+ How do i/we get started?
I invite you to schedule a FREE 15 min phone consultation with me. I offer a convenient and secure electronic way of scheduling this time for us to talk (you're welcome to call me directly if you don't think you can wait until my next availability = 203-429-4515). Once you have the time booked, I will give you a call at the number you provided.
Please select a time/day when you can speak comfortably in private. Before our consultation, **think about the 2-3 most important things that urged you to contact me and what you hope to get out of counseling. ** During this time, I can answer any further questions you may have about me and my practice.
+ Do you take insurance?
I am private-pay and will work with your insurance as an out-of-network **provider. **
Why I am not an in-network provider:
I understand that in many other areas of care we rely on our insurance, but there are very clear reasons why more and more specialized therapists do not take insurance.
Insurance companies demand that we provide a mental illness diagnosis, as well as control the frequency and duration of psychotherapy sessions. In other words, they want to know if therapy is "medically necessary" and even then, managed care companies will decide when you're "feeling better" before you do. These stipulations are in direct conflict with what I offer in therapy and the guiding principles of my practice.
I believe my clients who come to improve their intimate relationships are not "patients", nor are they "sick."
I believe in giving YOU full control of your therapy.
I believe in maintaining your privacy.
Remember that once anything is disclosed to insurance companies, they keep your personal therapy information in their permanent records, which may negatively impact you in the future.
Like any other health services, therapy is considered a medical expense, which can often be a tax write-off (I encourage you to talk to your accountant). Also, many clients opt to pay for therapy through their pre-taxed FSA/HSA (contact your Human Resources personnel to obtain the necessary information).
**So what are your options if you can't go completely out-of-pocket? **
- You can choose to use of your Out of Network benefits (most plans will reimburse you for 50-90% of your session fees). In this case, I will provide you with a monthly bill that includes all of your payments that you can submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.
I can provide you with all the questions you need to ask your insurance company about OON or do the inquiry on your behalf to make the process easier for you.
+ How much can i expect to pay?
COUPLES Diagnostic asssessement session ~ $340/90 mins
COUPLES Individual assessment sessions ~ $200/60 mins per partner.
COUPLES Sessions ~ $225/60mins
DISCERNMENT COUNSELING SESSION 1 (2 hours): $450
DISCERNMENT COUNSELING SESSIONS 2-5 (90mins): $350
INDIVIDUAL Diagnostic assessment session ~ $340/90mins
INDIVIDUAL Sessions ~ $185/50 mins
+ How does marriage counseling work?
The work begins from our very first session together. I know you are in distress and you don't want to waste any time.
We will start with a 90 minute couples assessment session during which I will answer questions you may have about any of the intake forms you will have filled out and the therapy process. Then you will share what brings you to marriage counseling, the common arguments you have, and I will ask some preliminary questions about you and the relationship (I will begin tracking where your relationship may be getting stuck). This session will help us determine if we are a good fit and if we feel ready to move forward.
Then there will be two 60 minute individual sessions with each of you to gather your personal histories (how you grew up, past relationships, etc.). These individual sessions are very important for the rest of the couples work. The individual sessions are strictly confidential.
After the two individual sessions, we will reconvene for a 60 minute couples counseling session where I will share with you the most pressing problem areas that I noted from our prior sessions. I will share with you my thoughts and recommendations for moving forward. I will provide you with a thorough overview of my process (I believe in being 100% transparent) and answer any further questions that may have come up for you along the way.
From this point forward, we will meet weekly (60 minute sessions) and frequently check-in to make sure we all feel on track with your goals. Over the course of couples counseling, should you or I feel that it's important to have an individual session, we will make the necessary arrangements.
+ How long will it take?
I wish I could give you a straight forward answer! However there are so many variables at play. The most important is your degree of committment and engagement in therapy. Are you and your partner all in? Are you ready to be fully open and honest about your relationship? Are there secrets that are going to impede your progress?
Another key variable is your specific reason for coming to therapy. Somtimes couples/individuals come to therapy to tackle sexual discrepancy issues, which in fact can be resolved in a handful of sessions. And then, there are often times more complex relational issues at hand (and sex is only a part of the equation), which require their due course. Did you know that on avergae, couples wait 6-7 years from the time tensions first arose to seek counseling? Think about it... At least 6 YEARS(!) of hurt and frustration to unpack. Many times there are deep wounds that formed as a result of infidelity and/or deceite. These cannot be processed in just a handful of sessions.
As a guideline, most couples experience a noticeable improvement in their interactions after 10-12 consecutive (weekly) sessions (when the whole couple is committed to the process both in and out of therapy). After this period, most couples will feel less disconnected: maybe you won't be arguing as much and/or you'll start getting on the same page about the kids; so you'll think "Great! We're all set now." Yes, you'll definitely be on the right track by then. However, in order to re-establish a safe bond and ensure lasting connection, you will most likely need more sessions. Remember, this is not a sprint.
My goal is to set you up on a solid path together where you no longer need me (urgently!) in order to have those important conversations. The last thing I want is for you to be back in intensive couples counseling or worse, believe your relationship is doomed simply because you ended therapy prematurely. Therapy is an emotional and financial investment, this is why it's important that you be dedicated to see the full process through to improve your relationship and truly benefit from this investment. I will do my part to provide you with a laser-focused process to guide you there.
For individual psychotherapy, typically my clients prefer weekly or twice-weekly sessions. Again depending on what brings you to therapy, 3 months is most common before extending the frequency of our meetings. Many clients appreciate and benefit from continued contact with me even if the original issues that had brought them to therapy have been worked through. I value and always enjoy nurturing long-term relationships with many of my clients. So much of what makes therapy effective (80% of the variable!) is a close and trusting relationship between client and therapist.
