FAQ

What is your approach to therapy?

My approach is to be unfailingly kind, to assume there is more to everyone’s story, and to never be dismissive about someone’s suffering. Current research about family dynamics, medical issues, life events, medication-related causes for what appears to be psychological distress, and biochemical imbalances are included in my thinking. Not everything is in someone’s head.

Therapy is a collaborative effort. I bring over 25 years of study and experience to this work as well as the deep conviction that growth and healing is the natural result of good support and genuine caring. You bring your life experience, inner resources and willingness to engage with the work. Together, we can help you reach your personal goals.

On a more academic level: People bring problems to therapy but they also bring their strengths. My training and experience has resulted in an approach that combines the principles of Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Systemic Family Therapy.
 

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is also called "talk therapy" or counseling. We will identify what is distressing you or causing you to live a life that is less healthy or less fulfilling than you want it to be and then set goals for making change. You will have my guidance and support as you work to realize those goals.

Our discussions will help you gain insight into your emotions, resolve emotional blocks, change troubling behaviors, resolve problems, and develop new skills that allow you to feel better, make healthy life choices, and experience more fulfilling relationships.

Psychotherapy is not a friendship, although it can certainly be friendly. It is intended to be a one-sided relationship where you get the help and support you need without any obligation to know or meet the needs of the helper.
 

How do I know if I need therapy?

I often suggest to people that if they are asking themselves if they might benefit from some therapy, they already have the answer. If you have tried everything you know how to do and you are still feeling stuck in negative patterns of emotions, thoughts, or behaviors, it’s time to seek help. Therapy can give you new perspectives and support for solving problems that up to now have felt challenging to impossible.

The National Mental Health Association suggests psychotherapy for people when:

  • They are having problems with interpersonal relationships.
  • Their emotional difficulties make it hard for them to function from day to day.
  • They feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness.
  • Their actions are harmful to themselves or to others.
  • They are troubled by emotional difficulties facing family members or close friends.
  • To this I would add: They are having significant problems with school or work.

 

Are there other reasons people participate in therapy?

Absolutely. Many people use therapy for personal growth, to learn new coping and social skills, to enhance self-esteem or to have an objective sounding board for important decisions.
 

What can I expect from the first visit?

If this is your first time meeting with a therapist, it is normal to be a bit nervous. I will do my best to help you be comfortable.

The initial session is really a mutual interview. It is your opportunity to get a feel for my style and to make sure it is a good fit for you. It is my opportunity to determine if I have the skills and expertise to help you with your problem. (If I don’t believe I can help you, I will do my best to refer you to someone who can.)

During our meeting, I will ask you many questions about what brings you to counseling, information about your emotional, behavioral and relationship history and what you hope to gain from your visits.

You have the right to ask me about approach, philosophy and any other concerns you may have.

If you decide to go forward, we will then determine goals and a plan for our work together.

Research has shown that the most important factor for determining a successful result in therapy is the trust and working relationship between the client and therapist. Just like any other relationship, you will click with some therapists and not with others. It is important you trust your instincts. If you think we can work together to help you, we probably can. If for any reason you don’t have an intuitive sense that you can work with me, it’s important for you to continue your search for a therapist.
 

What should I bring to the first appointment?

You may want to bring some notes to help you present your best understanding of your issues and your goals.

Optional but helpful: I encourage you to identify your signature strengths by taking the survey developed by Dr. Martin Seligman and his associates at the University of Pennsylvania. The results will remind you of the positive attributes that are your foundation for better health and more happiness. The survey is free. I have no connection with the survey or with UPenn. I suggest it only because so many people have found it to be useful.
 

When should I seek traditional, face-to-face therapy rather than teletherapy?

Seek help immediately:

  • If you are having thoughts of harming yourself (e.g. suicidal thoughts) or harming someone else (e.g. violent thoughts toward others) or psychotic symptoms. Please call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE, which is the National Suicide Hotline.
  • If you are in an abusive or violent relationship.
  • If you have been seriously depressed.
  • If you have serious substance abuse dependence.
  • If you are a minor. (under 18 years old)

 

What insurances do you accept?

Primarily, I am only accepting private pay clients for Teletherapy. However, I do make monthly to bi-monthly visits to my office in Geneseo to see clients in person so I can bill numerous insurances for those visits.

I am credentialed with the following companies:

  • Aetna
  • Beacon Health
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield of WNY
  • Blue Choice
  • Cigna
  • Empire
  • Excellus
  • Fidelis
  • Independent Health
  • Magellan
  • POMCO
  • United Behavioral Health
  • United Health Care
  • Univera.

 
In addition, I have several therapists who see clients different days of the week at my office in Geneseo and most are on several of the same panels.
 

Do you contract with Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)?

Yes, I work with several national and regional EAPs.

An EAP is an employer-sponsored service designed for personal or family problems, including mental health, substance abuse, various addictions, marital problems, parenting problems, emotional problems, or financial or legal concerns. This is typically a service provided by an employer to the employees, designed to assist employees in getting help for these problems so that they may remain on the job and effective.
 

What is the difference between "therapy" and "consultation?"

Consultation is a brief involvement in an issue to offer recommendations for a specific question or set of questions.

Examples of previous consultations include:

  • Consultation to individuals needing guidance for finding resources
  • Consultation to parents of adult children
  • Consultation to other professionals in regards to specific cases

 

What does "confidentiality" mean?

Confidentiality refers to what I do with your personally identifiable medical information. I will keep this information confidential, which means I will not release information that identifies you to anyone without your written permission.

There are 3 exceptions to this law:

  1. I will release information necessary to warn or protect a person in imminent danger of being physically harmed.
  2. I will release to a court of law information required by court order.
  3. I will inform the Department of Social services about the possibility that a minor is being abused or neglected.