Having practiced the profession of psychology since 1986, I believe it is a privilege to work with adults, adolescents, and children to better understand life events, traumas, stressors, relationships, and many other experiences which serve to bring on crises within us. Daily life can be fraught with tension, anxiety, depressed mood, and interpersonal conflicts which lowers one’s ability to cope with even the most simple, day-to-day tasks.

Psychotherapy is a joint process, one in which the patient works together with the psychologist to ease symptoms unique to the individual’s temporary difficulties. I have always believed that, in addition to clinical psychotherapeutic techniques, the relationship between patient and psychologist is the crucial element for successful resolution of any concerns. Rapport between patient and psychologist starts with the very first telephone contact, and increases into a trusting professional and psychologically intimate relationship over time. Positive regard, genuineness, and empathy serve to be the foundation of this relationship. Part of the make-up of this relationship is, from my perspective, an optimism that patients will be able to work through their concerns, conflicts, or traumas by capitalizing on their inner strengths in many areas. Moreover, this professional relationship may serve to be reparative in that what was never allowed to be felt or said may now be expressed with total acceptance, respect, and warmth.

I believe that communication between patient and psychologist need not be limited to that once-per-week session. I encourage my patients to communicate with me if they are in crisis or if they are anxious, worried, or uncomfortably sad. Communication may be accomplished either by e-mail or by telephone. While psychotherapy sessions are scheduled once per week, usually in the late afternoons and evenings and at a mutually convenient time, no one should have to wait until their next session to discuss a troubling issue. Sometimes reaching out, however difficult that may be, may serve to be comforting during these times.

How long does should psychotherapy last? I have been asked this question more than any other. The answer is: every person is different. There is no one formula that works for everyone. Yet, while every person is unique, sometimes dilemmas can be universal. There are many factors which contribute to the duration of therapy and, unfortunately, one cannot predict how long it will last.

What kind of psychotherapy do I practice? Generally, I consider myself to have an insight-oriented theoretical perspective, and I rely strongly on the development of insight via discussion, introspection, and interpretation of the patient’s reports of feelings, thoughts, daily life and, when appropriate, dreams. I also embrace techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy and find that at times it also may be useful for dealing with compelling difficulties, such as fears, phobias, circumscribed anxieties, and some mild depressive disorders.