Q & A

 

This page gives a sampling of the questions asked and answers given on a variety of issues. Although there are some broad categories, the uniqueness of each situation actually makes the idea of FAQ too abstract.  Thus, I modify the name of this section to indicate a shift to something else.  Here I intend here to convey an impression of the immediacy and concreteness of each personís question and dilemma. The names and some details have, of course, been changed to protect the privacy of the writers.  I have not changed the writerís style and have only rarely altered spelling.  Aside from the broad categories the order of appearance is, as yet, random in date and content.

 

The categories are:

 

SEEKING EMOTIONAL HELP & SUPPORT

Q)      Subj:            Just asking for a little advice if you have time!

Date:            1/16/00

 

I have been married for one and a half years only. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship, but his family causes us major fights. His brother is uncontrollable by anyone including his parents. He swears at me and my husband doesn't think it's right, but my husband does nothing to help or show he cares about me. I am having a hard time knowing if my husband truly can take care of me. My husband told me he would never pick between his brother and myself. I would never put him in this situation, but it hurt my feelings that I know if it ever came down to it, he still won't let go of his brother. His brother has always been right in every situation because everyone is afraid to stick up for themselves to him because he has a real bad temper. I am tired of letting him ruin my marriage. I am asking for help if it is possible for you to e-mail me back. If not I understand. Hoping to hear from you when you get a chance. Once again thanks for listening.

 

A)            Depending upon the state, you can get a restraining order from family court and they can remand treatment. You also can get some therapy to help you sort out the situation.

 

Q)      Subj:            Re: Just asking for a little advice if you have time!

 Date:            1/16/00

 

I don't want to get a restraining order, it's not violence, it's the feelings. Do you think therapy can help me even though I think I have a good head and my husband wants both of us to go, but I think he needs to go. I am a normal adult who I don't think needs help, but I do have a big problem interfering with my marriage. Let me know what you think please. Thanks for getting back so soon.

 

A)       Your best bet is to go together & work out some of the issues in your relationship. Then you can see about individual treatment.

 

R)       Subj:            Re: Just asking for a little advice if you have time!

Date:            1/19/00

 

I just wanted to thank you very much for e-mailing me back. I appreciate the time you gave me. My husband and I are going for help hopefully some time next week. I will let you know how it went.

 

 

Q)      Subj:    AUDULTRY

 Date:            7/7/00

 

MY BOYFRIEND OF ONE YEAR AND A HALF JUST ADMITTED TO ME THAT HE HAS BEEEN UNFAITHFUL TO ME, BUT HAS ASKED ME TO GIVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE. I STILL LOVE HIM VERY MUCH, BUT CAN THIS RELATIONSHIP STILL WORK OUT AND WILL THIS HURT THAT I HAVE INSIDE EVER STOP? WILL I BE ABLE TO TRUST HIM AGAIN?

 

A)    Barring more information, there is no way to really know if you and your boyfriend will resolve your painful situation. However, I can say that, if you didn't want it to work out, you'd not have written. The will to work things out is really one of the most important pieces in the puzzle. Have you and your boyfriend had any discussion about what led up to his being unfaithful? Have you had any discussion as to why this information came out now, rather than any other time? There are usually reasons why people act out sexually, as there are reasons why people divulge that it has happened. As regards trust -- did you have difficulties with trust before this? In other relationships -- not only romantic, but friends, as well? Your ability to heal this breach of trust depends on how you've worked out trust in the past. Have you tended to trust too quickly? Too slowly? Not really at all? Trust is not an all or nothing thing. It is really a process that works out over time. The more you and your boyfriend are honestly and intimately communicating, the better the chance of healing the breach.


 

Q)      Subj:   (no subject)

 Date:            7/2/00

 

I'm wondering if you can help me with a problem I seem to be having with psychologists/social workers. I had a very hard childhood of emotional abuse and whatever you would call when a parent dumps your food over your head cause you can't eat. Lots of humiliation. I've just started going to therapy later in life, I'm now 33 this abuse stopped when I was 20. My father wanted my whole paycheck to live at home so I finally decided to get out. My life has changed so much for the better. I'm happily married, but completely confused ever since the abuser, my father died last year. Now in therapy, I've noticed a lot of therapists like to hear your story, but they don't seem to have empathy for what you've been through. My question to you is I'm wondering if that's how therapy is. I just need a little bit of empathy, but I feel therapists are probably just numb to stories like this and really just want to hear it and then I guess basically I have to learn to get over it. Please tell me what you think on all of this. Thank you.

 

A)            Although it is difficult to know from your note just what is going on in the consulting room, one can say, as a generality, that different therapists have different capacities. Have you mentioned this "lack of empathy" to the person treating you? If not, what impediments do you have -- is it a reflection of your concerns with, and fear of, further abuse & humiliation and/or concern that the person in front of you wants to take everything and give nothing? It could be that there is a kind of 'third party' in the room -- something called "transference" and its compliment "countertransference" -- that is inhibiting both you and your treatment person. It is best to try to work this out face to face. If the person working with you can't address the issue after a reasonable try (and this means more than once & more than one session), then you may need a change. If you do change, allow yourself to interview the therapist, including the voicing of your concerns. This is not 'out of bounds' and will help establish a framework in which trust and empathy can grow (they are not automatic).

 

R)       Thank you so much for your feedback it did help. I also received a message on my answering machine from my therapist apologizing to me for feeling the way I did. She said in no way did she feel cold or numb to the experience I told her about and that she did not want our experience together to be like that of my past experience with another therapist. She said she would refer me and that she was glad that I would continue to pursue therapy and should feel warmth and safety in the therapy experience and wished me the Best of Luck. I'm feeling like maybe she had an off day with that last session, or I really misread her and like you mentioned about that transference. I really want to schedule another appointment. I feel this therapist has what it takes to help me through some issues. Again I appreciate your response.

 

 

Q)             Subj: Can you help my son?

