10-minute phone consultation (free of charge)
As you consider starting treatment, you may want to speak with me to ask certain questions specific to your needs or concerns. I firmly believe in the power of a "good fit" between therapist and client, which is why I welcome your call and desire for this initial free 10-minute phone consultation. Schedule your consultation by calling 845.233.1409 or clicking below:
Individual Therapy for Adolescents and Adults (45/60-minute office session)
With few exceptions, I have chosen to focus my practice on individuals. In my work with clients, I utilize a strengths-based approach, operating with the understanding that most people are capable of initiating positive changes in their lives. I attempt to take into account the many social, environmental and psychological factors that help shape one's relationship with his/her world.
It is my goal as a therapist to assist each of my clients with tapping into your personal power, thereby increasing one's ability to reach your full potential. This process is achieved by setting specific goals at the onset of therapy and mutually working to meet those goals.
I encourage clients to explore their mind/body, creative and spiritual outlets for working through life's challenges. It is my belief that we all possess inner wisdom and personal strength that, once discovered and nurtured, have the power to transform and overcome past hardship and pain.
Individual Therapy for Adolescents and Adults (45/60-minute phone/web session)
One-on-one phone/web sessions are offered on a case-by-case basis, when deemed appropriate by both therapist and client. These sessions are also intended to facilitate continuity of care for clients who may be required by scheduling demands to leave the area for periods of time that would otherwise be disruptive to treatment.
Individual Coaching for Adults (45/60-minute office session)
For most people, finding and pursuing a creative outlet can have a strong therapeutic impact on psychological wellness and personal fulfillment. Being a creative can also involve a complex relationship to one's life purpose that often benefits from collaborative exchange and process-targeted coaching. My coaching services are geared towards supporting you and helping you become more familiar with and trusting of the ebb and flow of your own unique creative process.
Individual Coaching for Adolescents and Adults (45/60-minute phone/web session)
One-on-one phone/web sessions are offered on a case-by-case basis, when deemed appropriate by both parties.. These sessions are also intended to facilitate continuity of care for clients whose scheduling demands may require them to leave the area for periods of time that would otherwise be disruptive to treatment.
MY WORK AND TRAINING
I am a licensed clinical social worker in private practice with an emphasis on adolescent and adult individuals. I hold dual clinical licensure in Colorado and New York, and I currently practice in the latter. I hold a master's degree in clinical social work from the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work, where I graduated with honors. I bring to my clinical social work over fifteen years of experience in the fields of mental health and family advocacy. My clinical interests include women's health and wellness, anxiety disorders, trauma resolution, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and the role of creativity in promoting favorable mental health. I am a longstanding member of the National Association of Social Workers.
I am also a dedicated songwriter. Some of my songs have managed to find loving homes with audiences, both nationally and abroad. I craft songs that reflect my obvious interest in the human condition. Throughout my career as a songwriter I have been honored to offer my time and music performance to numerous non-profit agencies and social activist groups focusing on child advocacy, AIDS awareness, animal welfare, environmental conservation and gender equality. Most recently, several of my songs have also been licensed by various corporate entities for use in television and internet advertising.
Both my clinical work and songwriting represent my passion for helping others explore their own unique creative approaches to life's challenges. I believe that making and sharing music helps me to be an authentic and fulfilled therapist, just as my work in the psychotherapy field inspires my songwriting beyond measure.
It is with deep gratitude that I acknowledge those who have chosen me to share their stories with. I honor their narratives, along with their privacy and anonymity. Through choosing to tell their stories, each has helped hold me accountable for staying true to my own.
SELECT POST-GRADUATE TRAININGS AND PUBLICATIONS
Transforming Trauma with EMDR (Parts 1 & 2) with Laurel Parnell, PhD - The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck, NY.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma with Bessel van der Kolk, MD and Licia Sky - The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, MA.
Advanced Ethics and Malpractice Guidelines for Social Workers - National Association of Social Workers - New York, NY.
Clinical Supervision: A Person-Centered Approach with Jane Marich, PhD, New York, NY.
Cultivating Mindfulness with Elana Rosenbaum, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Women in Connection: A Celebration of Two Pioneers with Peggy Papp and Olga Silverstein, Hunter College, Ackerman Institute for the Family, New York, NY.
Mindfulness and Meditation, Shambala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Certified Mediator, State of Colorado.
Acute Trauma and Developing Brain: Working with the Traumatized Child, Bruce Perry, MD, Fort Collins, CO.
Using Music to Facilitate Positive Change, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
Drum Circle Facilitation with Children and Elders, with Christine Stevens, MSW, MT-BC
Music Performance, Luis Garcia-Renart, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
Advanced Child Welfare Training, State of Colorado.
Reverance in Healing: Honoring Strengths Without Trivializing Suffering. Contributing author on strengths-based creative therapeutic approaches with adolescent girls. Edited by esteemed clinical psychologist, David A. Crenshaw. (Jason Aronson, Inc. 2009).
