Orientation to Patient Care
As you click through the website, you will get an impression of my philosophy of patient care. I would describe my approach as “relationship oriented”. I believe that restoring confidence and a positive self image comes from feeling understood and accepted the way you are. As one patient put it…”when I felt broken, you kept me safe until I could feel whole again.” I like to help patients find strengths and encourage learning coping skills to build resilience. Whether you are receiving couples counseling or individual therapy, most patients find that I can be an “active listener”-giving support sometimes and sometimes giving guidance.
At the first appointment I try to help you talk about your problems and how long they have been bothering you. We try to identify stresses in your life, and how much support you feel in meeting those demands. At the end of the session, I try to give you an opinion about what we might try to help you out. If you leave the session feeling a bit more hopeful, then I consider the session to be successful.
At your first session the couple is encouraged to openly discuss issues. Without judging who is “right” or “wrong”, I try to identify why the communication is not working. I give feedback about whether couples counseling might be a help to you. The session ends with your decision about whether to continue the evaluation. If the couple wants to continue, you will be given a questionnaire to fill out separately. This gives you an opportunity to describe in your own words, what is working and what needs changing. The evaluation also includes individual sessions for both of you to cover your personal life in more depth. We then meet to go over my written assessment about the priorities for treatment. We can try a number of techniques to help out: communication training, exercises to build up your connection, supportive counseling. I use mainstream counseling techniques for couples counseling.
As you probably realize, there are other things besides having a license that are important in choosing someone to help you out. Let me tell you a bit about myself. I just retired from a part-time position on the medical staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. I treated service members and trained young men and women who want to work as psychologists in the military. I have learned a great deal from our wounded warriors about trauma and resilience.
Even though I am experienced, I try to keep an open mind to learning new things which will help my patients and couples. I try to keep current on new developments by my graduate teaching and giving courses to professionals. I have volunteered my services to many organizations, and currently help out Fidos for Freedom (to start a program to use service animals for our wounded warriors).
Education, Professional Background and Experience
- Marist College, BA, Mathematics, Magna Cum Laude
- Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ph.D., Counseling Psychology
- Board Certified in Counseling Psychology (ABPP)
- Publications in professional journals (22)
- Formerly on the Medical Staff at the following hospitals: Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center