            Date: 10/04/1999

My son and I live in New York, we share a two family house with my parents. We moved here when my son was three & his father passed due to cancer. My son is now 18yrs old and has always been a good student. He attended private schools and now is in ≠≠_______ University - in February of this year his Grandfather died, he had been ill for four years and had lost both legs during that time. My father was a strong man; he and my son were very close.  Since my fathers death my son has totally changed. He has no history of drug use or alcohol. He won't discuss his feelings. He has a good job, that he likes, and college was always in his plans- but now he does not go to classes, has a new set of friends, hates were we live, and can't even talk about his grandfather. How can I help him overcome his grief? My mother and I seem to be doing ok. My son is an only child. I was an only child. We are a very small family. I Thank you in advance for any advice you have. S***

A)            Though I don't do treatment over the 'net,' it sounds like both you and your son could benefit from some help. Your story paints a picture of both of you being stuck in your grief for your father. If you wish, you can contact me for treatment, (212-757-5489 - I am located in the City) or seek professional help closer to home in Queens.



Q)      Subj: Please help me (I am a depression person who need your help desperately)
Date: 07/31/1999


I know u through website. I need help urgently or else I will suicide. I hope u can help and sympathy me. I have no much money to see a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. I trust you and hope my life will change. So please help me. I need to confess to somebody about my feeling. I have sickness of depression. I feel so depress and anxiety until I cannot sleep. Is any way out there? I can't find the way out because Iíve block my way out. I think of many things that relate to each other but when I stop 'looking' at it my mind will become fuzzy (I don't know what I think and cannot control to this non objective's thoughts). My thoughts have been trained up to deny every good point of mine. All these are my current thinking situation.

I am trying to destroy myself through my thoughts but I do not know why I behave like this. I am having self-destructive behavior until I cannot control. I tend to blame myself too much for any mistake I made. People blame me also when I forgot many things. I do not know why I should live as my life is so painful. I always forgot everything I have done because I have no motivation at all and have no intention to do anything. At work place I did a lot of mistake until my superior report my mistake to manager. As a result she gain credit and get promoted and I have no yearly increment and no chance to being promoted. I become psychologically imbalanced especially being scolded by remisier or user for no reason or reason of I cannot concentrate.

I admire people who can concentrate so much. I feel myself hardly in concentration. My expectation is so high until I cannot perform a simple task. The more I expect the worse I become. Why? Why life is so hard? I cannot accept it. Why other people better than me and can control everything while I cannot? I cannot even control my thoughts. I never hurt anybody purposely but why I have being hurt deeply? Why I give up everything especially my thoughts when someone is so hard to forget? (I fell love sick before). I did it unconsciously until I hurt myself badly. Why? How to become self-love? What should I do?

Actually my characteristic is not good. My temper is bad. I easily get frustrated when I cannot meet my expectation. Why I cannot become a person that I wish to be? I read a lot of book that is for self-improvement and psychology to change myself. I think so hard to become a person that I like to be.

Last time I have being scolded by my father badly. Every morning he scolded me. Our day life start from morning and this spoilt everything. I was a very intelligent student at 11 and 12 years old but now I become stupid and lose confidence. His voice is so unpleasant and make people headache and annoyed. I can't stand so I depress from that moment. He made me feel like I have done a big wrong thing and I should blame myself. I couldn't study for 6 years because I have delusion after I having depression. Please help me. Your help would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much.
 

A)       I sympathize with your plight. However, I do not do treatment of any kind through e-mail. Given what you're telling me, I suggest that you go immediately to you nearest hospital emergency room. You will receive that kind of help you need there.

 

Q)      Subj: Help me?
            Date: 7/26/00 

Dear sir,
How do you do? 
I read about you in your site..I and I wish to be one of the victims you could help them..

I'm lonely, can't make any single relationship with others..I always feel that people hate me and hoe ever i try to deal with them, they refuse badly..
let me tell you that i'm the youngest in a family that loves me so much and gives me what ever i want..but i'm lonely..i always feel that i miss some thing.
what is it ..i wish to know? 

now sir,i have to leave..I'll write to you later. please reply,as soon as you can
thanks,
bye


Dear L*** --

From your email it is hard to really know how to respond -- and that may be part of the problem. Feeling isolated -- do you feel isolated even in the midst of your family that "loves [you] so much?" --can lead to what feels like emotional starvation. Others sense this and feel overwhelmed themselves which is sense by you and increases your feeling of isolation and guilt. This leads to more feelings of emotional starvation. And around and around it goes.

What to do? If you are in the NY City area you could call me for an appointment: (917) 710-7578. You would need to see me for an initial session and evaluation, then, if suitable, you would become part of one of my groups. If you are not in the NY City area, you could either start treatment elsewhere, or wait for me to develop my 'on line' treatment capability. This will probably be in service in September. If you wish to take this option and want to start immediately, we could use email to establish a specific time for you to call to work out the logistics. You would then send a prepaid intake fee and we could start.
 

R)      Subj: Thanks
            Date: 7/31/00

Dear sir,

Thank you so much for replying..sense long time i was looking for some one who understands me.. First, Let me tell you who i am?

 l***,19 years, first year pharmacology..and i used to be the first at my school class.. I have 3brothers,no sisters and i'm the youngest..as i told you..my family loves me and they give me what ever i want..and i think that was the base for the bad idea taken about me..selfish, spoon-fed, temperamental, bigheaded and frozen..wow..all that??

 When i finished school i decided to study abroad to prove for myself and everybody that i can depend on myself..i challenged people who said that i won't stand living away from my mum..but i did.. i spend all the previous year with my cousins who made me feel that no body likes me. now we separated and i really felt of my mistake ..i used to spend all my time with them..and i didn't think of dealing with others..

 ,,there is another thing...Can you believe that i've never been "loved" from anyone..never..do you know  what does it mean for a girl in my age..a tragedy..people say that i'm not bad.. appearance ..i mean.. but i don't know what is wrong with me???

 oh..help me please sir, i'm really thinking of DAETH!

 about the paying ..what shall i do sense i know nothing about finance...

