The Nature of This Practice:
While this is a general practice, I have a particular interest, which concerns the effects of stress and crisis. Stressful events set in motion old, automatic habits of thought, emotion, and behavior. This is a typical occurrence, even in completely normal individuals. If a way can be found to interrupt these old, rigid patterns, then most people can expect to act and feel the way they would prefer. Whether I treat anxiety, depression, family communication problems, or self-esteem issues, it will usually include this perspective.
The Difference Between Counseling and Therapy:
Counseling is most effective when it is a strategic process. It provides guidance toward a goal with the help of broader thinking, new skills, or identification of useful old skills. Meanwhile, therapy glances back to the past to uncover the source of any internal barriers that would prevent the application of the strategies that counseling has identified. Typically, these barriers are very old habits, beliefs, or forms of protection that come into rigid operation during stressful times. Then, ways to move past these barriers can be designed. So, in this way, counseling and therapy are complementary.
Those Who Benefit from Counseling and Therapy:
Those who benefit from sessions come to work on themselves. While these people may spend some time noticing the external barriers in their lives, they spend more of their time looking for new internal solutions. Second, they are open and completely honest in stating their situation and concerns. They identify for the therapist and focus upon their most pressing challenges. Finally, they have overcome their ambivalence about changing their lives, and are eager to grow past their difficulties.
People who do not yet take these attitudes still may progress. The process just becomes longer as the therapist and life’s distress both guide them toward taking these more practical approaches.
You can call my voice mail at (860) 233-1897 anytime, 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year. While in the office, I will usually check in hourly. Outside my office hours, I will usually check in within the next 24 hours. During occasions when I cannot check messages as quickly as that, I will note it on my voice mail’s outgoing message. I encourage people to call me with questions and am happy to call back. Please be aware that I do not provide emergency services, so circumstances may delay my return call. I will arrange to have emergency services made available upon request.
For more info on other ways to contact me, please: Click Here.
Appointments are 50 minutes in length. They begin 15 minutes after the scheduled time. This is an old habit of mine from previously running many workshops. This practice allows me to extend more easily beyond 50 minutes when necessary. In other words, I don’t watch the clock too closely, and avoid finishing a session before we reach our goal that day. You can also call or email between sessions. On the other hand, those requiring precise starting times can arrange this with me, sticking to a set 50-minute appointment.
For non-urgent situations: You can cancel or reschedule your appointment time. In fact, our first meeting probably occurred during an appointment time that someone else had canceled. So, I ask that people give me a few days notice of cancellations. This way, I have time to contact people, and they have time to adjust their schedules. If I receive less than one full business-day notice, that is, before 9:00 a.m. on the business day preceding the actual day of the appointment, I must charge for the time, but only if I do not fill it.
For info on more urgent circumstances that may affect your appointment, this link brings you to the bottom of this page.
These forms, above, are the federally mandated guidelines, disclosures, and procedures related to confidentiality. Of course, I will be happy to discuss any of these with you and apply them to any concerns you may have.
Other Ethical Expectations:
I accept the challenges that an individual faces with unconditional positive regard, or else I refer that person. I may offer to treat various members of a family or other partnership. I may also confidentially treat people in conflict with each other. If so, I will seek to understand conflicting perspectives without bias or taking sides. This maximizes the information available for resolution. On the other hand, if any party feels it is no longer acceptable, I will suggest appropriate referral. I cannot give advice on which goals to hold, but can give concrete direction, by multiplying options, on how to attain goals and make changes. I am also not permitted to enter any secondary relationship with a client. While this rule prevents business dealings and outside friendships, its main purpose is to protect clients from potential exploitation.
Why I do not participate in HMO panels:
To join or not to join, that was my question.
Click here to learn why I recommend that you select a psychologist who does NOT “take” your insurance.
Insurance and Fees:
I do not currently raise my fee ($170.00, as of Feb. 16, 2015) to reflect demand for my services, but only to reflect changes in the consumer price index. Click here for a discussion of my policy on participating in insurance panels. “Point of Service” group insurance policies sold in Connecticut should pay 80% for the services of a licensed psychologist, after you meet your deductible. If they have a list of contracted providers, they might pay 80% of the amount that these psychologists agreed to accept. The policy must provide $2000 in yearly benefits.
You can either call my billing service at (860) 677-7200, and they will check with your insurer’s claim department, or you can check your insurance handbook for your coverage for “mental health benefits” and your yearly deductible. “POE” and “HMO” plans confine subscribers to a list, and typically will pay nothing. If you use insurance and fill out that form, my billing service will file it for you and submit the bill. You can be billed for balances by placing a valid credit card on file. Any balance after insurance and your payments, it is due in full when the bill is received. After thirty days, any bills not paid in full are subject to eighteen (18) percentage points interest (1.5 % per month). In the event that a bill is unpaid, I will add attorney’s fees, collection costs, and interest.
I understand that you may need to stay home if you believe that traveling might endanger you. I would never wish for you to take a health risk in order to come to the office. With the rare exception of a local-road driving ban, I will be here if you decide to come in a storm. If you stay home for snow, illness, or emergencies, we will have a session over the phone or on Skype. When necessary, I find that it works very well. When notifying me about this, please follow the instructions on my voice mail for more urgent messages. Or, you can cancel as described above under “changing appointments.”