FAQ

Where is the office located?

87 West End Avenue Somerville, NJ 08876

It’s just off Main Street, the often-dreaded Somerville circle, and is 1 mile from the Somerville Train Station.

Is parking a pain?
There is ample free parking behind the building if you don’t want to park on the street.
When do you see patients?
I see patients during the day and evening Monday through Thursday.
Is your building handicap-accessible?
No, unfortunately. However, I offer telehealth appointments.
How long are sessions?
The initial appointment is 90 minutes. Subsequent appointments are 50 minutes.
What are your fees and what forms of payment do you accept?

I accept most major health insurance plans and Medicare. You are responsible for whatever deductible needs to be met and your co-pay or co-insurance. I accept cash, check, and credit cards for payment.

Some people choose to self-pay for reasons including not wanting their insurance company to have diagnostic or other sensitive information. The choice is completely yours.

For self-pay clients, the initial assessment is $225 and 50-minute sessions are $150.

Do you have a cancellation policy?
Those who do best in therapy attend scheduled appointments consistently. Sometimes life happens, so I have a 24-hour cancellation policy. For cancellations less than 24 hours in advance, there is no charge for appointments rescheduled for another time during the same week. Otherwise, a $50 missed-appointment fee applies except in cases of bona fide emergency.
With whom do you work?

I work with persons 18 years of age and older who have concerns about their drinking and/or drug use. I also work with persons 18 years of age and older who have concerns about drinking and/or drug use and who have a co-existing psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety or depression.

I work with persons 18 years of age and older who are concerned about a loved one’s drinking and/or drug use, persons 18 years of age and older who are experiencing anxiety or depression, and persons 18 years of age and older who have survived a major cardiac event.

How do I get started?
We’ll find a mutually agreeable day and time to meet, I’ll send some forms for you to complete in advance of our meeting, and we’ll be good to go.
Is my confidentiality protected?
I cannot release any information about you to anyone unless you sign a records release authorization form. There are some exceptions in extreme circumstances, including if I have a reason to suspect you are an imminent threat of harm to yourself, an imminent threat of harm to someone else, have been a victim of a perpetrator of child or elder abuse or neglect, or if I receive a properly executed court order.

If you are using your health insurance or employer EAP benefit, I must provide a diagnosis, date(s) of service, and type of service(s) to your insurance company. In addition, your insurance company can request some or all your treatment records.

Do I have to admit I’m an alcoholic if I want to get better? Do I have to go to AA or NA meetings?

I don’t use labels, with one exception: if a patient is using insurance benefits to cover the cost of treatment with me, I must provide a label in the form of a diagnosis to the insurance company.

I find it more important to focus on your drinking and/or drug use behavior, the effect it has on you and your loved ones, and what, if anything, you want to do about it.

If it helps you to label yourself as an alcoholic, it’s fine with me. For that matter, if it helps for you to label yourself as Oscar the Grouch, Cruella Deville, Ivan the Terrible, Mr. or Ms. Pickles, or Bud Wiser, who am I to judge?

I don’t require my patients to attend meetings as a condition of being in therapy.

You talk about alcohol, but do you see persons misusing other substances?

Absolutely! I have extensive experience working with people who use heroin and other opioids, marijuana and other THC products, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and other stimulants, and almost anything else you can think of.

Do I have to do homework?

I don’t assign homework, but I often recommend “between session activities.” These activities aren’t punishment for bad behavior but are intended to supplement or reinforce ideas discussed in therapy or to assist with maintaining commitment to the change process.

The more you invest in the process of change, the more quickly and efficiently you reach your change goals. I don’t deduct points for spelling, punctuation, or grammar on these activities.

What are the risks and benefits of therapy?

The main risks are that you may experience painful thoughts and feelings and that there is no guarantee that you will achieve your change goals. In addition, you run the risk of surrendering self-defeating patterns of thoughts and actions, thereby letting go of some of your most treasured, dysfunctional beliefs.

Benefits of therapy may include improvements in relationships, solutions to specific problems, significant reductions in feelings of distress, and achievement of your change goals. In addition, a benefit is that you can surrender old, ineffective, self-defeating patterns of thoughts and actions and let go of some your most treasured, dysfunctional beliefs.

How long does therapy last?

Therapy lasts as long as it needs to or as long as you want it to. The more time and effort you invest in working to achieve your change goals, the faster it goes. Be aware that health insurance companies only provide reimbursement for services they deem “medically necessary,” and this can have an impact on how long therapy lasts.

It’s also dependent on the nature of the issues you have and the extent to which those issues impact you.

My job is to help you reach your goals as quickly and compassionately as possible and then to say good-bye, wish you the best of luck, and remind you that you can return in the future if it’s necessary.

Where did you go to school, what are your credentials, and how long have you been practicing?
I received my undergraduate degree with high honors in Psychology and my Master’s of Social Work degree at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have been in practice for over 30 years.
Do you prescribe medication?

I am not licensed to prescribe medications. If we agree that a medication evaluation may be helpful to you, there are several competent and qualified psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners to whom I can refer you.

Medication can be helpful in certain situations, but there are very effective treatments for the conditions that I typically see in my practice that do not require medication.

What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?
The joy and satisfaction of witnessing the resilience of the human spirit and seeing the changes and transformation my patients make are feelings that can’t be described by any word or words in the English dictionary.
Have you been in therapy?
Yes, at several different times in my life. I’ve found it helpful, and I highly recommend it!