 Thanks

 L***

A)       Dear L*** -- If you are 'thinking of death', you should go to a hospital emergency room & tell them.  They will be able to help you directly.

Regarding finance: As a professional, I operate on a fee for service basis.  This means that we contract for a number of sessions (1 or more) for which you pay a fee.  Since this is 'long distance,' and I do not yet have a merchant (credit card) account through which you can pay me, you can, as I explained, send me a stipulated fee 'up front' (prior to our communication), or you can await my activating a merchant account (given that you have a credit card), or go to a clinic or practitioner in your local area.  This is really a set of choices only you can make.  If you choose to pay 'up front,' we need to work out logistics, the sort of interaction (email, IM <instant messenger>, telephone, etc.) and the method of payment. One option in this regard is a combination of email and IM.  In this way you can send me longer passages -- e.g., dreams, fantasies, etc. -- that you could during IM sessions.

The fee for On-line/telephonic treatment depends on the method. Evaluation of intake & paperwork associated with it is US$135.00. I will email you the intake form for you to fill out and send back.  Single email questions (after the initial intake form is submitted and reviewed) it range from US$10.00 -- $30.00/response, depending on how much time I need to write the response.  IM sessions are billed at US$2.00/minute with a maximum of 50 minutes per IM session. Telephone sessions are also billed at $2.00/minute with a maximum of 50 minutes/session.

Q)      Subj:    client/therapist issue  

            Date:            8/10/00

Hi. I have a dilemma I was wondering if you could give me some advice on. I have been in therapy for over 5 years with the same therapist, M***. M*** gave me a referral to a lawyer, A***, so that I could have my wills done. A*** is also a very good friend of M***'s.  I end up hitting it off with A*** when I meet with her several times and we become friends.  My relationship with A*** has gone on for about 8 months now. However, my therapist has told A*** that basically this situation of our being friends is very uncomfortable for her, because she is my therapist. She says that we should not have become friends, because she referred her on a professional basis only, but she knew that we had become friends from the beginning. She says that their is a boundary conflict because of the friendship, but I haven't spoken about A*** in therapy at all, except to say that we had become friends.  Anyhow, M*** tells A*** in a subtle way that she basically has to choose between her ten-year friendship with her or the 8-month friendship with me.

What do you think of this?

Thanks, J***

A)       Dear J*** --

This sounds quite family-like. It makes me think that the 'boundary issue' you mention is very like the intergenerational boundary issue between parents and child(ren), on the one hand, and the relations between older sibs and a younger sib.  This being said, there is something in the therapy process called "transference" and "countertransference" which are short hand for feelings, attitudes and behaviors coming up between patient and therapist that are echoes of feelings, attitudes and behaviors that developed in the childhood family setting. These feelings are mostly unconscious -- kind of like emotional/behavioral habits. Some of the most important part of therapy is uncovering these habits in the patient. When these habits are felt by the therapist ("countertransference") they can get in the way of treatment (reduce clarity), can be used in the treatment (become signal flags for the therapist to know what's happening) or can become an active and open part of the treatment process (become a way of giving access to feeling states that are built in the treatment process itself). Have you discussed your feelings with your therapist?  Have you opened the subject of how the current situation may echo situations and/or feelings you had in your family? Are there other situations in your life that ended up in similar "choices"?

This sort of situation can become extremely productive in a therapeutic process, but it really must be addressed openly.  

R)  Thank you for answering my e-mail. I understand transference and countertransference and boundary issues. I think her own issue has come out somewhat here, but she will not admit to that...at least not to me. I have tried to discuss it, but it couldn't be spoken about at the time. I was too upset, as was she. I cannot recall a similar "choice" having to be made in my past and, as for family issues, I can see that it feels like someone having power over me, mimicking past situations for me in that regard. But is that just my "feeling" or does she have her own issue coming into play here? I don't know. Needless to say, A*** has chosen M***, and I have stopped seeing M***, because I do not feel comfortable anymore due to this entire situation. I am devastated. I know my therapist needs to keep boundaries, but I feel as though my feelings were not considered here.

I truly appreciate your insight. It has been very helpful to me.

A)  Dear J**** --

I'm glad I was able to be of some help. I wonder, however, if you & your therapist really gave talking it through a full try, or the hurt, anger and, (perhaps) fear, of facing the situation (again perhaps, on both sides) caused the complete rupture between you. It may be worth while to revisit the issue -- without necessarily believing that the relationship itself can be salvaged -- so that there can be a resolution. On the other hand, if the therapist refuses to consider the countertransference issues, clarification might not be attained, or, you can attain resolution, but not her (which is not, in any case, you problem to deal with). Or, it may not be possible to effect at all, but you'll know you've tried.

R)  Yes, I can agree that I am unsure if we really talked this through. The emotions definitely got in the way on both of our parts. I can say that once I returned to see my therapist after A*** made her choice, though, that I sort of felt like my therapist was rubbing it in my face that she was the one to be chosen. She basically, said, "Well some things just should not happen and we need to deal with it and process it and then let it go." When she said we--she was referring to me or people in general, not to her and I. She feels that A*** and I should never have become friends and that is it. She feels she referred A*** solely on a professional level as a lawyer and that it should never have gone beyond that. However, it did. M*** should have clarified this with A*** earlier if that is how she felt, because you cannot control nor judge what will happen between others unless you set clear guidelines and even then you don't know what may happen. I mean neither I nor A*** felt we had done anything wrong and M*** allowed our relationship to go on for eight months before she told A*** to make this choice.

I have and will continue to give thought to returning to see M***, however, at this time, I am quite ambivalent.

Thanks so much for your help.

