Hi, I’m Paul. I went from being a recording and performing musician to being a psychotherapist, professor, researcher, writer, and conference speaker. Just as music allows musicians to express feelings through sound, psychotherapy can be like an instrument that allows you and I to collaborate and understand how you make meaning in life through talking and self-observation.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER THERAPISTS?
Practicing mental health counseling is just one part of my long-term commitment to personal development and being a helper. I have taught psychology as a professor at the undergraduate and graduate level, facilitated training events for other therapists, co-authored and published academic research, written and presented many articles, been elected to leadership positions in the mental health field, and have spoken at live conferences in three different countries.
Another way in which I’ve committed myself to a high standard of practice is by engaging with multiple disciplines related to mental health and psychotherapy, including: anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, religion, history, politics, gender and multicultural studies.
Finally, I reserve considerable time each week to practice thorough case conceptualization, and I make sure I remain current with emerging mental health research and theories. In other words, every week I spend several hours reading literature that is related to my caseload. I think critically about this material and how it may help (or not help) my patients. I write private notes about my findings so that I may incorporate it into my work. I also seek regular continuing education and supervision opportunities to advance my work.
It is worth noting that I am only able to take all of these extra measures in my clinical practice because I intentionally maintain a smaller caseload of clients than therapists who are in-network providers with insurance companies. Because insurance companies have not increased pay rates to therapists in years (possibly in over a decade), most therapists who take insurance are forced to meet with an unmanageable number of patients to make end’s meet, limiting the time they can spend outside of session to enhancing their craft, and decreasing the overall quality of care. It is for this reason that psychotherapists who are good at their craft go out-of-network, and they do so more than any other professional who is part of the healthcare industry. The structure of my business allows me to spend considerably more time working on my cases outside of face-to-face time than the average therapist, which increases the overall quality of care in my practice.
I would encourage you to do your own independent research on these matters when choosing a therapist. Instead of choosing a therapist based on the ease of an insurance copay or promises that seem too good to be true, choose to educate yourself on the different factors that go into the making of a seasoned and effective psychotherapist.
WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE?
My academic tenure was a full-time seven-year experience. During my undergraduate studies, I regularly achieved academic honors. I earned my master of arts degree in Counseling Psychology and completed an internship at a college counseling center. I pioneered several culturally-sensitive programs between my alma mater and internship site. I focused my academic interest on psychological trauma, relationships, personality development and sociocultural issues.
After my schooling concluded, I completed my clinical training for licensure in a community mental health clinic working with underserved populations. At the same time, I was appointed to teach various psychology courses to undergraduate and graduate students. I also began facilitating training events for other therapists, doing additional academic research, presenting my writing and research projects at conferences internationally, and I had also been elected to the executive board of the Rhode Island Association for Psychoanalytic Psychologies – an official chapter of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association. I was later awarded one of the Early Career Scholar Awards by Division 39 of the American Psychological Association. Years later, I voluntarily furthered my education in the Postgraduate Fellowship Program at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, where I also later taught a continuing education program. Around this time, I intensely studied meditation by living for a half-year in a Buddhist sangha. I have since restarted my professorship, teaching psychology to undergraduate students in Boston.
In total, I have been practicing clinical work for a decade and in a wide variety of settings, including private practice, college counseling centers, group homes, nursing homes, and outreach programs. I have worked with individuals at all lifespan stages with a wide range of concerns and from virtually all sociocultural backgrounds in the United States. I have lectured to thousands of people, and I have been inspired by many more. My career is not merely my “job,” but my highest purpose.
For a complete list of my professional credentials, click here.
WHY DO PEOPLE SEEK PSYCHOTHERAPY?
People usually contact me because of a relationship issue, mid-life concerns (aging, divorce, parenting challenges), difficulties in everyday living, struggles with bad habits, complex personal histories (e.g. generations of family abuse), or a history of a trauma that interferes with living a satisfying life.
Because my office is located in the downtown Financial District, many of my clients tend to be outwardly successful. They have achieved a lot in their career or academic pursuits, sometimes at the expense of overlooking other areas of their life that have now caught up with them. Their self-care practices are sometimes neglected, their relationships lack vitality, or the meaning in their lives is compromised, for example. They feel “something is off,” or have realized after some time that their emotions have caught up to them in ways they hadn’t anticipated.
