About

Let me introduce myself and explain my therapeutic philosophy

I have a Master of Science degree in clinical mental health counseling (LCMHC). I am a National Certified Counselor. I am presently involved in research and educational pursuits in clinical psychology. My experience is in the hospital setting, both in-patient, and out-patient. The majority of people that I have worked with suffered from comorbid mental health disorders. My job is to interpret and apply current theory and empirically validated treatments in an ethical manner that are related to your symptoms, with the goal of relieving your distress.

My philosophy. I believe when working with clients, it is important to attend to the affect, cognition, and behavior of the individual to identify any characteristics of psychopathology. In life, we achieve through effort and taking chances, and at times we go through suffering in the process. I aim to facilitate your critical life changes through action, insight, and behavior modification. The goal of therapy is to help you express, alter and understand what is causing your distress. My practice involves integrated theoretical models that are grounded in empirical theory, practice, and research to help you achieve your potential and reach your goals.

As a clinician, I believe it is important for the client to understand the nature of the therapeutic experience and the available empirical research on the client’s presenting issues. There are no secrets, and we will work towards achieving your goals in a professional therapeutic environment personalized to you. As a therapist, I have an understanding of the theories and the DSM classification of disorders and how the person’s problems develop and how we can rectify them by implementing the appropriate treatment plan.

As a clinical therapist, I chose from an array of theoretical orientations to use with a client based on the presenting complaint and the time the client may commit to the therapeutic process. Many considerations are weighed to come up with a treatment plan unique to the individual client based on their needs. Although I tend to use cognitive behavior therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, (Humanistic) person-centered, psychodynamic and narrative therapy, I will incorporate more than one modality to meet the client’s needs. Based on the client’s progression in treatment, we will modify the theoretical orientation chosen and include the best course of action to meet our therapeutic goals. As a result, this may involve trying out an alternative modality if the individual is not progressing towards the goals we have set. I have written a summary of theories used in therapy: it may assist you in having a better understanding of what counseling actual involves.

Qualifications:

  • Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. (LCMHC). Long Island
    University, New York.
    New York State License number: 007554-1
  • National Certified Counselor, (NCC).
    National certification number:328939

Associations:

  • Canadain Counseling Association (CCC).
  • American Psychological Association (APA).
  • American Counselors Association. (ACA).
  • National Board for Certified Counselors. (NBCC).
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association. (AMHCA).
  • Chi Sigma Iota. College honor society, certificate no. 83413

Practice limited to:

  • Anxiety: separation anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma and related disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders
  • Acute Stress Disorder and Adjustment disorders
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance use disorders

A brief look at some of the anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder

The most effective therapy for anxiety disorders is behavioral with secondary cognitive approaches, usually in-vivo exposure to the feared object or situation. The objective is to reduce the anxiety and manage the stress, so the somatic symptoms begin to diminish. The cognitive approach will focus on cognitive restructuring, focused cognitive therapy and psychoeducation about the fear/panic response. Techniques include anxiety management training, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, stress inoculation training, problem-solving, biofeedback, and exposure therapy.

Specific phobia

Specific phobia is a feared response in the company of an object or situation. The fear that is experienced is illogical because the fear is not related to any real danger. There are five subtypes of specific phobia. A) fear of animals, b) fear of natural environment or open spaces, c) fear of blood-injection-injury, d) fear of situations, e) fear of other category (American psychological Association, 2013).

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder consists of the fear of being embarrassed, humiliated, or being judged by others. Social situations trigger the anxiety or fear response; the individual will avoid these situations or endure them with great anguish. The fear is not in proportion to the event. The fear or anxiety must persist for six months and cause clinical, functional impairment to the individual.

Panic Disorder

Panic attacks involve intense fear, such as dying or losing control, coupled with physical symptoms. The attacks may be abrupt and peak within 10 minutes, lasting from minutes to hours. The symptoms are thought of as medically related by the individual experiencing the panic attack. Symptoms include the following: Pounding heart, choking, sweating, trembling, nausea, sweating, dizziness, confusion, and a desire to flee the location. The attacks may come out of nowhere or triggered by crowds, stress, or the anticipation of another panic attack. After the initial panic attack, the person lives in fear that they will suffer another panic attack. A panic attack is not a disorder; it is a symptom. The panic disorder diagnosis results from the constant fear that another attack will occur.

Research has noted that there appears to be a genetic component to panic disorder with 15% of first degree relatives and 30% of monozygotic twins suffering from the disorder. The most common comorbid conditions include social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, specific phobias, and alcohol use disorder. ( APA, 2013).

