14 years in business

About this pro

My clients get better in shorter time frames, overall and my Healthgrades reviews from clients are near the top for my profession in the entire US (both in how many reviews I have and in the average rating). 

I offer initial free (office) consultations to new clients; there's no pressure to schedule and in that first session the treatment plan is started (which clients can later review) and services are implemented right away. 

I do not schedule sessions for clients - unless they request it - so as not to pressure clients to "fill my openings."  This allows clients to schedule when they know they need to be seen!  Clients know when to see a medical doctor and my experience tells me they know when to see a mental health professional. I will recommend a weekly frequency for the first month (if it is needec) with an every other week in the second month.  Why?  Nearly all of my clients are feeling better within their first and second sessions!

My clients can schedule sessions 24 hours a day, using their own secure portal and the portal allows clients to reach me online 24 hours a day.  With synchronous and asynchronous services offered - office, video, chat, email, journaling and phone - all secure and highly encrypted to meet HIPAA standards, client service options allow 24 hours a day service. 

My practice bills insurance plans for clients at the time of the session (there are no billing agents and no lagging monthly submissions - client claims are sent in real time).  Onsite services are available too! 

My work is very eclectic, quite unique in a profession that increasingly is moving to specialization.  Why eclectic?  Simple.  Not every client needs one specialty and most have diverse needs.  Clinical social work sees a person in their world, looking at what they affect and how the world affects them - that is my specialty.  Eclecticism also ensures that my clinical work does not become biased to my "expertise" therefore making a client fit to me (as opposed to my fitting to their needs). Eclectic work allows me to focus on the client requests and the client progress - with the goal of no longer needing services as primary!  

I have 15 years of private practice experience.  My work includes hypnosis (great for weight loss, food management, smoking cessation and more complex matters such as trauma, anxiety and compulsions) where the time in care is very brief.  I include neurobiological processes that explain and look at how thought and feeling work and how both can be changed once "how it works" is better understood.  From information about neurochemical and hormone processes, to the science of happiness - clients get better - faster!

I'm licensed in Florida as an LCSW.  I'm licensed in DC as LICSW.  I am credentialed in Clinical Hypnosis and I am a Qualified Clincial Social Work Supervisor.  I have worked as a professor in the university system, developed counseling programs for rural districts and provided onsite continuing education services to both peers and other professionals.  I am a published author (with my first book in final editing stages with a known publisher in NYC) and travel a bit between DC and FL coordinating the best treatment options for all of my clients.  Since 2005 I have worked with literally thousands of clients - thanks to the self scheduling and digital services approaches that have been a part of my work since the day I opened.

I'm so sure that there is a fit that I begin with a free one hour consult.  And I see clients for full one hour sessions (not a "clinical 45-50 minute" session) and I have session time slots that can last up to 3 hours!

I have really enjoyed meeting new clients who have long histories of counseling, some with pretty serious disorders - who within less than 10 sessions stop coming to see me - and then later send thank you cards! 

The thing I love most about my work is seeing people get better, change - and then to see the STOP coming because of their changes.  Sure, I have long term clients (TBI's, Chronic / Complex Trauma, Unresolved Addictions, BiPolar, Developmental Disabilities, Thought Disorders, etc) - but even they improve and move to needing talk therapy services less.  

I really, really, really love talk therapy - working with clients each and every time - and this has stayed as exciting 15 years into practice as it was the day I left grad school and began my practice career.  I've worked in some form of social services since 1987 (except for a two year time frame) and every encounter I have with a client I view a "the chance to get something to click" such that they are changed.  It's soooooo cooool!  From an encounter with a client on the beach, to a session in the office, to online video and chat sessions, to journaling and emailing therapy tools - it doesn't matter where I get to work with clients --- it is the work where the changes begin - that makes it amazing to me.