J****

DEALING WITH ABUSE

Q)       Subj: verbal and emotional abuse
             Date: 05/26/1999

My name is K*** I thought I had finally found Mr. right. He has been more wonderful than any man I have ever been with. Until the last few months. He has started calling me names all the time and treating me as though I am stupid and I know nothing. He has never hit me but I am afraid it will come to that. Should I ask him to take some sort of counseling? It is like he has lost respect for me but in the same note its like a vicious cycle he knows he is wrong for talking to me this way and he always apologizes but it
just keeps happening over and over. I know I deserve respect and should not be talked to in this way. But I know that there are women out there that are going through much worse than I am. I have talked with him and he has gotten a little better and is trying to show me the respect I deserve. So I know that there is hope for him. Should I stick it out if he agrees to get help? I love him and don't want to lose him.
Thank you, K***

A)       Seeking help in your situation is always advisable. It is important, though, for you to be safe in any attempt to get help. While I do not counsel over the 'net' I can say that, from your address, you appear to be involved with the military, so the first place to go would be to the specialist counselor on your base that deals with couple conflict and domestic abuse. If you don't know whom this is, contact your chaplain. He or she will know. If not, look in your phone book for the local domestic abuse hot line.

If you are in the New York area, I would be able to work with you.

Q)       Subj: emotional abuse

             Date:            7/15/00

 

Please explain what's the impact of emotional abuse and why does the perpetrator doing it ? Does the person who constantly abuse someone verbally till she feel worthless, has a problem themselves? What's the best way to stop the perpetrator?

 

A)             Emotional abuse Ė whether verbal (as in name-calling, or harsh language, etc) or behavioral (as in withholding speech, love, affection, or blocking access to friends &/or family, etc.) Ė is perhaps more scarring and corrosive than physical abuse (not in any way to condone this, however).  As to why this is done, it really depends on the mental state of the person doing the abusing Ė there are many reasons some of which have to do with the abuserís need for control of emotionally frightening situations, a need to be forgiven, a sadistic desire, all of these, or other than these.  Yes, the abuser has a problem (or problems), but the abused also has some issues (for example, does the abused reenact some sort of pattern from their past?  Does the abused get some sort of important feeling state in the abuserís attempt to ask for forgiveness?  Are there other issues involved?) To stop the abuser requires, most often, outside intervention.  Barring physical abuse, most states will not respond with police or court action.  However this does not mean you are with our recourse. I assume from your question you female. There are probably local services for abused women near you (check your telephone book or ask directory assistance about the local domestic violence hotline). They can direct you into the appropriate treatment & help you get your abuser into treatment. Most often abusive men are treated after the woman reveals the abuse, so this is the best route for you. There is one question, though that was not really mentioned in your email: is there ever physical abuse of any sort (pushing, pinching, pulling, etc. & not just hitting)? If so, what are you doing to keep safe?




 Q)      Subj: denial of panic attacks

Date: 06/21/1999

 

I'm consulting you in regards to a situation that I feel like is hopeless. I feel like there is absolutely no one to turn to...just maybe friends for temporary joys to help keep my mind off of it. Well, I'm 19 soon to be 20 next month. My name is N***. Iíve been to several psychologists and psychiatrists throughout my early to late teen years. Here's some background just so you know: Age 15 I was diagnosed as clinically depressed...and according to their tests, I had been since age 11. Though I was in denial...I knew that it wasn't depression. In fact, I did my own research and it seemed to me to be more anxiety related. Well, the main concern for me to go to the psychologist at age 15 was to sort out some "differences" with my parents. I wasn't into drugs ever, nor did I ever smoke or drink...and still don't until today. Iíve always all my life have been this overachiever. Always an honor student...always doing my best. It was just that for some reason, me and my parents just weren't getting along. I kept saying that it was lack of optimism on their part and they thought that I just really had some mental disorder. The doctor ended up giving me medication that would supposedly "make me argue less with my parents" I was outraged!! Why did I have to get the medication?? Either way, I was in
denial of ever been depressed. Then I think things really started to escalate once my BF of over 1 yr had dumped me out of the blue. It was around exam time in my first year of college. And I probably could have used a lot of comforting. My dad always had this big problem with my ex BF, S***. And see, my parents are the extremely honest people. They will even go to the extent of sticking their nose into a lot of my business. I will never forget when my father wrote a 2-page letter to S*** describing exactly how he expected S*** to treat me. I remember pleading him not to write it...but they wouldn't listen!!! AT this time, I was 17 ready to turn18. And S*** received it, and he was very shocked and hurt at the same time. I was embarrassed for the most part. Because it was I situation that I felt that I could handle on my own. Anyways, after he dumped me...an old internet friend of mine got in contact with me. His name was R***. From that day on, R*** became my new "shrink" ...at first we had a friendship where I was just telling him my ex BF problems. Then later, as things got worse in the house, R*** was also there with me. In fact he had done a lot of counseling himself for a summer camp in WA. He was always there for me and he always called to check to make sure I was ok. Well, a couple months into our relationship, my dad just had a "feeling" about R***. But I describe it as labeling him as "the problem" My dad felt like R*** was the cause of all the family problems because I was always talking to him. But, I feel like the family problems led me to contact R*** a lot more. I needed to stay sane somehow. My dad, being a judge, he did a background check on R***. Of course he didn't see anything that R*** didn't tell me...but still, my dad wasn't pleased. This only further lit the flame. I was feeling like I was being trapped. My parents acted like I was a juvenile living in the house. They wouldn't trust me with anything just as I wouldn't trust them either. Our relationship was breaking apart and I was looking for comfort from anyone that cared. I came to an all time low in my life and wanted to commit suicide. My best friend had abandoned me to a life of partying and drinking and she was the main one I was consoling with. R*** was up in WA practicing with his vocal group when he received a "goodbye" VM on his pager.
He immediately paged me back his number and "I love you" I stopped before I poisoned myself. ...and called him crying...and crying.... R*** was too...he was so scared for me and he didn't want anything to happen to me cuz he had a fiance of 4 yrs passed a way to suicide before. So, this meant extra TLC for me...24-7. He told me that I needed to get out of there before anything else happened. And so, I decided that I wanted to work out something with my parents first. I tried everything in the book though. It got to the point when my dad had wrote a CONTRACT that I would have to sign...but the #2 requirement for me to do was to stop having all contact with R*** and all his family members. I wasn't about to agree to that. Especially after all that he had done for me. I started to fall in love with R***.... and so did he like wise. Well, I ended up leaving just to really get a way from the life that was destroying me emotionally and mentally. Later about 2 months after I was with R***...I ended up getting affecting physically. As if it was PTSD...like an after effect of things going on at home. But see, there were also additional problems with the life I was living with R***. I guess R*** was getting pressured to marry me cuz it really wasn't "right" to live with another if you weren't married. Plus, his grandma was slowing dying so he thought it would nice to get married when we were in Reno. I first said no, cuz he didn't even meet my parents...and he wasn't planning on it. I wanted to go to FL cuz I had been accepted to _____ college Program for a semester but R*** convinced me not to go. He would say 'well, fine if you go there then I'm just going to Philippines for 1 yr!" he really didn't want me to go. All in all, just a few days before I was supposed to leave for ≠≠≠≠______ College Program and for Reno (as R***'s plans were) I had a panic attack from hell. Of course I didn't know what I was having at the time...so I panicked even more! Resulting to not going into a homeostasis state until about 2 hours later...I nearly fainted. I was given Valium and I had to be put on oxygen. I thought I had health ins, but my parent cut me off already just being 2 months out of the house. Well, just a month later..."it" was happening again. I donít' know why. "It" happened twice in one weekend. That made a total of 3 ER visits in about a month's time. I was so scared and I thought that it was a heart condition that I had cuz I had had heart conditions since I was 10 or 11. Still till this day they really don't know if it's something heart related or PAD or maybe both. I need treatment, but see...now I ended up getting married end of Aug. I guess I rushed it for the reasons that I needed college fin aid. Crazy!! I felt so guilty after I did it cuz I knew that my parents would be soo hurt. And of course they were...but mostly upset that R*** could even have that idea in his head. They took that as a big disrespect from R***...and I honestly don't know if they're ever going to accept him. I'm here, now, visiting my parents...but they want me to say that Iím "living" here. I can't say it though because it's like I'm really hating the fact that they were able to get into my life so much...just as they did with S***. My dad just recently called up my R***'s dad and cussed him out...further adding fuel to the already present fire. So I'm just really depressed lately, I really don't know what to do. I'm stuck in the middle and I'm really just getting worse with my panic attacks. I need help. Please tell me what you can do for me... Thank you so much,
N***