Many clients who seek me out have also had prior therapy experience or have read some form of self-help literature, unfortunately without lasting results. These clients have often realized that something more durable is needed for their long-term mental health than the fleeting gratification that comes from an intellectual understanding of “how-to” steps – the sorts that tend to drive book sales and internet clicks. Like fast food, these approaches often sound appetizing and feel gratifying in the moment, but too often they fail to adequately explore and reorganize the historical roots that led to creating the presenting problems in the first place.
In any case, my clients seek therapy for a variety of reasons, but they all know that they want to “go deeper” into themselves in therapy now. It is their hope that therapy will help them access a place within where they can start to use their issues rather than being used by them.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH LIKE AS A THERAPIST?
I believe in adjusting each therapy to fit the client, rather than adjusting the client to fit the therapy. I listen very deeply to what you choose to share with me, respect what you’re not yet ready to share, and I use my clinical expertise and academic (e.g. research) background in considering how I can be most useful to you moment-by-moment. I believe that good psychotherapy outcome depends on the working alliance formed by you and I over time – the therapeutic relationship. There is a robust amount of scientific research supporting this idea. I am optimistic that over time you may discover through our work together how even the most impossible of life’s challenges could transform before you into opportunities for growth.
Regarding specific theories or conceptual ways of thinking about clinical concerns, I draw from a wide array of theoretical frameworks, including (but not limited to): Self Psychology, Relational Psychoanalysis, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Ego Psychology, and Multicultural/Sociocultural approaches to psychotherapy. I also have an interest in drawing from philosophy and spiritual/religious orientations if clients feel this is appropriate for them. However, I am cautious to brand myself as practicing a specific theory or set of techniques, since prescribing to a particular theory or set of techniques inadvertently precludes you and I from working in other ways – other ways that might be helpful to you specifically. Ergo, while I value the ways in which theory and research on how to do psychotherapy is informative to my practice, I regularly consider how I can tailor my way of working for each client. In the rare case that I feel a client’s concerns fall outside the scope of my practice, I make an appropriate referral to another resource.
HOW DOES INSURANCE WORK? HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE? HOW OFTEN DO WE MEET?
I accept all insurances as an out-of-network provider. This means that my clients pay me at the time of visit. Once per month I complete the paperwork for clients to give their insurance company so they can be reimbursed.
You typically need a PPO or POS option on your insurance plan to qualify for reimbursement. Please call your insurance company and tell them you would like to know how much you will be reimbursed for seeing a licensed mental health counselor who is out-of-network. You can give them the CPT codes/rates listed below to obtain this information.
Diagnostic Session (CPT code 90791; applies to first session only): $260
Individual Psychotherapy 53-60 minutes (CPT code 90837): $210
Individual Psychotherapy 45 minutes (CPT code 90834): $200
Couple/Family Therapy (CPT code 90847): $240
I meet with most patients once per week. Some choose to come multiple times per week and find that it is quite a different experience – usually greater in emotional intensity. Like most relationships, more frequent contact between you and I promotes deeper conversation and this can sometimes provide clients with greater access to their emotions. More frequent sessions are suitable when one wants to invest in a long-term and thorough exploration of their life.
I offer generous sliding-scale (reduced) rates to clients whose insurance plans do not offer reimbursement for out-of-network psychotherapy.
WHERE IS YOUR OFFICE, WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS, AND HOW CAN I SET UP AN APPOINTMENT?
My practice is located at 185 Devonshire St. Suite 503, Boston, MA 02110. This office is conveniently located in the Financial District of downtown Boston. I am a very brief walk from the Park Street, Downtown Crossing, State Street, and Government Center T-stations, and there are many parking garages in the area as well.
My clinical appointment hours vary by day, but typically I am in office to see patients Monday thru Thursday during the afternoon and early evening. On Fridays, I work remotely to read, write, self-reflect, and meet with some patients virtually for FaceTime appointments if necessary. I do not work weekends.
You can arrange an appointment with me by calling my business line at 828-738-2128 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I am unable to attend to your call right away, please leave a message, and I will return your call within 24 business hours unless the outgoing message on my voicemail specifies otherwise. Please note that when I return your call, the number will be listed as private.