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Washington, DC 20016
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

Most all new clients will find my profiles online, see my healthgrade reviews, read a bit on my talkifuwant site and then schedule a free consultation.  Some clients begin by reaching out by email or by text (email and texting outside of the server is not confidential - but some prefer this anyway) and then schedule.  Self scheduling online is done after the secure digital file is set up in what becomes their 24 hour accessible portal.  

In the first session most all of my clients are a bit surprised, pleasantly so, that I actually begin by reviewing all of their information provided in the server - and start putting together a treatment plan. New clients like to hear what I think is going on, if there is (or is not) a diagnosis, how it can be treated (with more than one option offered and explained), how long it might take and that they will be asked to look for the full treatment plan later.

So - my clients find me generally online somewhere, they register and schedule online 24 hours a day, they begin with a free consultation in the office and then we begin with a formalized and agreed upon plan with multiple options.  And with a pretty neat goal in mind - which is for the client to get well enough, soon enough, so they can fire me - with a high five (returning only if they should ever need to).  Here, is where my clients reveiw me online and/or tell others to try my services.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, Master in Social Work, Phi Kappa Phi Honors, Dean's List, 3.98 GPA. Degree: April, 2005.

Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, OH 45206, Bachelor of Arts, Social Work, President's Award nominee, 4.0 GPA. Degree: October, 2003.

Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, FL 32304, Associate in Arts, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Dean's List, President's List. Degree: August, 1999.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

Individuals, CouplesFamilies & Intensives

 (Prices Effective 11/15/18)

The practice does not use "clinical hour" billing - it uses the 60 minute clock hours so clients get more time in sessions!

  Initial Consultation (Investigate Options and Planning)  $155


  Individual (traditional therapy session) ……….………    $155

                      One Full Hour

  Couples session ………………………….………......    $155 

                      One Full  Hour

  Family session ……….…………………………………..    $255 

                       Two Full Hours

  Open Access* Traditional Sessions ……………….    $2940

(Discounted for THERVO ONLY - and includes 28 One Full Hour sessions—1 yr.  Mention THERVO when ordering for this discounted rate)



(effective September 2017)

  One Time Concierge Session ………………………… $300 1.5 Hours (limit 3)

  Concierge Coop 7 Sessions…………………………..  $1925 7 sessions (2 months)

  Concierge Coop 14 Sessions ………………………..  $3500 14 sessions (3 months)

  Concierge Coop 28 Sessions ………………………..  $6,300 28 sessions (10 months)

  Tru-Concierge Packages ……………………………… $300 (+ travel and + pass thrus)

  Family Centered Youth Consultative Service……… $300 1.5 Hours (limit 4)

  Clinical Hypnosis (DC and FL—in person) ………..... $820 Three Hrs. Thirty Minutes

  Reconciliation Retreats ………………………………...Book NOW!

  Concierge Hypnosis / Rapid Resolution ………….   $225 (per incident/per hour)

  Concierge Hypnosis to resolution …………………….. $1250 (up to full day if needed)

How did you get started in this business?

In the late 80's I started, right out of high school, working in a drug education program linking businesses to schools and funding group presentations.  Then I was hired to live in and work in residential group home with the leading child welfare company in the US emphasizing behavior modification.  Here is where I learned that not all clients can get better with even the best model of care by the best of something in an industry.  I then started working with populations living with poverty - homeless, unemployed and hungry folks - a job that is and was one of my favorites.  Here I learned about the impact of the economic environment on peoples well being.  In college I pursued a mental health degree that was the most diverse so that I could learn the most about all that is out there to help people change.  I didn't become a clinical social worker to then move to a different specialty - not even back then - I became a clinical social work as my specialty!  I tell my clients the cool thing about hiring a clinical social worker (not the same thing as a social worker by the way) is that we know a little about nearly all levels / layers of mental health services - and that's the one thing we know allot about.  Are their advantages and disadvanatges?  Sure - and the clients make these clear such that when changes are necessary they are made.  If a psychiatrist is needed - then that is added; if a psychologist is needed - then that is added (and if it is known at the consult these are necessary it is explained to the client why and how so they can know that their care is as comprehensive as needed).  My passion for counseling grew out of a moment where I observed a therapist in a group setting talk with patients in a hospital (a freind of mine was there and asked that I attend "family week"); as I watched this guy and this lady do their work I was instantly mesmorized.  They helped; they literally were changing how people were thinking of themselves and of others using scientific tools and information.  It was amazing.    