CREATIVITY & WELLNESS: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
“We all possess inner wisdom and personal strength that, once discovered and nurtured, has the power to transform and overcome past hardship and pain.”
Creativity: Why it Matters
For the vast majority of people, finding and pursuing a creative outlet can have a strong therapeutic impact on psychological wellness and personal fulfillment. As David Kelley, Stanford professor and founder of IDEO, discusses in the video below, creative expression with emphasis on process rather than product is an inate gift in each of us. How our early creative output is guided or discouraged by others becomes, for many, a crossroads at which we begin to turn away from a sense of trust in and willingness to explore our creative self expression.
Is therapy right for me? Seeking out therapy is an individual choice and there are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek advice as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, creative blockages and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by creating greater self-awareness and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out help when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need extra support, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me? Psychotherapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, poor self care and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the stressors of daily life. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
Relieving anxiety and phobia to restore self confidence and calm
Finding a work/life balance to reduce occupational stress
Gaining skills to enhance your relationships with others
Learning how to take better care of yourself
Navigating through complicated academic and career issues
Rediscovering yourself through creativity and self expression
Regaining a sense of self esteem and control over your life
Exploring, understanding and gaining freedom from the grips of depression
Finding purposeful meaning in your life as you resolve grief, loss and anger
Feeling supported as you work through and let go of physical and/or emotional trauma
Learning strategies to improve time management
Relating to others in a positive and self-supportive way through effective communication
Enjoying a greater sense of peace and control over family relationships (immediate, blended, and extended)
Taking charge of powerful self-limitingbeliefs that are guiding your life decisions and relationships
Soothing and quietingnegative "self talk"
Formulating a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
What is therapy like? While every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual, there are general guidelines my sessions follow. Typically, our first few meetings will focus on getting to know one another as we outline your goals for therapy and I gather information to help me assess your needs. This usually includes obtaining a thorough psychological, medical and family/social history. During this time especially, I encourage your questions and concerns regarding therapy. After these first few sessions, I will be able to give you an estimate of the duration of our work together. Typically, sessions take place on a weekly basis for 50-minutes apiece. As I do work with many college students and others whose schedules follow a non-traditional pattern, I always try to allow for flexibility, both between sessions (i.e. college breaks, work-related travel) and in mode (i.e. phone session vs. in-person) when clinically appropriate. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. Here are some things I strive to include in my therapy practice:
Compassion, respect and understanding
Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
Real strategies for enacting positive change
Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Honesty and promptness
Is medication a substitute for therapy? Not usually. In some cases, we will work together to integrate medication with therapy by working closely with your medical doctor. While it is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication, medication can be an important tool in providing immediate relief from symptoms that then allows us to make a long-term plan and access deeper issues underlying presenting symptoms. I advocate an integrative approach to health and wellness, which varies greatly from person to person. I make every effort to keep a current database of health providers in the community, both traditional and alternative, depending on individual client needs and beliefs.
Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work? With few exceptions, I have chosen not to work directly with most insurance companies. However, you may be eligible for out-of-network provider benefits from your insurance company. To determine if you have mental health coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:
What are my mental health benefits?
What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
Is approval required from my primary care doctor?
Is therapy confidential? In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. I am required by law to report this to appropriate authorities on an immediate basis.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. I am required by law to contact the police on an immediate basis.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself. I will make every effort to work directly with the client to ensure his/her safety; however, if this is not possible I am required by law to take additional necessary safety measures on an immediate basis.
What is a coach? A coach is someone who is qualified to support, encourage, challenge and motivate you to achieve your goals. A coach is a good active listener that can pick up from your voice what you are really thinking and will facilitate you to take actions to move yourself towards your goals. They will celebrate your successes, help you discover how to overcome obstacles, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and enable you to move forward at a far greater pace than you could achieve on your own, with the ultimate aim of you achieving your goals and discovering a much happier life.
How does personal coaching work? Coaching works because it focuses you on exactly what you want to achieve and aims to get you there. A coach works to help motivated you through specific tasks and ideas centered around the achieving the goals you bring in to session.
Who has a coach? Most of us can benefit from a coach if we are finding that we can't get unstuck despite our best efforts. In my experience, those who seek out coaching have the desire to change a specific part of their life to increase overall satisfaction and well being.
What happens during a coaching session? During each session we will recap on the actions set and achieved from the last session and look at general progress and successes. We will then set a ‘session goal’ to clearly set out what you want to achieve by the end of the day’s session. We then explore where you are at the moment with that particular goal; what you have tried; what has worked and any obstacles you have come across along the way. We then explore all the possible options in achieving that goal, using techniques to extract creative and effective options. Lastly and most importantly we look at what actions you want to set yourself from the list of options to achieve that session’s goal.
How long is a coaching session? Coaching sessions are 50 minutes in length. These sessions can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, whatever suits your life and the speed at which you can take actions to achieve your goals.
