I use an integrative approach to therapy that draws from a range of psychological theories, tailoring my therapeutic approach to the unique needs of each individual I work with.
My style is an interactive one; rather than listen passively, I am attentive, share insight, make respectful and empathic suggestions, and responsively participate throughout the counseling sessions.
Couples and Relationship Therapy
- improving communication
- working through repeated disagreements
- strengthening intimacy and connection
- addressing difficult topics (i.e. money, sex, work, etc.)
- recovering from affairs and infidelities
- life transitions (i.e. newly married or engaged,
moving in together, addition of children to your
family, empty nest, retirement, etc.)
Pre-surgery Evaluations for Bariatric, Cosmetic, and Transplant Surgeries
Most surgeons and insurance companies require a psychological evaluation prior to bariatric and other types of surgery. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure that patients understand the surgery and the impact it will have on their lives, and that they are emotionally prepared to undergo the surgery and the changes afterward. Research has shown that the success of many surgeries often relates to factors assessed in a psychological evaluation.
The evaluation includes a face-to-face interview, psychological tests administered personally by me and on the computer, and paper and pencil questionaires; several ways to gather information about a person's background, personality, and goals for the surgery. The full evaluation takes about 3 hours to administer. The testing identifies personal strengths as well as possible areas that need to be addressed prior to the surgery. A final report is sent to your surgeon who generally forwards it along with other material to the insurance company.
Appointments are often available within 14 business days, and the written report is usually completed 7 to 10 business days from the time of the assessment. Many insurance plans offer reimbursement for the evaluation.
If you are like many people, you may have anxiety or worry regarding the psychological evaluation. Some people fear that if they have a current mental health issue or history of mental illness, that would preclude them from being approved for surgery. Not necessarily. In fact, only 5 % - 10% of people evaluated have their surgery postponed. What is more important is how you are currently coping with these psychological challenges and how likely are you to cope with the post-operative recovery and lifestyle changes that will be required. The evaluation is not to put an obstacle in your path, but to ensure your health and well-being.
Fertility Related Services / Donor Screening, Recipient Screening, Surrogacy Screening
Modern biotechnology has made possible previously ‘inconceivable’ medical achievements and brought the joy of parenthood to many who might otherwise be childless. Still, these procedures can raise emotional and ethical questions that deserve careful consideration.
Psychological evaluations of egg donors, gestational carriers (surrogates), and recipients (aspiring parents) are encouraged and often required as part of the screening process. The psychological evaluation is performed with a thorough review of the following topics:
Outside stressors and potential scheduling conflicts;
Past history of psychological counseling/treatment;
History of substance abuse;
Emotional resolution regarding donation of genetic material;
Commitment to completing the program requirements.
The psychological evaluation is of crucial importance because it ensures the donor/surrogate/recipient is psychologically appropriate to be a donor/surrogate/recipient (i.e., she is mature, responsible and has no underlying psychopathology) and comprehends what she is proposing to undertake.
A primary goal of psychological screening is to make sure that all participants (donor, recipient, and surrogate) can and will fulfill the complex requirements they have chosen to undertake. Failure to follow instructions can endanger your health and jeopardize the procedure. We want to minimize any chance that you will have regrets or psychological problems, or find the procedures traumatic.
The decision to adopt a child is one of the most important of your life. It is a time of tremendous excitement and considerable stress. The goal of adoption evaluations is not to be a stumbling block or deterrent on your path to adoption but to determine if there are mental health concerns that may need to be addressed before proceeding with adoption. This is to safeguard the interests of the adoptive child as well as the adoptive parent. It offers that added assurance that families have been evaluated for risk factors which might interfere with parenting.
The psychological evaluation of a prospective adoptive parent typically involves a comprehensive interview, the administration of a true/false questionnaire (such as the MMPI-2), other psychological test instruments as deemed appropriate, and occasionally a review of pertinent records. The evaluation usually takes place over 3-4 hours. Appointments often can be scheduled within 14 business days and the written report is usually available 7 to 10 business days from the date of assessment.
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