What types of customers have you worked with?

For the earlier part of my career many youth in practice, in school settings, and in various facilities - along with their families.  Later as I began to see that children cannot heal unless their families heal (and many families focused on the child - as opposed to the system) I began increasingly dealing with couples dynamics (this emerged in my youth and family work by the way).  Here is where diverse disorders began to emerge and where many others were realized as not the case.  Not everyone is sick - even if life is really really difficult at times - for everyone!

I moved from behavioral approaches, to cognitive ones, they psychodynamic ones, then onto hypsnosis and the subconsious worlds, and eventually settled in the more scientific aspects of how the brain actually works.  Thanks to the experts in neurology and brain processes, and the experts in biological chemical processes, as well as those scientists who studied and wrote/write about happy brains - I can now incorporate many age old theories into how the brain works - and put some of those theories to rest as the science suggests they are more bias than help - and pass along these basic processes to clients to help them see "how it works" as opposed to what they've been hearing in "why it isn't."  

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Recently I was talking to a client about how it is that adrenalin, cortisol, and epinephrine (ACE) impact doubt and inflammation in the brain and body; this build up impacts how the hippocampus (thinking brain, if you will) processes data - skewing it to a negative impact on judgment.  What is needed is confidence - and that has a biological equivalent as well - for men and women it is testosterone (thank you Dr. Cuddy for your work here).  So we practiced several thinking exercises to induce ACE and then we practiced thinking exercises to induce T.  The client not only saw a change - but experience it.  Here as they smiled and then began to cry I asked what was happening.  The client said - paraphrased as best I can: "I just realized that there is a way to explain what is going on with me - and I understand it.  Now I get how my brain and body work. People have been telling me for years how messed up I am. No one has been able to explain how it works - all they've done is told my why it doesn't. I see a way to use how it works and then to feel better - like we just did, here today." 

I have many recent "fond of" moments - because I work to pay attention to them as they occur in big and small ways.  Seeing an aging male client move their self talk from "I'm old and senile and going to die this way" to "my hormones have shifted and now I'm more emotional and sensitive with my family. That doesn't make me senile at all --- it means the testosterone has dropped and the estrogen has raised.  I can just enjoy time with people I love.  Oh, it's different than when I was 30, but hell, this is pretty okay afterall!"  

And another: in helping an anxiety patient - severely ill - move to a mindful exercise, based on trauma work and poly vagal concepts a cool thing happened (first, notice that I used a trauma based tool to help an anxiety patient --  showing you that eclectic is strategic!). He moved to a place where he could engage his brain differently (as busy as the anxious brain is that's really something).  He could now engage mind and brain so that they were allies rather than foes - and ironically he calms every single time.  He recently told me in our last phone session: "I've been using that exercise thing with Joey, telling my brain [here he goes through some steps we practiced] and that sh*t works!"  

These are all recent and fond!

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

1) can you see them for the first time for free and for a full hour face to face?

2) do they prepare a formal treatment plan (or plan) in writing and discuss it with you?

3) if you ask them to bill insurance do they tell you what your diagnosis is and why they have diagnosed you this way (insurance companies require a mental health diagnosis in order to pay)?

4) have they told you how long your care could last in the best and worst cases?  Have they explained why?  Have they explained what their experiences are with other cases?

5) do they allow you to schedule your own sessions?

6) if they specialize, how do they handle other life scenarios that are not in line with their specialty?

7) what are their healthgrade reviews like (healthgrades is a national provider database set up as providers of various kinds obtain licenses and clients review them there)?  What do other reviews look like, if they have them?

