4808 43rd Pl. NW
I work collaboratively with clients to help them establish and reach concrete personal goals. I believe that successful psychotherapy is a collaborative effort. As a therapist, it is not my job to cure anyone. Rather, I will offer a variety of resources: strategies, skills, techniques, support and guidance. I will assist you in applying these resources in your day-to-day life so that you can reach your personal goals. It'll take work and determination on both of our parts.
I believe that, in order to be satisfying to most people, therapy must bring about concrete change. Traditional therapies (sometimes called psychodynamic or insight-oriented) believe that it is necessary to learn how a present-day problem got it's start in childhood. This is usually a very long-term and expensive process. Worse yet, research has shown that it is not likely to change our present-day problems very much. That is because, although often originating in childhood, our present-day problems have long since developed a life of their own.
In other words, there are self-defeating cycles of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that we repeatedly engage in that result in problems in mood, anxiety, self-esteem and relationships. What is crucial in therapy is that we change the cycle in the present. Knowing how the cycle first started in childhood is interesting and perhaps useful ... but seldom necessary. After all, we can never, ever change what happened to us in the past. We can, however, change the beliefs, behaviors and feelings that we have learned from our past experiences.
That is why I believe that an essential part of results-oriented therapy is the work that clients do in between sessions to put into effect what is discussed during sessions. I encourage clients to choose some type of therapeutic experiment to work on: some simple way to think about and/or handle things differently than you are used to in order to understand and disrupt your self-defeating cycles. Often, I also suggest that you use a worksheet or journal to examine and challenge your thoughts and feelings, and the resulting behavior patterns. Part of what we normally talk about at each session is what you can learn from the past week's homework experiments and written exercises, and how you can build upon this in the coming week.
I am a Licensed, Independent Clinical Social Worker and received my MSW degree from the University of Michigan in 1987. I have been extensively trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy, group psychotherapy, and crisis intervention. I am a Certified Cognitive Therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. I am a Certified Group Psychotherapist, and am a founder of the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. I am also a Diplomate in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the highest credential offered by the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. I am included in Washingtonian magazine's 2009 list of "Top Therapists."
I worked for several years at the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC: one of the nation's largest AIDS service providers and gay & lesbian health centers. I served as their first Mental Health Services Director, as well as their first Volunteer Resources Director. I have a 30-year history of volunteer work in varied human services and social justice issues.
I have a special interest in therapy groups and support groups as a means of helping people with common concerns empower each other. I have led some 80 therapy groups on social anxiety, depression, relationships, AIDS, and self-esteem. I have also led many support groups on a variety of issues, and supervised a team of Whitman-Walker Clinic support group leaders for seven years.
Individual cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT (60-minute sessions).
Social anxiety CBT groups (180-minute sessions, 20-weekly sessions per group, held twice per year).
Specialized services for the LGBT community
I am a Medicare participating provider. For all other insurance plans, payment is due a the session (check, cash, credit or debit card). I will give you a written statement of service to submit to your insurer for reimbursement of whatever you are due.
Individual: $100 for full 60-minute session.
Group: $220 monthly tuition (for 5-month group; weekly 180-minute sessions; usually 8-9 group members per group).
Limited sliding scale available for persons making less than $40,000 and without insurance coverage. Credit and debit cards are accepted.