Frequently Asked Questions
▾ Hours and location
- What are your hours?
Monday through Friday, with starting times of 8 to 4:30.
- Do you have an office in the suburbs?
No, not at present.
▾ Making an appointment
- How do I make an appointment?
If you are interested in making an appointment call my confidential office phone number of 312-649-0570 to discuss your situation.
▾ Billing and Insurance
- What do you charge?
My current, standard fee is $255 per 45 minute session; $340 for an hour. Patients who cannot afford this can be seen at reduced rates, determined after considering your ability to pay and the frequency of sessions.
- Do you take insurance?
Yes. Check with your carrier what it will pay for psychotherapy.
- Are you a “preferred provider”?
No, I am not a “preferred provider” for any local insurance companies.
▾ Length of treatment
- How long does treatment take?
The distress that has finally brought people to therapy is often lessened within a few sessions or even in the first session. For some people, the immediate reduction of symptoms is the only goal. Therapy can stop and if the problem returns, then another brief treatment can be used. More often, symptoms have occurred previously, and so treatment will have to get at underlying causes. Such treatment will take longer. How long will depend on how ingrained the problem is.
- Individuals with relationship problems:
Most of the patients I see individually have problems with their relationships. Treatment for relationship problems takes longer because the ways we relate to others, like the unconscious ways we walk and talk, are ingrained. The quick answer to how long therapy for such patterns will take is, “As long as it takes.” However, if forced to generalize, I would say that most people will feel considerably better in one to two months, but that then, to make substantial changes, most people will continue on for a number of years—as when trying to learn a musical instrument or a foreign language.
- Couples: When treatment is effective, most couples can expect considerable relief in several months of once weekly treatment. Many will want to continue on to deal with problems that have accumulated in their marriages. Deciding how long to continue is something like deciding how long to continue music lessons—almost always more will help, but people will differ on just how good they want to get!
▾ Philosophy and Methods
- What is your theoretical orientation?
I take a biopsychosocial, problem-solving approach. By that I mean that I begin by assessing the contributions of biology, psychology and social conditions (systems) to the problems and symptoms. I begin with a focus on solving the presenting problems that patients bring to me as expeditiously as possible, and only when it seems that problems need more extensive intervention, do I probe more deeply for less obvious solutions. Having said that, most patients who come to see me have tried the obvious solutions suggested by friends, family, and often by other therapists, so I frequently find myself hunting for less obvious causes of their problems. Across all problems, I am looking for constraints that interfere with more optimal functioning. My next step will be to fit the treatment to the underlying causes or constraints, rather than to offer one size fits all therapy to all patients.
- When you see couples, what schools of thought do you favor?
As with diagnosis, I am open minded about what will help and currently draw from all three of the main approaches to couple problems, namely systems theory, psychology, and psychoeducation (communication skills training). I use each of these as needed and determined by the couple’s problems.
- What brand of psychology do you favor?
My thinking is most influenced by psychoanalysis, as originally developed by Sigmund Freud, but now much modified by his followers, especially object relations theorists, self psychologists, and relational therapists. Freud’s basic ideas should be seen as the Model T of current psychodynamic practice, with many upgrades since his time. While psychoanalytic psychology is my basic psychology, I also make use of techniques developed by other thinkers, especially those who have worked under the banners of DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and mindfulness.
▾ Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
- What sorts of problems do you specialize in?
My main specialty is in relationship problems. See also Services ▸ Individual Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.
- Do you do psychoanalysis? Yes, see also Services ▸ Individual Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.
▾ Couple Therapy
- What sorts of couples do you see? All sorts, see also Services ▸ Couple Therapy.
- Should I come with my spouse?
Yes if your main problems are with your partner. See also Services ▸ Couple Therapy.
- My partner is reluctant to come, what should I do?
See Resources ▸ Prospective Patients.
- Do we have to be married?
- Do you see couples who are wondering whether they should marry?
- Do you see same-sex couples?
- What if one or both of us think it’s just “too late” to save the relationship?
This is a common problem and patients frequently misjudge how hopeless their situation is. The best way to know whether it is really too late is to try hard to change things and see what happens. Couples routinely see their problems as only caused by the other person, rather than resulting from their “pathological dance.” Since therapy can often help the way people interact with each other far quicker than their ingrained personality patterns, there is usually more hope for couples than they realize.
- Can you also prescribe medications?
Yes, see also Services ▸ Medication Management.