A)       Your story is complex and you seem to need to seek out a specialist in panic attack. I don't do treatment over 'the net' and you're not close by, so I can't say 'come in." In the interim, before you locate a panic attack specialist, check out the self-help section of you local bookstore. There are several books on panic attack that you might find helpful -- one is Swede & Jaffe's Panic attack recovery book. It's practical, though thin.


 

SEEKING TREATMENT

 

[Note:  In this section there are a list of inquiries, but Iíve left off some of the responses unless they serve for giving new information or making the issue clearer.]

 

Q)      Subj:    Couples Therapy

Date:            5/1/00

Hi, Iím interested in counseling for my fiancťe and myself. Can you please let me know the cost per session for couples. I'm very interested about counseling pertaining to physical abuse and anger management for him. I would appreciate it if you can e-mail me and let me know about the information requested please. Thank you. H***.

 Q)      Subj:    Couples Therapy

Date:            5/6/00

I am interested in learning about your couples therapy sessions including fees. If possible, could you please email a sample rate card and / or schedule to get started.

 Thank you very much

 Q)      Subj:    No subject was specified.

Date:            6/16/00

I am having a hard time performing in front of people. I have a serious Case of stage fright however, I feel this profession is the right one For me.

Q)      Subj:    Opening in intimacy... group

Date:            1/9/00

I am a 24 year old student at NYU, recognizing his major social difficulties and worries as a treatable disorder and not a personal deficit I have to live with.

I found your Website would like information about openings in the intimacy group. Would you be so kind to tell me if it would be possible for me to join your group and what the cost would be.

Thanks

Q)      Subj:    group question

Date:            2/20/00

I am interested in either a regular group session or a seminar that deals with gaining skills to deal with impatient/irritable people. I am currently powerless against my employer who attacks me verbally at random. I have no tools to deal with these situations and my past behavior has always included a hurtful and/or irritated reaction that is not well suited for me keeping my job. I finally feel clear that there is something I can do about it in the moment instead of trying to "blow it off" or "let it go" which has been my advice in the past. I am certain that I can learn what it takes to deal with this and truly come out a better person, before it drains me emotionally. If you don't have any groups planned for this topic I would appreciate any recommendation from you as to another group or seminar that I can attend to learn these skills.

A)       My current group has some openings for females. The issues you present in your email -- helplessness, irritability, concerns regarding 'lack of (social/emotional) tools' -- are some of those regularly expressed by current participants. However, before entering the group you would need to come individually for, at least, a few sessions so I could find out how best to help you.

 My telephone number is (917) 710-7578

 

Q)      Subj: individual & group

Date: 09/19/1999

Hi,
I have a unique situation and was interested by your site. I am in therapy almost 6 yrs. w/ same therapist. Issues: major depression, Dysthymia, major insomnia. My background includes sexual/physical, emotional abuse. Drugs were used in sexual abuse. My depression has been treatment resistant. I am art director in publishing, having work as a graphic designer in a number of areas. My problem is this; recently my therapists lost his mother to a massive heart attack. We have a very unique relationship, since I work w/ his wife and basically know him more so than the usual therapist/client relationship, which has worked quite well till this incident. I need extra support right now and feel I don't want to put any added pressure on him. He disagrees w/me, but I feel very strongly about this. I feel itís unthinkable and insensitive to lean on him now. Heís given me his time when Iíve needed it in the past and I feel I need to give him that space outside of our regular sessions... so I guess what Iím asking is, do you have a group that deals w/ these issues and any openings for a 37/f in the arts. I think this would be the easiest way to get the added support Iíll need. My problems are pretty serious right now, and its just bad timing w/ my therapistís loss. I do not intend on leaving him, I just need additional support. Please get back to me. Iíd appreciate it.