How many coaching sessions will I need? This depends on what you want to achieve with your coaching. Most people come to a coach with a life changing goal in mind. In order to achieve this we look at smaller goals that need to be achieved each session to move you closer to your overall goal. For some people this may take as little as 6 sessions and for others it will be more. It is a very personal decision based on your individual goal.
Where does the coaching take place? In the majority of cases the coaching will take place over the phone, with the client phoning the coach. This has proven to be the most convenient way for individuals to fit coaching into their busy lives. Other than the phone, you will need a quiet room with no distractions where you can totally focus on the conversation. Face-to-face coaching is also available to those in New York's Hudson Valley.
How much does it cost? Individual coaching sessions cost the same per 50-minute session as psychotherapy unless purchased as a package. Please note that insurance does not cover coaching sessions.
What will I have to do? To get the best from coaching, you need to try to have a positive attitude towards the achievement of your goal. You'll want to be open, trusting and honest within the coaching relationship. You need to have the time and commitment to complete the actions that you will set yourself at the end of each session. Ultimately your level of commitment will directly influence the speed and extent to which your goals will be realised. To help you with all of this, the coach provides motivation, support and encouragement within a confidential and non-judgemental environment.
What are the benefits of personal coaching? The benefits of personal coaching are having someone that is solely dedicated to you and the achievement of your goals. They are non-judgemental, supportive, encouraging and motivating just when you need it. They keep you focussed on where you want to be and moving forward in the right direction. They will enable you to get to where you want to be in life, much faster than you could on your own.
How does coaching differ from psychotherapy? Coaching and psychotherapy are similar in the sense that both therapists and coaches ask questions, sometimes requiring a lot of soul-searching. However, psychotherapy sessions focus more on dealing with feelings, emotions and relationship, while the coaching relationship focuses on the specifics of future planning and opportunity optimization. Please note that coaching is NOT a substitute for psychotherapy.
Select Resources by Topic:
Anxiety and Phobia
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D.
From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life, Lucinda Bassett
Women Who Worry Too Much: How to Stop Worry and Anxiety from Ruining Relationships, Work and Fun, Holly Hazlett-Stevens, Ph.D.
Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation, R. Keith Sawyer
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyl
The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life, Twyla Tharpe
The Courage to Create, Rollo May
The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression, Eric Maisel, PhD
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Oliver Sacks M.D.
Uncommon Genius, Denise Shekerjian
The Depression Workbook, Mary Ellen Copeland, M.S., M.A.
The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Undoing Depression: What Therapy Can't Teach You and Medication Doesn't Give You, Richard O'Connor Ph.D.
The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity, Rylan Jay Testa, PhD
The Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens, Stephanie A. Brill and Lisa Kenney
Trans Bodies Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community, Laura Erickson Schroth
Grief and Loss
How to Survive the Loss of a Love, Melba Colgrove, Ph.D., Harold L. Bloomfield, M.D., and Peter McWilliams
On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
Integrative Health/Trauma Recovery
Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self, Anodea Judith
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, Francine Shapiro, PhD
Peace, Love and Healing: Body/Mind Communication and the Path to Self Healing-An Exploration, Bernie Siegel, MD
Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation, Laurel Parnell, PhD
The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk, MD
The Four Pilars of Healing, Leo Galland, MD
Transforming Trauma: EMDR, Laurel Parnell, PhD
Waking the Tiger: Healing from Trauma, Peter A. Levine, PhD
Happiness, Thich Naht Hanh
Mindfulness: The Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, Danny Penman PhD & Mark Williams PhD
The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, Mark Williams et al.
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Martha Davis
The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, Jack Kornfield
When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Nutrition & Body Image
The Body Image Workbook: An Eight Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks: Thomas F. Cash, Ph.D
Diet for a New America, John Robbins
Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating, Andrew Weil
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body, Brenda Lane Richardson and Elaine Rehr
The Courage to Raise Good Men, Olga Silverstein and Beth Rashbaum
Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn
Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps to Raising More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, Christine Carter
Anam Cara, John O'Donohue
The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships, Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.
He: Understanding Masculine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, Patricia Love, Ed.D. and Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic, Esther Perel, LMFT
She: Understanding Feminine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson
We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love, Robert A. Johnson
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail and How You Can Make Yours Last, John Gottman, Ph.D.
Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleep, Rubin R. Naiman, Ph.D.
Self Healing with Sound and Music (audio cd), Andrew Weil, MD and Kimba Arem
Self Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself as Effectively as You Care for Everyone Else, Alice D. Domar, Ph.D. and Henry Dreher
1 (800) 273-8255 or 1 (800) 273-TALK. A live operator will assist you 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
For Dutchess County, NY: residents can also dial HELPLINE at 1 (845) 485-9700
Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Boston Women's Health Book Collective.
Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing, Christiane Northrup, M.D.