Concerning ..... "Areas of Expertise"
Q: Do you offer counseling only in these areas? What if I have a problem that is not within one of your areas of expertise, can you still help me?
A: There are numerous other areas (too many to list) in which I have worked with clients. After discussing your problem with you I will be better able to determine if I can help you. If I cannot, I will be happy to give you referrals to appropriate professionals and/or resources who can assist you.
Concerning ..... "Marriage and Couple Counseling"
Q: What is your approach to marriage and couple counseling?
A: Some couples come for counseling and are not certain what they want or may have different reasons for seeking psychotherapy. Perhaps one spouse is wanting to work on the relationship and the other one is thinking of separation or divorce. Sometimes one wants their partner to change and the other partner doesn't want to change.
My goal is to assist you as a couple to determine what you each want from the relationship and each other. Then help you assess whether you can actually get what you want.
Since most people get some of what they want but not all they want from a partner, the final step in my counseling approach is to guide each of you in looking at your options and deciding what to do with this knowledge and information.
Concerning ..... "Separation and Divorce Counseling"
Q: My spouse and I are thinking about divorce but have not yet made any definite decision. If we do decide to separate, we are not sure what to say to our children. Do you ever counsel parents who plan to divorce on how and what to tell their children?
A: Yes. Frequently parents are at a loss as to when to tell their children, what to tell them, and how much detail to share. Children look to feel safe, secure, and stable. There are a number of ways children can be told about their parents' separation or divorce which will minimize their trauma and pain.
Q: I am divorced and my child needs counseling. Should my Ex and I both come with our child for therapy?
A: Divorce is difficult enough for children as they wrestle with accepting that 1) one or both parents do not want to be together anymore and 2) they can never again live under the same roof with Mom and Dad.
I prefer to do family work with the child and each parent separately. There are a number of reasons for this. Sometimes, the child has a problem with only one parent and needs guidance from the other parent. Other times, children will act out in an effort to bring their parents together. If you, your ex and your child all come into counseling together for the sake of your child, the message to your child may be that as long as your child has problems you and your Ex will stay together and your child will have the "intact family" (no matter for how short a time) he or she sorely misses.
Q: My children are acting out. Is this because we are going through a divorce?
A: Children act out for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is age appropriate, as with adolescents, but it also could be due to any number of reasons including that you and your spouse are going through divorce. What is most important is to find out why your children are acting out and help them with their problem.
Concerning ..... "Parent and Child Counseling"
Q: How do you work with children? Do you see children alone, with their parents, or in combination?
A: I prefer to work with children and parents together. In all my years of practice, I have never received a telephone call from a child requesting counseling. Typically a parent calls to report some problem their child is having at home, with friends or in school.
In order for a child to open up in counseling she or he needs to trust the therapist which means maintaining confidentiality with your child. So while the child is in session the parents sit patiently in my waiting room and frequently have no idea what their child is feeling, thinking or saying. Because of confidentiality I cannot share with you what your child has shared with me.
So I prefer to counsel both the child and the parents together; assisting parents in helping their child with their problem. This way you the parent know what your child is struggling with and your child learns to turn to you the parent for help - not me the therapist.
Q: Do you ever work with children alone without their parents?
A: I do work with children alone whenever the child requests this. Usually when a child asks to be seen alone it is because they feel reluctant to express a thought or feeling in front of their parents for fear their parent will feel hurt or get angry at the child.
In such cases I help the child work on how to overcome their fear and communicate what they want to say to their parents. My ultimate goal is always to help you and your child work out your problems on your own.
Concerning ..... "Adoption Counseling"
Q: My child is acting out. Is this because my child is adopted?
A: Children act out for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is age appropriate, as with adolescents, but it could also be due to any number of reasons including that your child is adopted. What is most important is to find out why your child is acting out and help him or her with their problem.
Concerning ..... "Step-Family Counseling"
Q: I am recently remarried. My husband says that I over indulge my children. I think he is much too strict with his and don't want him disciplining my children. How should we deal with this?
A: Welcome to the world of step-families. They are sometimes called blended families because this transition requires couples to blend a variety of ways they each formerly lived their lives, including parenting styles, values, spending habits, curfews, doing homework, socializing, etc. As a step-father and therapist I have extensive experience, personally and professionally, helping step-families figure out how to integrate two households with two histories into one family.
Concerning ..... "Cost of Services"
Q: Is your fee more if I come as a couple or bring my entire family?
A: My fee is the same whether you come individually, as a couple or as a family. I charge for my time, not based on the number of people who come to the session.