A)       I currently have a group that would be helpful for you, but before coming into the group I would have to see you for consultation and intake.

If you are interested, call me at (917) 710-7578 for an appointment. If you get my answering machine, leave your phone number(s) and a range of times I can get back to you.

R)       Thank you for getting back to me...I will be in touch


Q)            
Subj: Information Requested

Date: 08/01/1999

I am trying to find an appropriate therapist to help my boyfriend and I with some relationship issues. Please give me a call at home or at work so we may discuss the potential of setting up an arrangement with you.

Thanks.



Q)             Subj: information

            Date: 04/30/1999

Please send me some information about your programs.

 A)       I'm not sure what information you're looking for aside from that provided on my web site. Please be more specific so I can respond appropriately.



Q)      Subj:

Date: 07/13/1999

I have just moved to NYC from Washington, DC, where I was in therapy and under the care of a psychiatrist. I am want to find a new therapist in the area and
found your name on mentalhelp.net and liked what you write. I am doing temp work until I find a "real" job and do not have insurance. I saw that you offer a sliding scale. I am very interested in cognitive therapy. If my salary is 32K, what would the fee be?  And are you taking new patients?  Thanks!


A)       I have some openings. Based on your wage, my fee would be $70-75/session (though I can also be flexible on this) with an initial intake fee of $135 (for the session and processing/paperwork fees). During the initial session this stuff can be discussed.

If you wish to follow up, call me at (917) 710-7578. If you get my machine, leave a number and range of times I can get back to you.


Q)      Subj: (no subject)

Date: 04/14/1999

 
I was in Group Therapy several years ago. However, when things became uncomfortable for me, I quit the group.

Today, these issues of intimacy and being interdependent still haunt me. And as a songwriter, it is certainly affecting my creativity.

How can I get info about your groups?

Thanks.

 A)       You can call me for the intake procedure.  Iím wondering, however, what you meant by ďuncomfortable.Ē It is probably significantly related to your difficulties being intimate since the group treatment process has intimacy and interdependence as major dynamic themes.

 


Q)      Subj: Performance Anxiety

Date: 01/24/1999

In searching the Internet for some help regarding performance anxiety issues, I found your web page. I'm from Suffolk County (L.I.) and am looking for a group like you describe on your page. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to make a session in the City, which is where I assume you're located. Would you be able to recommend a colleague in the Melville area? Thanks for any reply.

 A)       I am currently heading a Referral and Information Service through the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work.  Call 1-800-673-1680.  We have therapists in Suffolk.

 

 Q)      Subj: therapy

Date: 11/22/98

Hello. I read your ad on Mental Health Net yellow pages, and had a few questions.
I am a survivor of childhood/adolescent sexual abuse. I have DID, and possibly OCD. I suffer from panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, feeling of unreality, fugue, memory lapse, and have active alters. I cannot work, and have no other income, but I can afford some fees with the help of a friend. Can you tell me what your fees are, and if
you think you might be appropriate as a therapist for me? Thank you.

A)       At present my lowest fee is in the $75-80/hour range.  The list of issues of which you speak are certainly ones with which I work, however, aside from talking treatment (psychotherapy) you would probably need a psychiatric consultation & medication management.  If you donít already have psychiatric care, I know of several who are both sensitive and conservative in medication use.

 

  Q)      Subj: questions about your practice

Date: 03/12/2000
 

I found your therapy practice online using a search engine designed to help one find the therapist appropriate to their needs. I was intrigued by your anthropology background and your seeming openness regarding cultural and lifestyle issues. I am currently trying to locate the right therapist for me to address some family/childhood issues with, but am
having some frustration in finding someone who does not automatically view my religious (I'm Pagan/Wiccan) and sexual (I'm bisexual and involved with BDSM) preferences as negative or directly linked to the emotional issues I am currently trying to resolve.

If you could reply, and let me know your position on these sorts of lifestyle issues,  that would be great.

Thanks.

A)             I have successfully treated Pagans holding several types of belief, including Wiccans, and am quite familiar with their struggles -- emotional, cultural social and spiritual. I have no automatic reaction to sexual preference/lifestyle but will want to help you explore its meaning in your life as it pertains to the struggles & issues, as well joys and interests, you bring into our work together.
 
I hope this answers your concerns. If you have any other questions, or wish
to make an appointment, feel free to contact me.

R)       Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

At this point, I would actually like to make an initial appointment, since that's probably the best way for me to figure out if this would be the right working relationship for me.

 

Q)      Subj: (no subject)

Date: 11/03/1999


I am a 20 yr. old female and have been feeling depressed. I would like to start seeing a psychiatrist to talk about these issues. Please give me some additional information, including how I may contact you. Thank you,

A)            Although I am not a psychiatrist Ėthey are medical doctors (MDís) who can dispense medication) Ė I have successfully treated people with depression either by talking it out, or win conjunction with medication (via psychiatric consultants with whom I am familiar).  You can call me at (917) 710-7578.

 

Q)      Subj: anxiety question
Date: 02/28/2000

Do you run a behavioral therapy group just for people with social phobia?

A)       My group work is insight oriented, but also helps with behavioral issues such as social phobia.

 

Q)      Subj:
Date: 08/10/1999

I believe I suffer from social anxiety and phobia. I am not quite sure how to go about this but I would like to speak to somebody there about it.

Thank you for your time.

A)       I don't do treatment over the net. If you tell me more about where you are located, then I can see if I'm close enough for you to arrange an appointment.

