Services

 

 

Are you working on...?

Coping with depression, anxiety and other challenges with mood

Understanding patterns as an artist that prevent you from enjoying or completing your work

Maintaining integrity in your public/private life

Parenting or teaching adolescents and pre-adolescents

 Self-esteem struggles, reaching your goals and quieting your “inner critic"

Healing grief and loss

Parenting through separation and divorce

Dealing with chronic pain/impact on relationships

 

About Psychotherapy...

 

Psychotherapy (sometimes also called "counseling") typically consists of 50-minute face-to-face meetings between the therapist and individual or family members, which begin by focusing on the presenting problems and exploring the situation in the context of the family. During the first session or two, I will usually gather information on the history of the individuals involved and the ways in which they have attempted to cope with the problem(s) in the past. After an initial period of assessment, we will agree upon a plan for treatment, including treatment goals, frequency of meetings, and whenever we can estimate, the length of time treatment will last. The treatment will include exploration of alternative ways to deal with the problems we’ve discussed and/or provide a renewed focus for pursuing your life goals. Many people see psychotherapy as a means of self- and family-support and exploration, not just for coping with problems.

 

While my practice has certain focus areas, I have worked for decades with individual adults, couples and families on a wide variety of issues. I hope you'll contact me about your specific needs.

About Teletherapy...

 

Michael is licensed to provide Teletherapy and Psychotherapy in California, Louisiana and New York. Teletherapy refers to providing psychotherapy services remotely using telecommunications technologies, such as video conferencing or telephone. One of the benefits of teletherapy is that the client and clinician can engage in services without being in the same physical location--the primary benefit as we all try to stay healthy and safe around the Covid-19 virus. I have met all the state-level requirements for conducting safe and effective Telemental Health sessions, and have acquired special expertise in the ongoing provision of teletherapy.

 

Teletherapy can be helpful in ensuring continuity of care if the client or clinician moves to a different location, takes an extended vacation, or is otherwise unable to continue to meet in person. It is also more convenient and takes less time. Teletherapy, however, requires technical competence on both our parts to be helpful. Although there are benefits of teletherapy, there are some differences between in-person psychotherapy and teletherapy, as well as some risks. For example:

  • Risks to confidentiality. Because teletherapy sessions take place outside of the therapist’s private office, there is potential for other people to overhear sessions if you are not in a private place during the session. On my end I will take reasonable steps to ensure your privacy. But it is important for you to make sure you find a private place for our session where you will not be interrupted. It is also important for you to protect the privacy of our session on your cellphone or other device. You should participate in therapy only while in a room or area where other people are not present and cannot overhear the conversation.

  • Issues related to technology. There are many ways that technology issues might impact teletherapy. For example, technology may stop working during a session, other people might be able to get access to our private conversation, or stored data could be accessed by unauthorized people or companies. These are less likely when using a fully HIPAA-compliant platform like the one I utilize.

  • Crisis management and intervention. Usually, I will not engage in teletherapy with clients who are currently in a crisis situation requiring high levels of support and intervention. Before engaging in teletherapy, we will develop an emergency response plan to address potential crisis situations that may arise during the course of our teletherapy work.

  • Efficacy. Most research shows that teletherapy is about as effective as in-person psychotherapy. However, some therapists believe--and I am one of them--that something is lost by not being in the same room. For example, there is debate about a therapist’s ability to fully understand non-verbal information when working remotely, and non-verbal information is a significant part of human communication.

Background...

 

Since 1995, I have written about, designed programs for, worked in, consulted with and counseled thousands of independent school children and their families, holding roles such as:

 

  • Director of Student Support

  • Director of Social-Emotional Counseling & Learning Support

  • Consultant on School Crisis Management and Response

  • Middle and Upper School Counselor

  • Academic Affairs Liaison

  • Director of Parent Education

  • Head of Testing Accommodations and Learning Support

  • Advisor to the Student Honor System

  • Student Advisor and Club Sponsor

  • Coordinator of Peer Suicide Prevention Programming for High School

  • In-service trainer of faculty on all aspects of adolescent development

  • Assistant to the Head of School for Crisis Management

  • Head of Health & Wellness Program Research and Implementation

If your child attends an independent school, or you are thinking of educating your child in this realm, I can provide highly informed, relevant, compassionate and wise ongoing support. While adolescents often have struggles that exceed their school day, or originate outside the school, it really helps to understand the context in which they spend almost half of their days.

