Common Questions

What types of services do you offer?

I am clinical psychologist offering individual and couples psychotherapy.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

I treat most issues that present in day to day life, with a few exceptions.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

I have 35 years of experience, and consequently I’ve trained in many modalities. I use an integrative approach informed by object relations theory, family systems theory, humanistic and cognitive behavioral therapies. I have a particular interest in ego state work and EMDR. I am best known for my work as an EMDR therapist, and I am a faculty member of the EMDR Institute.

When should one seek treatment?

If you are unhappy more days than not, and you’re experiencing symptoms that affect your sleep, concentration, self-worth or ability to function effectively, you should definitely consider treatment.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

I would choose a practitioner with caution. Find someone you are comfortable talking to and who seems experienced in your area of concern. Take the first session to explain your concerns and see if the clinician offers a treatment plan that makes sense to you. That’s my basic approach. I view that first session as a trial session.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

This is a complex question. Substance abuse behaviors are driven by personality issues (e.g., tendencies toward avoidance, dependency or compulsive behavior), a history of trauma, social modeling, and physical pre-disposition (hence the “medical model” of alcoholism). Often people increase their drinking to “self-medicate,” in lieu of professional assistance, to address an underlying depression or anxiety condition. In early adulthood, social anxiety and insecurity fuel alcohol abuse to navigate the social challenges of that time in life. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse through the teens and early twenties undermines the natural evolution of adaptive and mature self-soothing skills and abilities, and stalls social development.

Effective treatment of all forms of addiction (smoking, eating, alcohol, sexual) involves a thorough review of the individual’s history, and identification of the factors that might contribute to behavior. In my practice, I believe that most of the issues identified above can be resolved by targeting the traumas (including the daily traumas of childhood neglect, devaluation, and abuse) that organize personality and drive the problems of self-worth, anxiety and impaired functioning. Typically I employ a combination of EMDR and CBT for these issues. For severe circumstances, when people cannot and will not quit drinking and who nonetheless acknowledge the problem, I’ve utilized the Sinclair Method, which can be very effective.

What should I know about insurance billing?

I am in network for several insurers, including MODA, LifeWise, PacificSource, Aetna, Great-West.    I am not a UnitedHealthCare or Healthnet provider, though HealthNet will pay a portion of the fee.  Regence generally covers some portion of my fee, though I am now out of network.  Always check with your insurer if you are considering seeing me, as some programs have multiple plans that reimburse out of network providers (often at a different rate),  and some have multiple plans that may or may not contract with me.  Finally, ask about co-pay and deductible information.  Some insurance programs have a significant deductible that requires you to pay the first 100-1500 dollars before they pick up the charges.