Q)      I live in New York City on ******. I Believe you is somewhere on 56th so I don't think it would be much of a problem for me to get over there.

I apologize for the email conversation but I am at work and would rather not use the phone in my cubicle.

A)       Send me your telephone number at home & a range of times I can speak with you directly this evening or tomorrow evening & I'll get back to you.



Q)      Subj: Re: Erectile Dysfunction

Date: 03/17/1999

 [The question was an interesting one.  However, it was lost in a system crash.  The response, however, is instructive.]

A)       It is somewhat difficult to respond to all your questions since I don't have enough information -- nor do I do treatment via email -- but I can answer some of your questions:

Re: physician: to clear away any lurking medical issues, see a urologist for testing. In this way you can be more certain that your dysfunction is psychogenic.

Re: Viagra -- frankly, the stuff hasn't been out long enough to know long term effects, but you can look up the information currently available by searching the web under the keyword: Viagra.

Re: helpful books: there isn't one I really recommend, but two can point you in the right direction: Re-Making Love (I don't have my copy in this office & I don't remember the author's name); and The Joy of Sex. These care a helpful start.


TRAINING AND SUPERVISION ISSUES

 

Q)      Subj:    mixed marriage counseling

Date:            2/2/00

What should a counselor know if he want to practice mixed (inter-racial, -ethnic, -cultural, -religion) marriage problems?

A)    I'd love to be able to answer your question, but it's too vague. And that is the first thing to know: the more specific and concrete the work you are doing, the more issues can be addressed. In looking at specifics you can begin to see what, when and where the difficulties develop between the partners. Notice that I left out 'why.' This is not a really answerable question until much further down the road -- and is usually not so important for the concrete functional issues involved. (On the reasons for this functional approach in concrete treatment work you should go back to look at the British anthropological schools of Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown -- the administrative necessity of colonialism required the development of a way of looking at stuff 'on the ground' as it was happening. This is exquisitely adaptable to couple counseling in cross-cultural contexts. If you want to develop a cross-cultural psychology, then that's a different story. But you asked about treatment. They're related, but really should be kept distinct.

 

 

 

Q)      Subj:    UWOM-volunteers from the Republic of Macedonia

Date:            4/13/00

Hello, We are students from Social work and Social policy from Republic of Macedonia who are working in the Union of women's organization from Republic of Macedonia as volunteers on different projects with women from different national backgrounds. All these women who are coming from different ethnical community are suffering from same or similar problems such as: social cases, homeless persons, domestic violence, women whose husbands are drinking, etc. We are still studying and learning about all the techniques for group work, but as I could read your resume you have a lot of experience and I hope that you can at least send us some techniques (and to explain us how to use them) which are more common to the group working and which can help us in leading this kind of groups. I'm looking forward to hear from you as soon as you can, Sincerely, 

A)       Thank you for contacting me. You are doing very important work! It is hard to answer your questions regarding specific techniques because the use of technique is so situational. I would be happy to address specific questions and do 'on line' supervision (however limited it might be due to the constraints of being on line). I would also like to pass your request on to others who do this work so you can get the benefit of more people's experience and perspectives.

The following is a web address for an organization that also might be of some assistance:

 <<Gamian is a not-for-profit international organization and is a nonpolitical and nonsectarian network of organizations and individuals concerned about mental health. http://www.gamian.org >>

As regards my general position on domestic violence and family conflict: I see it as a dynamic process of which the violent acts are only one piece. This takes off from the 'cycle' theory of DV -- essentially a 'social learning theory' (L. Walker and others) and combines it with three other crucial dimensions: 1) the intrapsychic as developed by Fairbairn, Winnecott, Guntrip -- i.e., British Object Relations theorists who began to open the way to a 'two person' psychodynamic; 2) cultural & social anthropology, especially the notion of pattern of response and complimentarily developed by Bateson and others; 3) the concrete historical context of action, especially the notions of authenticity/alienation developed by existentialists, intentionality developed by phenomenologists and concrete dialectic as utilized by the Frankfurt school people (esp., in this context, Marcuse and Habermas). I'll be trying to put some of this stuff on my website, if I can get the time.

  

SEEKING CAREER GUIDANCE

 Q)      Subj:    re: help please

Date:            2/23/00

Hello there I am a student from *** and I leave in a few months time and when I leave school I would like to become a social worker I was wondering Whether you could help me go about that I need to know what GNVQ's I will need and other qualifications I will need and what I need to do at college. I am from [the UK]. I am 16 years of age and I really do need some help I'm so sorry to be bothering you

please help

 A)      There are different traditions in the UK and the US. I do psychotherapy exclusively (well, except for my program development & educational work). Other people do medical work (working with hospitals for discharge planning, aftercare, etc.). Some work exclusively with geriatrics, etc., etc. There are probably lots of other things that are done in the UK that have to do with the historical circumstances.

R)       Thank you for writing back I have looked in our latest phone book and got some numbers of a couple of social workers so I am going to phone them up and ask them for some information. Could you tell me what kinds of social work there is please.

Thank you once again

 

Q)      Subj: hello

Date: 06/09/1999

 
I was researching on internet. I saw your name on there. I am a college student in San Diego. My major is like yours. I am wondering how long did it take you to become a social worker...what classes did you take in college? If can please answer me and email me back at * * *. Thank you very much. I'll be waiting for your reply.
 
A)       I didn't go straight from college to social work. I was a practicing anthropologist first, researching, teaching, etc. So my experience doesn't seem to apply to your query. However, the best advice I can give here is to read, read, read -- literature, poetry, history, philosophy, essays, biography, etc. The history of psychology, anthropology and sociology are also helpful, as well as the regular psych and clinical coursework and practice. Usually going from college to social work takes only 2 years to the MA level, with (in NY) around 6 years of apprenticeship to be really 'on your own.' Most agencies don't supply adequate supervision, so if you find that you need supervision don't hesitate to go out and pay for it. Also, as there is a lot of writing in the field, take some writing courses.

