Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crises and Emergencies: 1 800 309-2131 or 911

Due to the risks associated with the ongoing pandemic, I am only working with people by telephone.  I am not seeing anyone in person at this time.

If you find yourself in the midst of a psychiatric crisis or emergency that is life-threatening and requires immediate attention, please call Crisis Support Services at 1 800 309- 2131 or 911.  In addition, you can leave a voicemail message for me at 510 234-7224, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Office Guidelines: Cancellations and Lateness

If you know that you will be unable to attend a scheduled meeting, please call at your earliest convenience to let me know. I charge the full fee for cancellations made less than 24 hours before our meeting. Because I wholeheartedly support self-care, I do NOT charge for same-day cancellations due to illness or medical emergency. Thus, if you are sick and still contagious, please stay home and take care of yourself. I ordinarily wait 20 minutes if you are late. After that time, I may not be available unless you have called to let me know that you will be late. The best number to reach me at if you call to let me know that you will be late is: 510 526-2543.

Our Meetings

Meeting Length: Generally, our meetings are approximately 45 minutes long. I accept checks or cash for the copay (if you are using insurance). Alternatively, I am happy to send you a statement at the end of each month, if you prefer to pay on a monthly basis. In order to make maximal use of our time together, I ask that you arrive with the check for your copay already made out. In this way we can get the business side of our meetings taken care of at the beginning. Confidentiality: Our meetings are confidential, which means that what you share with me stays in the room. I take this legal and ethical responsibility very seriously. There are several exceptions to confidentiality, and I want to mention some of these: For purposes of assuring safety, if you threaten to harm yourself or someone else, if you pose a danger to yourself or someone else, or are gravely disabled, I am required by law to break confidentiality. Also, if I learn of, or suspect that a parent is engaging in child abuse, I am required by law to report such suspected abuse. The same is true if I have reason to believe that an elder or dependent is being abuse. Our Time Together: My natural inclination is to follow your lead; I assume that you have some idea where you wish to begin. I am happy to ask questions as they arise and make suggestions, too. I am not the kind of therapist who sits back, nods every so often and makes only occasional sounds like, "Uh-huh, go on." While I am happy to discuss the past insofar as it is relevant to what is happening now in your life, I am not the kind of therapist who dwells on the past. This is what psychoanalytically oriented therapists do; my focus is more solution-oriented and rooted in the here-and-now.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Who I Work With

I am passionately committed to working in a collaborative way that builds upon each person's strengths and abilities. I see individual adults, who are seeking support for a wide range of concerns which include, but are not limited to: anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship conflicts, chemical dependency, existential and spiritual crises, work stress, and life stage transitions.

Books and Blog

I am a freelance writer and haiku poet who has written or edited the following books:

The Breath of Surrender is a collection of haiku about recovery from various addictions. It is available from Lulu.com.

Dreams Wander On is a collection of haiku written with awareness of one's own mortality. This collection is also available at Lulu.com. In addition to the book, I have created a blog for posting death awareness haiku. Please visit the blog at: deathawarenesshaiku.blogspot.com

Suffering Buddha: The Zen Way beyond Health and Illness is a collection of prose poems about living with chronic illness and pain. It is available on Amazon.com or through Trafford Publishing. I am the primary author and Stacy Taylor is the secondary author.

Living Well with a Hidden Disability is a self-help book about coping with chronic illness and pain. Stacy Taylor, LCSW, is the primary author and I am the secondary author. This book is available used at Amazon.com or Bookfinder.com.

Insurance and Fees

I am a network provider for many health insurance plans, including Blue Shield, Anthem/Blue Cross, Cigna, United Behavioral Health and United Healthcare--to name a few. If you wish to be seen through your health insurance plan, please call them to let request authorization for mental health services; this will enable me to get reimbursement for our meeting. Obtaining authorization does not oblige you to continue meeting with me, if you later decide you wish to see someone else.

Please note that I charge for initial meetings, but I am happy to talk briefly by telephone at no charge to discuss your needs with regards to counseling or psychotherapy.

For those paying out of pocket and needing special arrangements regarding the fee, please consider what fee you can afford based on your current financial circumstances.