Therapy/Counseling

Psychotherapy or medication?

Psychotherapy/Counseling

I conduct psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) or counseling with children*, adolescents and adults for a variety of psychological problems.  My therapeutic orientation is cognitive-behavioral which is the most common type of therapy practiced by psychologists.  The theory behind this therapy is that people have difficulty with various emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger, depression) because of the way they think about their situation.  Therapy involves teaching people how to think more realistically, rationally, and logically about their situations.  Research has shown that when people modify their thinking, their emotional state improves.  This theory and therapy sounds pretty simple.  However, implementing a new way of thinking takes work and regular practice.   When this therapy is effective, it has been shown to be as, or more effective than medication for many problems.

Initial appointments for therapy are one hour.  Subsequent sessions are 45-50 minutes. It could take up to two or three sessions for me to fully understand your or your child’s problem in order to propose a course of treatment.  Sometimes, psychological tests are used in addition to discussions and interviews.  Treatment can involve just a couple of sessions to resolve simple issues or it can involve months of therapy.  Frequency of sessions depends on many factors including the nature of the problem, affordability, and scheduling factors.  If I think that other or additional practitioners or treatments would be more appropriate to help you with your problem, I’ll provide you with referrals.

* Children under age 7 or 8 can’t necessarily benefit from “talk therapy” as much as they might benefit from play therapy.  I can evaluate young children’s problems and I may refer you to a play therapist.

Parent Counseling for child/adolescent behavior problems

There are some children and teenagers who present behavioral issues that challenge parents.  Some children are simply more difficult than others.  Some parents may have had little experience with young children.  Other parents may not have had parents who were effective role models.   In these situations, it is the parents who need guidance rather than the child needing therapy.  In some cases, both interventions may be helpful.  I’ll assess your situation and recommend who should be involved in counseling.