate of co-insurance, caps on the number of visits allowed, restrictions on allowable diagnoses or procedures, and if you are allowed to select your own provider.
Q. What about my privacy?
A. My services are confidential. I follow the laws that protect your privacy in therapy. Without explicit written consent from you, the client, or from a court order, no information about you may be shared with anyone else. Please note that there are times when sharing privileged information may be helpful to the client, but cannot occur without express written consent. Sharing confidential material about clients may be appropriate when consulting with physicians for medically related issues, or in the case of children, with school personnel for school-related issues. In the event such communication is appropriate, prior to releasing confidential material, we will discuss the purpose of the communication, what information will be shared. We will work together to determine the appropriate form of contact. If you have any questions, please discuss your concerns with me.
Q. What is the difference between psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists?
A. Training, treatment method, experience. Most frequently, licensed psychologists have the most training in assessing patients’ needs and conducting psychotherapy. They have graduated college and graduate school, where they earned doctoral degrees such as the Psy.D. or Ph.D, studied psychology for at least four years, participated in graduate level research, and they also graduated from a specialized experience called an internship, for an additional year, during which they receive intensive supervision by other experienced psychologists. Psychologists who choose private practice have spent years training in formulating diagnoses, conducting psychological assessments, providing psychotherapy and working directly with people.
Psychiatrists graduate from medical school and are highly knowledgeable of psychoactive medications and rendering diagnoses, but some have limited training in conducting psychotherapy. They provide valuable service in offering pharmacotherapy, which can be an important adjunct along with psychotherapy. There are many psychiatrists who provide therapy in addition to diagnostic assessment and medication management, but it is a good idea to learn ahead of time what areas of specialization a psychiatrist offers.
Psychotherapists may include Masters’ level Social Workers (MWSs or LCSWs) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), who typically do not have as many years of clinical training in graduate school and prior to licensure as Licensed Psychologists. Capable in providing basic therapy, many counselors lack training in rendering diagnoses. Some MSWs, LCSWs and LPCs may opt to independently pursue additional training. Most often, psychotherapists offer marital and family counseling, or specialize in substance abuse treatment.
Your relationship with your therapist is extremely personal, so it is quite important that you feel comfortable with the person you choose to provide psychotherapy. Finding a psychologist whom you can trust, who offers personalized attention and service to you, who specializes in areas where it counts for you, whose location is convenient to you, are the most important factors in selecting a psychologist. You will do best in therapy when you have a good feeling about your therapist.
Q. How do I get started?
It’s easy! You may begin the process by calling me at 908-222-1099, or by clicking here for an intake form.