Agoraphobia

The anxiety and fear are about being in enclosed spaces where escape may be challenging and or embarrassing if a panic attack occurs. Including the fear that help will not be there if a panic attack occurs. The person is said to have agoraphobia when they avoid public places. (APA,2013).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD occurs when the person feels anxious all the time, and there is no real reason for the worry. The worry is excessive about almost anything, such as money, health, family, and work when there is no evidence for the individual to feel such concern. This disorder usually first occurs in children and teens and is more prevalent in women than men. Persons who suffer from GAD often feel a sense of dread that something awful will happen in the future; this is different from depression, where the person feels something bad “has” happened. Some of the symptoms of GAD are, inability to relax, tension and complaints of muscle aches, fatigue, and they may also find it difficult to concentrate. (APA, 2013).

Major Depressive Disorder

Individuals suffering from depression usually have a greater number of stressful life events occurring before the first episode of the disorder. Psychosocial stressors have less impact on later episodes. Major depressive disorder is two times more likely in adolescent and adult females than in males. The person feels unmotivated, sad, and emotionally drained. Profound psychomotor retardation, (moves slowly, heavy limbs) and agitation are the behavioral manifestations. The person suffering from this disorder will find it difficult to sleep, eat and function from day to day (APA, 2013). Twenty-five percent of the cases of major depressive disorder have a precipitating factor involved. In the elderly, approximately half of the cases are due to a precipitating event in the individual’s life. Psychotic symptoms could accompany major depressive disorder in some cases. Usually, the psychotic features are delusions that are mood congruent and rarely involve hallucinations.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA. American Psychiatric
Association, 2013.

Free phone consultation

You will need to locate a therapist that is a good match for you, to do this I offer a free phone consultation so we can get to know one another first. I provide clinical services in person or telepsychology appointments. Telepsychology is the use of communication technologies to conduct psychological services. The client may use their computer, laptop, smartphone or Android phone to communicate with me without visiting the office. The use of telepsychology services increases the access to mental health care to those that find it difficult to travel to the therapist’s location. In certain situations, I am willing to conduct sessions in your home, or alternate locations when appropriate.

What is a theoretical orientation?

A therapist’s theoretical orientation will help them to understand where the client’s problem originates from and how these issues may be solved. The theoretical modality chosen is suited to the client’s issues at hand. From this selected modality we will formulate a treatment plan specifically for you.

Theoretical orientations

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) http://www.nacbt.org/whatiscbt.htm

This type of modality is structured and directive. A CBT therapist views the individual’s beliefs, and behaviors are responsible for the development and progression of the clients presenting complaint. The goal is to identify and work to alter maladaptive beliefs and behavior. While identifying the automatic thoughts that are contributing to the maladaptive cognitions and behavior.

Behavior Therapy https://psychcentral.com/lib/about-behavior-therapy/

The focus of behavior therapy is changing the learned behavior. A behavior therapist will concentrate on learning theory, in that adaptive and maladaptive behaviors are learned through reward and punishment. Even behaviors that we see are useful and valuable to our identity could have been punished in our life at some point. Where, when and why you learned the behavior is not the focus of therapy, changing the consequences of the action will aid in altering the behavior, and learning a new behavior will replace that behavior.

Adlerian, Individual Psychology http://alfredadler.org

The focus of Adlerian psychology is on the individual, Adler felt that people are better understood as individuals. Each person has a unique social history that contributes to their personality. The character is unique to the individual and functions as a whole, not pieces or fragments of the person. This theory takes on a holistic approach in that it does not look at the person as a cluster of symptoms. Adlerian therapy is existential therapy because it deals with the problems of existence, freedom, responsibility, choice and the meaning of life.

Gestalt therapy http://www.aagt.org

Developed by Fritz Perls, Gestalt therapy, will focus on the individual that has put aside their needs, feelings and what they want in life aside, which leads to feelings of being stuck. The person has difficulty expressing their emotions because they have severed all awareness as to how they feel. Gestalt therapy aims to reintegrate the “split off” parts of the self and find mental equilibrium. When treating a client using Gestalt therapy, the disowned parts of the individual are believed to be causing the inner conflicts, and the aim is to re-center the person. The why, how or what is not necessary, the process of finding the true self is the goal.

Humanistic approaches http://personcentered.org

Humanistic therapists view all human nature to have an innate drive to reach their highest potential; it is an optimistic type of treatment that centers on the person’s values, interests, and needs. Carl Rogers came up with person-centered therapy; he believed the ultimate goal of all individuals is to become themselves. This modality works on the premise that the client needs to learn to drop the false roles or masks they wear in life. Learning to see how much of your life is guided by what you think you should be and not who you are. Do you exist only for the demands of others? Through self-actualization, self-examination and creative expression, you will become yourself. Self-determination is the core value of this modality.

Narrative Therapy http://www.narrativetherapycenter.com

Micheal White and David Epston developed narrative therapy to assist clients in telling the story of their life. The narrative therapist views the client’s issues stemming from becoming “stuck” in their “problem-saturated story.” The person tends to only focus on the problem details in their life. The goal is to deconstruct the problem-saturated narratives, to re-author the client’s experiences and come up with a different story that is more productive. The therapist will focus on separating the client from their problem while developing tools and resources for the client to use in their daily life.