When I was in college, a philosopher instructor once said to me that a person with a question often has some vague notion of what the answer is. Moreover, he found the question much more interesting than the answer, as questions are often paradigms that have an array of answers depending on the context of the question.
In this manner, consultation is about understanding and clarifying the question(s) embedded in the issues presented. People who see me for consultation are often looking for information, direction, confirmation or validation.
Consultation is usually brief as it does not entail deeper psychological or emotional exploration or focus. I like to use the analogy of a pit stop at the Daytona 500, where the driver drives in his car to troubleshoot a problem while getting equipment checked, fixed and/or replaced, and quickly returning to the road track.
Psychotherapy is a process of assessment, support, and intervention. Psychotherapy is also goal oriented that is mutually agreed upon. However, in the initial stages, the goals are not always clear or need to be augmented if not changed over time. Often times this is because of what is presented as a problem is a symptom of the problem or there are other factors involved that also need further exploration. An example of this would be somebody coming in for depression or anxiety that could be related to relationship, work or family issues aside from whatever coping difficulties an individual may have.
In the early days of any therapists’ career, the question of what theoretical approach they are going to utilize becomes a critical professional choice. Some therapists know from the beginning what orientation they want to pursue, others find it as daunting an existential question as “Who am I? Most therapists incorporate a combination of theoretical orientations based on the type of clients they see. Obviously, not all approaches work well with all clients which is why certain therapist have specializations and will only work with certain types of clients.
My initial work began working with children where the principle modalities were play therapy and behavioral intervention. Very soon I saw the importance of working with parents and incorporated family systems as a means of treating the relational system, not just the individual. This morphs into couples work since it is not uncommon that child issues are related to parents’ relational issues. This was the focus of my study and work for the first ten years of my work.
Over the course of my career, I have incorporated other various psychotherapy approaches that include CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy), Psychodynamic(Object Relations), Attachment Theory approaches, Motivational Family Systems(Structural/Strategic) Motivational Interviewing, Critical Incident Debriefing/Management, and Group Therapy(Yalom/Tavistock) and Humor.
My philosophy is to fit the person to the model and so it is not uncommon that I switch or alternate my approach to the type(s) of problems a client is presenting. Everybody is unique and so my approach varies to the person(s)’ distinctness. I have a practical approach and I know I am on track whenever I hear “that makes sense,” in a spontaneous utterance.
Ultimately, what makes psychotherapy work is not just the psychotherapy model or approach, it is the relationship, and this has been proven over the course of many research studies. Instilling a good connection with a therapist is usually necessary for a good therapeutic relationship.
For clients with routine day to day problems I have found that having a neutral person that they can sound off to is therapeutic enough. While on the other hand some clients may require cognitive restructuring, relaxation techniques, and strategic approaches to face troubling problems or issues. Whatever the need, my approaches and techniques are specifically tailored to the individual, their needs, their issues, and their willingness to incorporate suggestions or interventions they see most fitting.
Medication and other remedies
In regards to prescribing or suggesting medications, I am unable to do so, only physicians and other health providers can. However, I have knowledge of basic pharmacology and I am aware of the benefits of medication, and if I feel that symptoms are severe enough, I will recommend a medication evaluation by your doctor or a psychiatrist. Despite the evidence that medication is usually more helpful in controlling systems, many people are resistive to taking it. Medications combined with psychotherapy are the most effective form of treating psychological and emotional issues.
There is also an array of non-prescribed medications, herbs, and supplements that people find helpful. Many supplements lack evidence on their effectiveness, no greater than placebo. These remedies are rarely put to the test in double-blind studies the gold standard for scientific research. Buyer beware.
I can help you with...
· Social, Work, and Family issues
· Life Transitions(Marriage, separation, death, Identity)
· Cultural Issues
· Custody(Family Reunification, Co-parenting)
· Child and Adolescent (School, AD/HD, Behavioral, etc.)
· Substance Abuse
· Domestic Violence
· Management Work Referrals
· Critical Incident Stress Debriefing/Management
· Family Therapy
· Life Coaching
· Training and Education(Stress Management, Cultural Awareness, and Supervised Visitation)
Initial Consultation $130
Subsequent fees vary from $120-$150 per hour.
Some Insurance coverage, check your provider listings.