“There is a me inside of me who is more me than me”

– Harry Stack Sullivan

Frequently Asked Questions About Therapy

The following questions and concerns are among those most frequently asked by people seeking or beginning therapy. Please feel free to call or email me with any other concerns or questions you may have.

Please click or tap a question to view its answer.

How does psychotherapy work?

That’s a big question with a lot of different answers, depending on whom you ask. I think it mainly works through the therapeutic relationship in that a person is strengthened and problems are clarified through the active listening and nonjudgmental observations of the therapist. Building on strengths, experiencing confidence in oneself, and developing practical problem-solving strategies are all important parts of the work.

What are your specialties?

I am comfortable working with individuals, couples, and families with a wide range of issues including anxiety and OCD, depression, including bipolar disorder, and relationship issues, including parenting and family conflicts.

Do you work particularly with any specific group of people?

I enjoy working with all kinds of people. My clients range from adolescent to elderly and may be single, divorced, married, and/or separated. I welcome working with LGBTQ individuals and families and respect their unique challenges in our culture.

What about addiction and substance abuse/dependence?

You can’t have worked in this field for as long as I have and not have experience with these issues, but I do not specialize in this work. If I come to believe an individual is stuck in a pattern of addiction, I will generally refer them to a highly qualified addiction specialist.

Do you prescribe medicine?

No, that can only be done by a qualified medical professional. If you believe, or if in the course of our sessions we determine that you could benefit from medication, I will make a referral to a psychiatrist or your personal physician.

As a therapist, what is your main theoretical approach?

Over the years, I have received extensive training in many theoretical models. My initial training in graduate school was in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and interpersonal psychology. I received intensive training in cognitive-behavioral therapy when I was a clinician and then chief social worker at Norton Psychiatric Clinic. Most recently, I have been studying Buddhist psychotherapy and other spiritual paradigms. I am also interested in body-oriented models of psychotherapy such as Hakomi.

All these models have something to offer and, feeling fortunate to have had extensive exposure and training, I integrate many of these theories and techniques into my work. But I have come to believe that imposing a particular theory or model on an individual may not be helpful. The important thing is to adapt the approach specifically to you: Who are you, how do you experience joy and suffering, what are your concerns? These are the questions that determine how I work with you.

Do you see people in therapy for long periods of time?

Occasionally, I do see a person for an extended period of time in therapy when that is beneficial. I am dedicated to making the most out of each person or couple’s time and resources and find that brief work is usually quite effective.

What do you do if you can't help someone?

Because I readily refer folks to other providers as appropriate, I am probably a good starting place for many individuals, couples, and families. As a social worker, I consider referrals part of my job and am happy to refer to other therapists as well as psychiatrists and holistic practitioners. I only refer to professionals whom I know to be highly qualified and competent in their fields.

Do you accept insurance?

I am sorry to be unable to accept insurance due to time constraints (I am a one-woman operation) and concerns regarding confidentiality and privacy. I can provide you a receipt that you can submit to a medical Flexible Spending Account if you have one, or to your insurance company if you have out-of-network mental health coverage (you will need to call the customer service number on your insurance card to ask this question).

I am open to considering a reduced fee if you are experiencing financial hardship.

I want to get marriage counseling for my partner and myself but s/he refuses; what can I do?

Sometimes a reluctant spouse or partner will come in for a session if they realize how serious their significant other is in their concerns, and that their marriage may be threatened. I can usually help a reluctant partner feel comfortable once the session starts. If your partner continues to refuse help, you may want to schedule an individual consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.

My teenager is doing poorly in school and I am very worried he/she may be getting into other kinds of trouble. How can I convince her/him to come in for counseling?

One option would be to arrange a consultation for yourself (and your spouse/coparent if applicable) to look at the big picture in your household. You probably have more negotiating power than you realize, and we can work on using it to influence your teenager to make better choices.