+ i've/we've been to therapy before. What makes you different?
I completely understand your ambivalence, especially if you've been to therapy before and it has felt like nothing worked. In fact, most of my clients have been to therapy (usually in individual counseling) before and note how unaddressed issues from their past have corroded so many aspects of their lives, especially their relationships.
I have always approached my work with individuals and couples from a relational perspective. I conceptualize the various issues from a trained stance based in attachment theory that is predicated on the belief that we thrive and seek secure bonds with the most important people in our lives. As a result, a trusting relationship with my clients is central to my providing and clients internalizing the process of therapy. I am not interested in giving you homework, telling you that you just need to stop thinking negative thoughts, and handing you a bunch of coping skills to send you on your way.
I want you to have a real experience of change from the inside out. I want this committment you are making to yourself and your relationship to work for YOU. I rely on my therapeutic skills, my ability to attune to the deeper emotions, and I trust the relationship I have with my clients to be real with them.
Having obtained extensive post-graduate training in relationship therapy modalities and being CERTIFIED IN EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED THERAPY equipe me with the expertise and confidence it takes to work with two people in the room who have so much vested in coming to therapy. Additionally, because I am passionate about relationships, I continously attend trainings and conferences focused primarily on relationships, couples and intimacy. Being specialized in relationships enables me to incorporate in my sessions all that I have learned from my past and on-going trainings; because at the end of the day, I am here to help YOUR relationship -- and sometimes, it takes different approaches (or "languages" if you will) to shed light on the central issues that inhibit you from having the most fulfulling intimate partnerships.
Evidenced-based relational counseling modalities -- like EFT -- are proven to not only be effective for couples, but are also transformative for each partner, which is why I can help you process your relationship experiences even if you're coming to see me on your own. Think of relationships like those mobiles over baby cribs: when you move one piece, the others will move as well.
Feel free to read more about me and my philosophy.
Also, you can cozy-up with your favorite drink and read my blog. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with me, my approaches, and pick up a few free tips along the way (win-win!!).
+ Does couples counseling even work?
We've all seen those shows and movies where couples attend therapy and it's a total disaster: everyone's yelling, the therapist has lost complete control, and one (or both!) partner storms out.
Some therapies will teach you communcation skills and send you on your way. However, learning how to speak "nicely" to each other does not address the deeper reasons why all this animosity began in the first place. (Plus, if your B.S. detector is set to high, you'll never believe the words coming out of your mouth, let alone those coming out of your partner's!!).
Couples counseling in the hands of a therapist who is not specialized in this area can in fact leave you feeling dissatisfied at best or hopeless about your relationship at worst. Just like you would see an oncologist to treat a cancer (and not your PCP), you should enturst your relationship to someone who has the training and a keen understanding of what it means to work with couples and will fight for your relationship.
So with that said, the answer is yes! While not all couples counseling methods are created equal, Emotionally Focused Therapy does work. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is deemed by the American Psychological Association as the gold-standard of couples therapies. It has the largest positive outcome than any other couples therapy modality. **In fact, typically, by 12 sessions, 70-75% of couples moved from distress to recovery, and EFT is effective for 90% of couples! **
Part of the greatest strengths of this modality is that it is focused on addressing the root-cause of the couple's disconnection, rather than solely putting a band-aid on the symptoms.
Emotionally Focused Therapy hones in on the emotions that fuel the communication, which organically improves your communication in a systemic and genuine way.
+ we don't have a traditional marriage. Can we talk about it?
Of couse you can! If my years working with couples have taught me anything, it is that there is no single, universal definition of marriage (or monogamy). Couples create their own boundaries around what it means to be in a committed relationship.
I never see my role as one of moral arbiter because I have full respect for the unique beauty and qualities of each individual and the relationship they create together.
What I am here for as your couples therapist is to **open up enough emotional space and security to communicate in an authentic way what you each desire for your relationship. **
+ what if i want to see you on my own?
Whether you are in a relationship where your partner is not yet willing to be in couples counseling, you choose to tackle some personal issues before couples counseling, or you are not in a committed relationship because they never feel fulfilling, we can work together to unpack the essence of what leaves you so dissatisfied and disconnected. **Our destination is defined by your answer to my question: what does an intimate emotional connection mean to you? **
In couples and individual counseling, I devote genuine attention and interest in the individual, personal experiences of my clients, because I firmly believe that until you can really see that part of yourself that has kept your defenses up all your life, no amount of superfluous counseling is going to saciate what you need in order to bring your best-self forward.
+ Do you offer online therapy?
Yes I do. While I encourage and prefer in-person therapy, I also know that sometimes we need to have a session but don't have the time to commute to my office. Also, because I am licensed in both Connecticut and New York, I'm able to offer marriage counseling and individual therapy to anyone who seeks my services. Find out more about secure telehealth counseling set up and FAQs.
+ Feeling ready to schedule a counseling session. What's next?
I am so honored that you have decided to move forward with scheduling a counseling session with me! After your FREE 15 minute phone consultation, we will book your first assessment session (this first in-person appointment is an opportunity for us to get to know each other to make sure we're a good fit, and for you to share with me what has prompted you to seek counseling). I will direct you to my secure online portal for the forms that must be completed as part of your in-take to my practice. The completion of these forms is necessary to confirm your first appointment. I have a standard 24 hr. cancellation policy, so if you suspect that for any reason you won't be able to make it to your appointment, please remember to cancel no later than 24 hrs. before your scheduled session. I look forward to meeting you and embarking on this journey together.