I provide psychotherapy for patients adjusting to aging, chronic illness or acquired disability, and their caregivers in the following modalities: individual, couples, family, and group. Telehealth is available as well.
Why should I see a therapist?
According to the National Health Council, approximately 40% of Americans live with a chronic illness. The CDC estimates 26% of adult Americans live with some type of disability. Many chronic illnesses and acquired disabilities require strict adherence to a treatment regimen to prevent further complications and premature death. The co-occurrence of psychiatric conditions influences patients’ ability to adhere to these requirements. Even the experience of emotional distress often coincides with adjustment to a long-term illness or disability in the absence of a severe psychiatric disorder.
Additionally, the National Alliance for Caregiving estimates 29% of adults are involved in some type of caregiving for a disabled or aging relative. Caregivers face a number of demands for their time and energy, including assisting in activities of daily living, meal preparation, transportation to appointments, and financial management. Over time, these demands take a toll on caregivers, who struggle to find mental health assistance as they face barriers with transportation or finding someone to watch their loved one while they attend an appointment.
I offer services specializing in this population, meaning I have the knowledge, training, and skills to empathize and guide patients to more effective management of their condition. I provide a space for caregivers to share their concerns, feelings of being overwhelmed, and to process any conflicting emotions about the role they fulfill. My office is located in a wheelchair accessible building to accommodate clients with mobility issues. I also offer telehealth services for clients unable to leave their residence for various reasons.
How long will we meet?
Each session typically lasts 45-60 minutes. The length of time clients spend working with me varies and depends on their particular situation. Some folks need just a few sessions to talk an issue through, while others prefer or need more intensive work. The range of visits I’ve seen is anywhere from one initial consultation to 40+ sessions over the course of two years. We will work together to decide what feels right for you.
My average number of sessions is approximately 10, which might occur weekly, bi-weekly, or spread out over several months. I ask that, beyond the initial consultation, you commit yourself to attending at least 3 sessions with me. While we will have an on-going dialogue about what is helpful and what isn’t, if we begin to approach a one-year mark, we will have an in-depth discussion about the need for further treatment. You and I will decide together on how often to meet.
What happens in therapy?
During our first few sessions, I would like to get a full picture of you and your history. This information allows me to make a diagnosis (as needed for insurance). Along with your stated goals for coming to therapy, a diagnosis also informs what interventions we pursue.
The most significant part of the therapeutic process is the development of a relationship with the therapist. That can feel strange to some people, and we’ll certainly talk about things most people don’t say out loud. To provide you with a good therapeutic experience, I will listen, approach your case non-judgmentally, and take extra effort to understand your frame of mind.
We will check in with each other every few sessions or so to ensure we are working on the goals you set. The end of therapy, also called termination, is another example of how this relationship can feel strange. One day, you will knowingly and intentionally not return to my office. We’ll talk about that as part of our work together. It’s all part of the process!
Are you the right therapist for me?
This question sets up my favorite response of all time: it depends!
When I reflect on the strongest bonds I’ve had with patients, here are some of the characteristics that made therapy effective:
- More often than not, the patient/family showed up on time and cancelled/rescheduled infrequently.
- The patient/family considered what to discuss before the session to maximize their time (and money).
- The patient/family tried to remain open to direct feedback and were willing to share reactions with me.
- The patient/family understood their role of responsibility in making changes and cultivated a willingness to try new things in between sessions, even if they were difficult.
As part of an evaluation for a spinal cord stimulator, we will work together to determine what strengths you have going into the procedure and what actions you can take before, during, and after to maximize success with the device.
Why do I need to have an evaluation?
If you are considering surgery for a spinal cord stimulator, your physician will order a pre-surgical evaluation to determine your suitability. Research supports this step in the treatment process in terms of enhancing prognosis. Many of the patients I’ve evaluated have seen this step as an unnecessary hurdle in the process of obtaining pain relief. I encourage you to keep an open mind with a focus on achieving an optimal outcome for your treatment.
How long will the evaluation last?
A typical evaluation takes 2-3 hours. Prior to your visit, I will request you have medical records sent to me for my review. The remainder of the evaluation involves an interview and various tests/questionnaires. More often than not, I will be able to tell you my initial impressions same-day. Then, I will generate a report to send to your referring physician and mail a copy of recommendations to you.
What if I've been diagnosed with a mental disorder before?
Having a history of mental health or substance use problems does not negate your need for medical treatment. We certainly will discuss relevant aspects of your history and collaborate on the best option for you. Depending on the situation, I might recommend you undergo counseling prior to the surgery or afterwards. The bottom line is that I need a full picture of your current functioning to provide the best recommendations I can – it is for you.
Consultation & Speaking Engagements
I provide consulting services to healthcare teams to resolve conflict among staff, manage difficult patient behaviors, and to handle burnout. Also, I’m available for in-services, workshops, and brown bag sessions.
Healthcare Team Consultation
Does your team struggle with managing difficult behaviors from patients or staff? Is turnover high? Morale low? More people calling in sick? Or expressing more burnout? Are you seeing an increase in patient complaints?
These are concerns I’ve experienced in many healthcare settings, and they impact patient care in both direct and indirect ways. As part of my consultation services, I will work with your team to understand what is and isn’t going well. I will encourage a collaborative process to facilitate decision-making on steps to improve services.
The following list of speaking topics are not exhaustive. I’m happy to cater a workshop or brown bag session to your needs.
- Psychosocial Considerations for Neurorehabilitation
- Understanding Personality and Mood Changes in Rehabilitation
- Privilege and Implicit Bias in Healthcare
- Screening for Suicide in Medical Settings
- Empowering Patients with Chronic Pain
- Enhancing Staff Morale and Cohesion
- Supporting Caregivers
Get In Touch
1520 Old Henderson Rd., Suite E
Columbus, OH 43220
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12p-4p
Tuesday, Thursday: 8a-2p
Other appointments available upon request.