FAQs

What is your experience working with people?
What are your fees?
Which insurance companies do you accept?
How do I know I need counseling?
 
How do I know how to choose a counselor?  
Why do you use the word “counselor” instead of “therapist”? 
How long will counseling last for me?
What is the setting where therapy happens?
 
What is the difference between couples, and individual counseling? 
Do you prescribe psychiatric medication?  
Do you work with children?


What is your experience working with people?
I am a licensed, clinical social worker whose expertise is in helping people free themselves from the effects of hurts and injustices. I have counseled hundreds of people in many different settings, through working in agencies and hospital settings and now in my own offices in Ashburnham and Watertown, Massachusetts. 

I have helped people with debilitating sadness (depression), anxiety, suicidal feelings, substance abuse, relationship problems, isolation, stress, trauma, abuse, sexual problems, as well as problems from the effects of racism, sexism, poverty, wealth, ethnic origin, religious conflicts and other problems. Also, I help people with  questions about whether or not to stay in a relationship, parenting issues, conflicts in school or the workplace.

I have a love for my work and find immense satisfaction in assisting people to become freer to lead more fulfilling lives.


What are your fees?
I take most major insurances and offer a sliding scale for people without insurance. I try to keep my fees as reasonable as possible.


Which insurance companies do you accept?
I accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Fallon (adults only), United Behavioral Health, Cigna and several others. Contact me or your insurance company for details.


How do I know I need counseling?
 
If you have gone as far as you can with the resources and connections you have, you might consider getting some additional help. Counseling is simply getting someone’s clear attention to help you grow. I myself have regular counseling sessions to help me overcome my own difficulties in achieving my life’s goals. Many people find the benefits of counseling well worth the investment.


How do I know how to choose a counselor?
 
You have a right to ask a counselor any questions that you feel are important. It is vital that there be a good philosophical fit between you and the person you choose. (See Philosophy Section of this website)  It is important that trust be built between you and your counselor because it is important for a counselor to challenge some of your beliefs that are not helpful to you. Due to boundary considerations, a counselor may not be willing to answer some personal questions, and should explain this to you. Trust your instincts and ask questions! It may be useful to meet a counselor for a session or two before committing to a longer series of sessions.


Why do you use the word “counselor” instead of “therapist”?
 
While these words are somewhat interchangeable, I find the word counselor reflects my belief that I act as an assistant, rather than an expert. You are the expert about your life and your family. I can offer insights and ideas for you to consider, and as such, I am more of a counselor helping you make the changes you want, than the “expert” who changes you. I trust your intelligence.


How long will counseling last for me?
This varies. Sometimes just a few sessions helps a person clarify their problem and find a course of action  Sometimes, the problems are more complex and take a longer time. Some people decide to make therapy a regular part of their lives to keep working on new problems that arise. Others come for a short time and then return if some new difficult situation arises. 


What is the setting where therapy happens?
 
I have two offices, one in Ashburnham in North Central Mass and the other in Watertown, Mass in the Boston/Cambridge Area. In both locations, I offer a comfortable and private room where we sit face to face. In both offices I can meet individuals, couples and families, as well as groups.


What is the difference between couples, and individual counseling?
 
I am experienced in both couples and individual therapy. With couples, the task is usually to help the individuals have more successful conversations leading to more collaboration, kindness, understanding of each other and a more loving relationship. Individual therapy often explores a person’s current and early history which has led them to have a less than satisfying life. In both cases, people learn new skills for communicating and coping.  Occasionally, during couples counseling, it becomes clear that one or both of the people have personal difficulties that they want to address in individual counseling and they engage in individual therapy either with me or with another therapist in order to enhance the couples work. Couples can give the therapists permission to talk to each other if they think this will be useful.


Do you prescribe psychiatric medication?
 
Since I am social worker and not a doctor I do not prescribe medications. I do refer people to a psychiatrist for this if they wish, however, I usually work with people who want to solve their problems without resorting to the use of psych drugs, or who want to taper off and stop using them (under medical supervision). I have a deep trust in the healing power within each individual and often find that people turn to the use of drugs when they feel alone and hopeless about changing their life situations. Counseling often elicits a change in these feelings, giving a person a new perspective about her or his ability to change feelings and life situations. I sometimes ask them to consider trying counseling for awhile to see if things change for them, and if they still wish to get a prescription, they can talk to their doctor or I can suggest a psychiatrist. It is not unusual for people who do begin taking these medications to decide to stop after awhile due to either the unpleasant side effects or to the feeling that the drugs are not helping enough.


Do you work with children?
I do work with children. Usually I ask parents to come into the office first so that we can talk freely about how the parents see the problem. Often, if a parent has more support and information, the problem at home or in school changes. 

I also see children, either individually, or with a parent. For younger children, I offer what I call “Playlistening” which is a way to use play to discover where a child is having difficulties. 

For more information about how I work with children, see the website www.handinhandparenting.org