Current and former clients: please let me know how our work together was helpful to you.
I see that you're a social worker. Can social workers do therapy?
Want to know what other clients have said about working with me? Click here.
What is solution-focus
The basic ideas
for solution-focus brief therapy
began over 30 years ago. Steve de Shazer became
interested in what
people do that help them find solutions to the problems that brought
his office. This was a very different way of thinking about
still is). Most therapy is practiced from a theory.
So the client
is viewed through the lens of the therapist's theoretical orientation.
de Shazer was doing was very different; he was learning what works from
who were figuring things out. De Shazer learned to ask useful
and these questions helped the client think in more positive and useful
about their predicaments. As he developed these useful
the clients, he applied them to other clients keeping the ones that
Later with his wife, Insoo Kim Berg, and other therapists at
Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they continued to
research and develop
the solution-focused approach. Finally in 1982, they called
were doing, solution-focus brief therapy. I think a useful
grasping what solution focus is about is to imagine that someone says
therapist that they have a problem 98% of their waking hours.
traditional therapist who might practice from a problem focused
want to know a lot about the 98%. The solution-focused
therapist would be
interested in the 2%. TOP
What is the difference between brief
and short-term therapy?
focus of short-term therapy is usually on
the number of sessions. For example, the therapist might tell
that they have 20 sessions together and anything that is to be
will have to be completed within the 20 sessions. Brief
therapy, as we
define it, is as many sessions as necessary to develop a satisfactory
to the problem that motivated you to seek help and not one session more
than that. In my experience as a brief therapist, I usually
find that brief
therapy is actually shorter than short-term therapy. TOP
But my problems are very complicated;
I need a lot of sessions?
would be true if we focused on the
problems rather than what you want to be different and more satisfying
life. I suppose it's like taking a trip. By having
direction (goal), there's a much better chance you're going to get
useful and get there more briefly than without a plan. In
Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change , a well
respected book that
covers over 60 years of psychotherapy research, states that in
studies of brief and time unlimited therapy there are virtually no
in terms of both long-term and short-term results.
What should I expect when I meet with you?
we first meet, I will ask you to think
about how you will know that our meetings together are being useful to
you. This will be the question that will begin our journey
Pretty much the rest of the time will be spent putting the
that difference. Once I've gathered as much information about
your vision of
a better future as I need, I'll probably take a break, go off by
my notes, think about our conversation, and then return to share those
with you. I might (and probably will) have a suggestion of
you to do, or think about after you return home. TOP
How often will we meet?
we will continue to meet, how often,
and when we should schedule our next appointment will be your decision
to make. There's no evidence to show that there's any advantage in
My experience tells me that most of what happens that moves
therapy in a
positive direction occurs between sessions: in your real life.
How much do you charge?
charge $55 each session for the first four sessions and $80 each session for any
additional sessions. Because I work briefly, usually 3 or 4
sessions are sufficient to get you on track. The first
session is often longer than the others. I don't stick
rigidly to a 50
minute session; it could be longer, it could be shorter depending upon
accomplish together. TOP
Do you have a sliding scale?
the fee schedule above,
there really isn't a need. But, if $55 is still too much,
me - we'll work out something. I can also process credit
(Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) if that's more
convenient for you. TOP
Do you take insurance?
often struggled with this question. I think that
managed care puts a third person in-between a therapist and the client
treatment decisions that should best be made together by a therapist and the
Having said that, I realize the financial responsibilities that we all
have. While reluctant to do so, I have applied to become a
provider for a number of health care organizations. Insurance companies
most often make the decision to accept or reject a clinician
based soley on the number of providers already registered with
them in any given region. As I am accepted, I will
insurances companies with whom I'm affiliated here. If you
interested in my approach and working with me, most insurance companies
have a way of "nominating" a provider. You can call your own
company or search their website for further information.
AETNA (out of network)
ValueOptions (CHCS, Empire, Medicare Advantage, MVP Medicare Network, Great
West Health Plan, ValueOptions
Commercial Non HMO, MVP Commercial HMO
Network, MVP Commercial Non HMO Network-IPA, Emblem
Emblem Medicare, Emblem Medicaid)
Empire Blue Cross
Beacon Health Strategies
Affinity Health Plan
Hudson Health Plan (mental health services are administered by Beacon Health Strategies)
Catholic Charities of Orange County (EAP and Parish Counseling Network)
Multiplan PHCS, PHCS Savility
Empire Plan (NY State Employees)
I also take Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
PLEASE NOTE: Since the Affortable Care Act, many insurance companies now offer a low cost policy with a high deductible. If you are insured by your employer, you may also be insured under a high deductible policy in order to keep costs down. What this means is that you must first pay out of pocket before your insurance will cover services. The deductible can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Before you call for an appointment, I suggest that you contact your insurance company and ask about your policy so there won't be any surprises.
I don't live near you, but I would really
like the idea of working solution-focused. Can this be
You can check with the following webpage: http://www.sfbta.org/SF_therapists.html.
Here you will find a list of therapists who state that they
practice solution-focus. If you are interested in working
specifically, it is possible to do this even if your don't
near-by. I have done phone
counseling with clients in other parts of this country and
other countries as well.
I also have an internet meeting site. You can complete a contact form and let me know of your interest. Just prior to your session date, I will email instructions.
Payment for therapy sessions can be made on-line. See the therapy payment page.
Be aware that there are many therapists who claim to be solution focused who are anything but solution focused. For more information about how to judge whether someone is really solution focused, click here or watch this video by clicking on the picture (requires Adobe Flash).
All right, I'm ready to
make the move. How do I contact you to set up our
simple: contact me or
If you are a current or a former client and would be willing to give feedback of your experience, you can do so by going to the feedback page. Want to know what other clients have said about working with me? Click here.
I see that you're a social worker. Can social workers do therapy?
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), I am recognized by New York State as having the education, training and experience that allows me to "diagnose and treat mental illness." We have many years of meta-analysis of psychotherapy outcome (meta-analysis is the results of various studies on therapy). Some of this research outcome compares the effectiveness of different professional disciplines. Here are a few relevant quotes:
"It should be emphasized that few differences in outcome rates have been found among therapists of different disciplines, however among therapists representing the three major mental health professions [psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers], social workers adopted a more direct and problem-centered approach to treatment and when differences in outcome rates did accrue, they tended to favor social workers." (Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, 3rd edition).
"Respondents were asked to reate the severity of their problem at the time they sought treatment and again at the end. A very similar percentage of those seeing psychologists and those seeing psychiatrists indicated that they had improved on this scale. Those who saw social workers, however, rated their improvement somewhat higher." (Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, 5th edition).
Simply put, in terms of positive outcome from psychotherapy, social workers did at least as well as psychiatrists and psychologists. One last note, when psychiatrists were recently surveyed, it was found that 90% reported that they no longer did psychotherapy.
further information contact