Are You Trained To Help Me?
I have been practicing for over 20 years and have been exposed to many quality training opportunities. My Masters Degree (awarded in 1995) is in Marriage & Family Therapy and I have been a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) since 1998. During my career I have received training to be a Domestic Violence Intervention Specialist, Alcohol and Drug Treatment Professional, Advanced Clinical Sexual Addictions Specialist, Level I EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) clinician, and training in many of the evidenced based therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy). I have integrated many of these learning experiences into my present practice and frequently use EMDR and ACT with my clients.
I am most pleased with my educational experience as a marriage & family therapist. While many people might assume that means I only work with family issues or do couples counseling, they are incorrect. More accurately, my background helps me to better observe with my clients the family of origin and sets of relationships in which they are currently or previously engaged. This holistic approach considers the influence of these systems and my clients have often remarked upon the benefit of this increased insight. My training does not mean that I would compel you to bring other individuals along with you to a session. It merely recognizes that their emotional influence means they are already present.
In a recent study, consumers report that marriage and family therapists are the mental health professionals they would most likely recommend to friends. Over 98 percent of clients of marriage and family therapists report therapy services as good or excellent.
After receiving treatment, almost 90% of clients report an improvement in their emotional health, and nearly two-thirds report an improvement in their overall physical health. A majority of clients report an improvement in their functioning at work, and over three-fourths of those receiving marital/couples or family therapy report an improvement in the couple relationship. Marriage and family therapy’s prominence in the mental health field has increased due to its brief, solution-focused treatment, its family-centered approach, and its demonstrated effectiveness (the last two paragraphs of this section are adapted from aamft.org).
How Much Will This Cost?
I am a preferred provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Tufts. I will also bill out of network for most other insurance companies but would expect payment upfront. For cash clients I am willing to negotiate a fee that respects your present income. Some insurance plans require that you meet a certain out of pocket expense before they will begin to reimburse.
I have counseled with people with many different mental health concerns over the span of my career. I have also counseled with individuals who do not have a mental illness but whose life circumstances still warranted the assistance of a counselor. You should know in advance that not every life concern is related to mental illness and that there are limitations on what certain insurance companies will reimburse. Couples counseling is often in this category and may require your out of pocket investment.
Insurance generally will not pay for marriage counseling unless I diagnose you or your partner with a mental disorder. Couples counseling is covered as treatment for the disorder, but not otherwise. If you see a counselor who uses your insurance for couples counseling, you can be almost certain that you’ve been diagnosed to have a mental disorder.
If you are paying out of pocket for couples counseling, I invite you to keep this in perspective. There’s nothing you can buy for $1,000 – 1,500 that will give you the same quality of life that a healthy marriage provides. If you and your spouse love each other and meet each other’s important emotional needs, you’ll be able to do without other things and still be happier in the end. Besides, I’ve found that people seem to earn more and save more after their marital problems are solved. The money you spend to resolve your marital problems is money well spent.
You Have Mentioned Elsewhere That You Are A Christian. How Will That Affect Your Work With Me?
What I believe I am hearing when people ask this question is whether I will judge them or whether I would exclude certain populations of people from my practice. The answer to the first question is that I have judgmental thoughts from time to time but that has nothing to do with being a Christian and everything to do with being human. In my opinion, all of us have those thoughts. It is also my opinion that honesty about such things and openness to experiencing other points of view may help one discover healthy new perspectives. The answer to the second question is an unequivocal “no.” I do not exclude people. Just because I hold a certain worldview does not entitle me in any way to impose that on other people. I choose to share my worldview upfront not as a means of intimidation or as a way to attract certain clients. I do so because I believe some transparency about who I am is important. Counseling is a relationship and that entails mutual exchange and trust. Don’t expect me to share a lot of that sort of thing in session because it is a time set aside for you and your concerns. It is not a social hour or time for a cup of coffee to ponder philosophical points of view. It is work…work that most of my clients have found beneficial.
What Are Your Hours?
Presently, I maintain the following office hours:
- Monday 4 pm – 8 pm
- Tu-Th 9 am – 8 pm
- Friday 9 am – noon
Hours are subject to flexibility so, you are always welcome to inquire about other options.