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Plays Well with Others

By Eric Barker

Eric Barker is one of those talented writer / researchers that is able to take massive amounts of information and translate it into understandable and useful bite-size bits.  He is able to find anecdotes that bring the concepts of relatedness to life with relatability and humor.

This is a book I recommend to anyone who is in a relationship (so everyone). It is a fun and rich compendium of all that is currently known about how to get along with others, as friends, lovers, spouses, and parents.

My full fee is currently 300 dollars per hour.  That being said I am usually able to adjust my fee to the financial realities of those seeking my services.  I have had little trouble finding a fee that fits within the means of those who come to me and am confident that most financial concerns can be negotiated.

I do not currently accept any insurance plans.  I am however, able to provide my patients with a Superbill that includes all the necessary information for them to receive the level of compensation afforded by their plan.  I recommend that anyone wishing to use their insurance contact their provider to learn what the rates of compensation are and what the procedures for submitting billing involve.

I have hours to fit most schedules with evening and weekend times available.  I have not had trouble finding a time that will work for those seeking my services.

I see adults and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 65.

While I work to pull together many scientifically supported treatment methods into an integrated whole, there are a few methods and theoretical positions I count as being at my core. Some of the foundational methods that I integrate to provide a uniquely tailored therapeutic experience for my patients include:

  • Psychoanalysis: Object relations, Self-psychology, Ego Psychology, Dream Analysis, and Control Mastery

  • Mentalization Based Treatment

  • Internal Family Systems

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

  • Interpersonal Therapy

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

  • Existential Humanistic Therapy

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Relapse Prevention

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

  • Mindfulness

  • Executive Skills Training

  • Parent Centered Treatment

  • Multisystemic Therapy

  • Child Centered Therapy

  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

  • Positive Psychology

While many diagnoses have names that are not effective in describing the nuances of a problem, they have come to stand for a set of difficulties that most clinicians agree on.  However, diagnoses are a reality of my professional life and are an important part of making sense of problem behaviors. I would say that I treat those conditions that create barriers to an individual being able to enjoy their life.  Such barriers usually manifest themselves as poor work performance; frequent negative experiences with family, peers, and/or those in authority; avoidance of feared situations including escape into substances or other self-destructive behaviors.  Diagnostically speaking, I treat the following:.

  • Depression (Dysthymic Disorder, Major Depression)

  • Anxiety (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, Panic Attacks, PTSD)

  • Mood instability (Bipolar Disorder)

  • Truama

  • Personality Disorders

  • Psychotic Disorders

  • Behavior Problems (Oppositionality, Defiance, Disordered Conduct)

  • Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Substance Abuse

Other issues I help individuals address include:

  • Relational Issues such as difficulty with commitment, repeated patterns of being exploited, rejected or abused.

  • Motivation issues including those pertaining to career

  • Creative blocks

  • Rejection fears

  • Anger

  • Envy

  • Shame

  • Family of Origin Issues

  • Parenting Difficulties

I am not able to accept credit card payments. Once a Patient has established a treatment plan with me, I usually bill him/her monthly and receive payment by check, Zelle, or Venmo.

A licensed psychologist is a practitioner who has completed a Doctoral program (4 to 6 years beyond a Bachelors degree) in psychology or education, has passed the ASPPB Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), has completed 3000 hours of supervised professional experience, and has passed the California Psychology Supplemental Examination (CPSE).

A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) is a practitioner who has competed a Masters program in psychology (2 years beyond a Bachelors degree) with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy, has completed 3000 hours supervised clinical work, and has passed both the standard MFT and Clinical Vignette Exams.

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LSCW) is a practitioner who has completed a Masters program (2 years beyond a Bachelors degree) in Social Work (MSW), completed 3200 hours of supervised clinical experience, and has passed both the standard Social Work and Clinical Vignette Exams.

One of the biggest differences between a psychologist and the masters level practitioners is the additional time spent in learning and practicing therapeutic interventions. Other important differences include training in psychological assessment, statistical analysis, test construction, and research methods. While it is not always the case, most psychologists have completed a Dissertation involving a comprehensive literature review, design and implementation of a research study, statistical analysis of the results, and an integration of the findings into a publishable manuscript.

For some people the level of experience and training that a psychologist has to offer is overkill for the problems that they are experiencing.

It is not uncommon for MFTs and LCSWs to obtain their doctoral degrees in Psychoanalysis.  They are able to use the title "Doctor" but are not psychologists.

Experience has taught me that while there are significant differences between treating a an adolescent and an adult, the core issues are essentially the same. In fact, through working with young children one experiences the raw personality dynamics that lay beneath problem behaviors seen in adults. Furthermore, having worked with children has allowed me to appreciate the powerful influences of early experience and readily recognize their "echoes" in adulthood.  Oftentimes the problems we experience as adults are a result of those aspects of ourselves that we do not have words for. Much of what is therapeutic is finding ways of describing our emotional experience.  Working with children requires that a therapist become very adept at finding language to capture a child's emotional experience. I have found that my work with children has made me more able to understand, and accurately communicate, my grasp of the emotional experiences of the adults I work with.

I have found that the right medication applied to a correctly identified problem can be miraculous.  Having said this, I want to be clear that in my opinion, medication must be turned to only as a result of careful evaluation and exploration of alternatives.  In the case of depression this usually involves at least 8 weekly sessions of psychotherapy alone. If at the end of this period the individual's depressive symptoms have not shown some improvement, a referral to psychiatry is initiated. One of the most common concerns I face is the question of medicating a child to treat their symptoms of inattention and impulsivity.  I have seen dramatic improvements occur when a patient who has genuine ADHD is given the right stimulant medication. There is ample scientific evidence that when inattention and impulsivity are the result of ineffectual processing of dopamine by the areas of the brain that control these functions, medications that increase the availability of this neurotransmitter effectively bring these capacities online. The ultimate evidence is when children report that they feel as though they have control of their minds and can really listen to and watch what is happening around them.  They are the same children but with improved abilities to attend to information and make thoughtful decisions about their actions.  This is a complexly emotional topic and there is only so much I can address here. Suffice it to say that I am not anti-medication.  I am strongly against medicating anyone who could be better served by another means.  I would like to add that Neurofeedback is showing more and more promise as a drug-free method for improving concentration by training the brain in ways analogous to using weights to strengthen muscle.

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