8) are their sessions a full hour or do they use a clinical hour (and does this change if insurance is billed)?

9) do they have other treatment accessiblity options - like online secure communications in between sessions?

10) can you review your treatment plan, diagnoses', rule outs, and case notes?  If so, do you have to ask or is this offered?

11) when would they know to include other experts, like the psychiatrist  for medications and the psychologist for testing? 

12) do they include in treatment offerings other options like hypnosis, coaching, onsite and online options?

13) if you stop counseling with them at anytime for any reason, can you come back if you like?

14) do they ever refuse to see clients?  If so, why?  And if they do terminate cases, and your scenario is similar to theirs, will they do that with your care too?

15) do they use brain/neuro chemical/genetic and hormone based information to guide their care?  Or, do they use framework and stage theory models?  

16) do they share the files of information they draw, diagram and discuss in sessions into a server where it can be reviewed and looked at later?

17) do they offer package discounts for people who want more sessions and know they will need them?

18) do they mostly listen in sessions or are they active in them (active with questions, challenges, alternative options and solutions, for example).  Active listening is one part of therapy - not the only part.  Some therapists prefer to listen mostly based on a model that says you will get to your own answer and based on "holding" concepts.  Others are more direct, interactive, challenging and supportive.

19) wil they take notes during the session?  Will they review the session notes from the last session at the start of every session?

20) can you text them (and if so what is okay to text and not okay to text), call them, see them by video/chat besides the office?

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

If seeing me in my practice, in using the server, the set up questions will prompt all clients to give some of the most important information for the first session.  After that other digital forms (nothing is emailed or printed and there is no paper unless a person wants printed copies) are completed for the next session.  Again, these forms are designed to prompt for the necessary information so the beginning and process of care is thorough.

In general the above questions will help, but also these:

Write down your questions and comments for your first session and let the therapist know you would like to get through all of them if possible.

Tell them if you have seen other therapists and doctors; counseling, medications, diagnosis history and even physcial conditions are all a factor in mental health.  Tell them what you liked (and didn't like) with the other experts.

Let them know if you are relying on insurance for your care.  Here they will either be in network or out of network and your coverage will vary by these two indicators.  If you are health insurance dependent, meaning your care is only possible if they are in network, let them know this before you begin with them.

Ask them if you will / are diagnosed and how that affects you (or could affect you)?  Diagnosis can be a factor in reporting to insurance companies including national data bases for buying other insurance in the future, it can be a factor in what is reported to, or in getting and keeping certain jobs, working in law enforcement or the military and certain other professions (including mental health interestingly enough).

Ask them if they can provide coaching services and ask them to define the difference between coaching and clincial counseling (one tells you what to do and usually costs more and the other is about problem solving, solutions and moving from illness to health - and is often less expensive).  Ask them if coaching or clinical counseling takes longer (one usually is longer to complete than the other).

Let them know of any safety related matters such as violence with a loved one, thoughts of harm to self and others (current and past times) early on, even if they fail to ask.

Ask them what they do with no show sessions and if they charge fees for these?  Ask them if you can access your own scheduling to cancel and reschedule 24 hours a day or not?

Ask them about their success stories (maybe one or two) and ask them about their failure stories.  A practical and competent professional will have both.

If their online reviews are perfect, it would be helpful to be curious about how that is possible (especially if they have more than one or two of them)?  And if the reviews are less than perfect, what are the areas that the person was "dinged" in?

Ask the professional to tell you about their "dinged" reviews.  This will be something they may not expect and their responses to you and their reactions will help you assess levels of professionalism.

And again, see the "advice" list of questions as well.  

Services offered

Counselors Cognitive Behavioral Therapists Couples Therapy Services Hypnosis Services Marriage Counselors Mental Health Counselors Psychotherapists Anxiety Therapists Relationship Counselors Therapists Anger Management Classes Grief Counselors Spiritual Counselors