CBS OWN Zoom & Skype Consultations

Frequently Asked Questions – Individual Therapy

What kinds of issues do people generally come to deal with in Individual Therapy?
The most common issues are depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress, and relationships.

How long or how many sessions are typically needed to resolve these issues?
I am asked this question often and there is really no answer for it. It depends on the presenting problem and how long this has been happening. Also, it depends on other issues surrounding this problem. It matters a lot if there was prior therapy for this or other issues and how open the patient is to new feedback, how curious and interested they are in understanding themselves and their personal dynamics. Finally the relationship between the client and an individual therapist and the therapist’s experience and skill level are of great importance.

What is your approach to working with individuals?
My approach varies depending on the client and his/her presenting problem and level of functioning. With some clients I do typical “talk therapy,” identifying issues and figuring out their genesis from history and developing insights as well as coming up with new, more appropriate coping strategies. In other cases I work from a more trauma-based approach, using a modality called EMDR. I believe that most psychological problems come from traumatic experiences both in childhood and also in adulthood. We identify these traumas and the work to process them using EMDR protocol. This is a targeted approach which is very effective with many people.

How do you know what approach to use?
The approach depends on issues presented, as well as the level of functioning of the person. If there is a psychiatric diagnosis, substance abuse, severe emotional dysregulation, EMDR is not indicated. The person needs to be relatively stable and also willing to do deeper trauma work.

How do I find a good therapist in NYC?
There are many ways to find a good therapist who is right for you. Ask your friends if they are or have been in therapy and if they can recommend someone they find helpful. Your Primary Care doctor or other doctors are good source or referrals too. More and more people turn to internet to find resources including a therapist. You need to search for what you need and then take a good look at their web site and all areas of it. Look at the training and years of practice, though these are not always helpful. It’s very important to read ALL reviews from clients. This tells you a lot, including what people like and don’t like. It’s also important and telling in how you are responded to once you inquire.

How much should Individual Therapy cost?
Fees for Individual Therapy in New York City vary depending on the years of experience of a therapist as well as the level of training and certifications in different areas. Newer therapists sometimes take insurance in which case the insurance company sets the fee. And the client is only responsible for a copay.

What is the difference between psychotherapist and psychiatrist?
A Psychotherapist, such as myself, has a Master’s Degree or a PhD. We cannot prescribe medications. When a client needs medication, I will refer them for a medication evaluation to a psychiatrist who is a medical doctor, specializing in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

How do you know when it’s appropriate to make a referral to a psychiatrist?
Usually when there are long and persistent symptoms like anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation, psychotic episodes which are not getting better with psychotherapy, I will make a referral to a psychiatrist for evaluation.

Sessions available in person, by phone or on Skype.