  • Academic and social pressure in the independent school world

  • The issue of status and anxiety over status

  • Policy and practicality around serving the student with learning disabilities/ADHD

  • Working with your school Head or division administrators

  • Working with your child's advisor and the advisory system

  • When is it time to consider a new school?, viz., Can your school change and how much energy do you have to invest in those processes?

  • Negotiating the beginning of an independent high school or middle school

  • Setting limits that are developmentally appropriate and right for your child

  • Navigating the academic landscape: who to talk to and when

  • Helping teachers understand how your child learns best, without alienating the educator

  • Partnering with the school around mental health issues with your child or family...and a host of other key issues that arise during 6th-12th grade

Services for the Independent School Child and Family... 

 
Educational Services for Students and Families
  • Reviewing and Explaining to you and your child, psychoeducational assessents and evaluations

  • Expertise on AD/HD

  • Learning Problems/Difficulties and working with your school's learning specialist

  • School Visits and consultation(s)

 

​Working with Students in Context
  • Direct observation in school setting​

  • Collaboration and faculty support

  • Partnering with your school's counseling and student support staff

  • Improve communications between family, school and student​

  • Program accommodations and modifications​

  • Personalized learning plans, accommodations support

  • Public v. Private schools in the United States: Understanding ADA, Sec. 504 and IEPs

  • Resources and in-service training for faculty and staff 

 

School Community in Crisis: Mental Health First Aid
  • School Crisis Management​

  • Forming a Crisis Response Team​

  • Critical Incident Stress Management

  • Consultation to School Heads: Do You Need Crisis Response Support?

Since 1995, Michael has spoken around the United States on everything having to do with parenting, focusing on adolescent development in the digital age. From an in-studio special at WYES in New Orleans on Media Literacy & Child Development, to meeting with independent school heads on reputation risk management, Michael's work focus has been on supporting youth and families--and the institutions that attempt to do the same.

 

Past topics of panels, keynotes, speeches, parent evenings, television and radio appearances have included:

 

  • Teens, Drugs and Parties: A New Approach to Risk-Taking Behavior

  • The Unfair Fight: How Media are Shaping Your Child's Development

  • Academic Integrity

  • Dealing with College "Stress"

  • Bullying and Harassment in Middle School

  • Understanding the World of the Middle School Child

  • Navigating the Pitfalls of the Independent School World

  • Suicide Prevention for Faculty

  • Suicide Prevention for Peers

  • Adolescent Brain Development: The Promise and Peril of the Neuroimaging Turn

  • Your Adolescent: What's Normal and Expectable

  • Puberty: Why is it so Key to Understanding Your Teen?

  • Critical Media Literacy in the 21st Century

  • Media Literacy and Adolescent Development

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the Adolescent

  • Culturally-Competent Services in Student Support

  • Harm Reduction and Better Approaches to Understanding Drugs and Alcohol

  • How to Be Your Child's "Go To" Person for Advice

  • The Approximate Parent: A Unique and Case-Specific Approach to Parenting

  • School Crisis Management

  • Forming a School Crisis Response Team

  • The Right Stuff: What is Good Student Support in the Independent School?

  • Health and Wellness for Adolescents: What is Good Adolescent Mental Health?

  • Social-Emotional Learning and Counseling? Fad or Fact

  • For Mental Health Clinicians: Working with Teens from a Cognitive-Interpersonal Perspective

  • Reputation Risk Management: It's Not Your Mother's Student Support Anymore

  • How to Build an Effective Counseling Program in the Independent School

Michael has consulted with numerous schools and school districts around school crisis response (natural disasters, accidents, educator misconduct, and the like); moving from understanding school culture to risk management, and; implementing health/wellness programming in the digital age. Contact Michael about your individual project or institutional needs.