I try to anticipate questions you might have about our counseling and provide the answers here. If you need additional information click here to email me through my contact form.
What are the benefits of counseling?
The goal for everyone that I see is to develop a better sense of self and a greater sense of satisfaction in their lives. They feel better about themselves and see improvement in the quality of their relationships. My clients develop skills to be able to interact with others in such a way that they are more respectful to their own needs while being respectful to the needs of others.
Although miracles do not always occur, I have helped innumerable couples save their relationships when one or both of them were initially certain that their love could not be restored.
In other cases, I have helped many individuals who have a history of being victimized in their relationships develop the skills to become self-protective and the self-esteem necessary to find happiness and satisfaction in their lives.
What is your counseling philosophy?
I believe that everyone has a right to happiness and satisfaction. A sense of fulfillment is obtained when an individual is fully accepting of his/her self and respectful of the needs of others. Ideally each individual is raised to believe that he/she is special just by virtue of being themselves. In less than ideal situations, the person’s experiences lead them to negative self-perceptions and a sense of shame about who they are. I help people overcome these negative self-images and gain a sense of acceptance of their true selves.
What is your approach like?
I take a commonsense, practical approach to counseling. I pay particularly close attention to relationships and family dynamics. My major focus is on what is going on in the individual’s life in the present. Sometimes it can be useful to look at one’s childhood, however, because as children we develop patterns of interaction and roles that served us well with our circumstances growing up, but can lead to dysfunction as adults.
What are your particular strengths as a therapist?
Perhaps my greatest strength is my ability to work effectively with both individuals who are taken advantage of in relationships and their partners who are taking advantage of them. I was the founder and executive director of a not for profit agency that provided individual and marriage counseling to police officers and their families. By working for twenty-five years with the police, I became particularly effective with working with men who are resistant to counseling and their spouses. I believe my ability to make a positive connection with authoritarian men as well as their wives and girlfriends sets me apart from most therapists.
I also believe that the fact that I genuinely like my clients gives me a leg up. To a greater of lesser degree I can relate to every person who I have ever seen in counseling. The natural empathy that arises from this makes me feel a true investment in whether or not my clients’ problems are resolved.
What are your feelings about anti-depressant medications?
The advances that have been made over the past twenty years in the field of psychotropic medication has been a great benefit to many and has even saved many lives. However, I believe that the medical field has developed an over reliance on their use. Too many people are turning to pills for a quick fix when they need to take a look at their lives and make changes in the ways they cope with problems and relate to others. I consider myself to be an “old fashioned” counselor who fully supports the use of anti-depressant medication when it is truly indicated and when it is used as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
Will my insurance cover counseling?
Most health insurance policies will cover all or a portion of psychotherapy for problems that fit the criteria for a diagnosis such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Other problems such as couples communication issues and general life dissatisfaction are not covered by insurance. When we meet a determination is made about whether it is in your best interests to pursue insurance reimbursement. I am on the panel for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medicare. Depending on each individual’s policy, other companies–Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare, for example–have out of network benefits. I am happy to submit claims to the insurance company on the client’s behalf and I only expect to receive the co-payment from the client. Some people make a payment after each session and others prefer to be billed on a monthly basis.
What is your fee and do you ever offer a reduction?
My full fee after the initial meeting is $165 per session. If one does not have insurance that will pay a portion of this or if one’s financial situation is tight, then we can talk about a reduction in the fee. Since everyone’s situation is different, the decision is determined on a case by case basis.
Do you work evenings?
I am in Northbrook on Monday and Wednesday in the evening and in Oak Brook on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
How do I make an appointment?
It is easiest to call or text me at (847) 707-0657. The office numbers are (847) 272-7089 (Northbrook office) or (630) 571-8722 (Oak Brook office). If you prefer to e-mail, my address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I make every effort to schedule people as quickly as possible, usually within three days.