 



STUDENTS LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

 

Q)      Subj:            Re: hi

Date:            5/24/00           

Hi my name ********* ******** and I am doing a report on social workers and what they do. I want to become a social worker after high school. and I wanted to see if you have any facts or info that I can use in my report. If you do you can E-mail me at ************

 Thank you

 A)      You can get a great deal of information from the following:

The Social Work Cafť Tobi Ann Shane's Social Work Cafe has become the online meeting place of choice for social work students. Access to community bulletin boards, student message board, reading room, career advice, chat etc. http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/4862/swcafe.html

 Social Work Online http://www.socialworkonline.com

THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Online--The Magazine for Social Work Students and Recent Graduates

THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER ONLINE is an electronic companion to the print magazine devoted to social work students and recent graduates. Includes full-text articles, an online career center, social work links, and more. http://www.socialworker.com

 Social Work Search An engine of Social Work related links. Social Work Search is a search engine devoted to the Social Work profession. It has links to websites of interests to social workers and other helping professionals. http://www.socialworksearch.com

Social Work Student Resource Pages Comprehensive UK based database of links to relevant sites useful in research and practice to social workers and students. Includes links to charities, government, mental health, older people, jobs, disability and substance misuse among many others. http://www.atfloydian.u-net.com/vic/resource.htm

Virtual Social Work Information resources for social workers, probation officers, psychologists, counselors, drugs workers and other health and social care staff in the UK. By Conny Carnuth. http://www.virtualsocialwork.co.uk

  

Q)      Subj:
Date: 04/13/1999

Hello, how are you doing? I am a student at the university of Colorado at Boulder. I am giving a presentation on culturally sensitive psychotherapy so I am searching the web for some information. Your website caught my eye because I am an anthropology major switching to the field of clinical psychology. I always find it interesting to see people who have made similar switches because I find the two fields of psychology and anthropology incredibly complimentary. I am graduating this may and am in the process of applying to clinical psychology programs. I hope that the admissions boards see this complimentary nature of my anthropology background as well. Anyway, if you have any commentary on culturally sensitive psychotherapy, please feel free to email me.

 A)      There are a number of web sites and journals devoted to cross cultural psychology. There is also study done in cross cultural psychoanalysis as well as psychological anthropology. The two fields 'fit' because their separation was, itself, an artifact of time, place and dynamics of the evolution of knowledge. Rossi's The Unconscious in Culture, though a bit 'antiquated' at this point (in so far as it purports a structuralist project) is a good place to start, then go backward and forward in the literature. When I get time to put my stuff on my web page, there'll be a little more to look at, as well.



 

Q)      Subj: Re: education

Date: 03/17/1999

[The text of this question was, unfortunately, lost in a system crash Ė alas!  But the drift of it is clear from the answer.]

A)       Are you doing graduate or undergraduate work? If the latter, I would think that a sociology degree with a minors in psych and literature would serve you best. I came into the field from anthropology and retrained as a psychotherapist by taking a masters in social work and psychoanalytic training concurrently. I recommend literature to compliment and round off the more abstract, academic approaches of sociology and psychology. In any case READ LOTS OF CLASSICS IN LITERATURE -- novels, poetry short stories, myth, folklore, etc. I can't stress this enough: whereas soc and psych are looking at types and stochastic functions, literature is looking at concrete realms of experience. And that is just where people live. To do counseling you're in the concrete world.

As for jobs -- I'm in private practice and occasionally consult in program development in social services. But look in the Department of labor web site for more info in this area.


Q)      Subj: incest
Date: 04/12/1999

Hello. Would you please provide me with information on the topic of incest or where I can find out that info? I need to know about who does it more- mothers or fathers, and to who- girls or boys and what ages of boys and girls and what are possible consequences of the victims, the substance abuse? Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate it. I am a psychology student myself.

A)       Thank you for your inquiry. You can find this information by going to the library reference department and looking in journal abstracts in psychology, psychoanalysis, social psychology, anthropology and sociology under the topic 'incest.' By doing this you'll get the most up-to-date information as well as sharpen your research skills.



Q)      Subj: Re: PENN STATE

Date: 03/31/1999

 

[The text of this question also was, unfortunately, lost in a system crash.  But, again,  the drift of it is clear from the answer.]

A)       Nathan Ackerman's Treating the Troubles Family is a good place to start. Actually there is no single 'definition' of the 'healthy family' -- it depends upon the theorist: Ackerman is different from Murray Bowen, who is different from Sal Minuchin, who is different from Carl Wittacker, who is different from Virginia Satir, who is different from . . . etc., etc. -- and these are all different from the cross cultural psych types. So, the answer you seek is in you -- it's in how you conceptualize the family, its response to depression (&/or the emergence of depression from the family's dynamics), and how you conceptualize depression &/or the depressed person. The key to doing this thing we call treatment is how you can utilize yourself, what you know, who you are, how you react and act -- to work towards helping people. Look at your intentions and the ways you keep from being clear: therein you'll find your answers.



Q)      Subj: Re:
            Date: 04/15/1999

 

[The text of this question also was, unfortunately, lost in a system crash.  Although the drift of the question is not so clear from the answer, it can be seen that the question concerned the theoretical and practical understanding of abuse & the abusive process.  At the time I hadnít posted any of my technical papers Ė I am beginning to do so Ė so I couldnít direct the writer to my website as I would now. ]

A)       The best place to start is by looking in journal abstracts in psychology, psychoanalysis and social psychology under your topic. That way you'll get the most recent information as well as sharpen your research skills. Also, there's a journal that used to be called "treating abuse today" (though I think the title's changed in the past year or so) which will also be able to provide more bibliography.

 

                 

 

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Recent inquiries regarding my psychotherapy practice, anthropology, career guidance and seeking help. Individual, Couple and Group Psychotherapy for adults; professional supervision & training