MORE ABOUT ME
Hi, I’m Paul. I went from being a recording and performing musician to being a psychotherapist, professor, researcher, writer, and conference speaker. More than “just a career,” personal transformation is my passion. I currently provide psychotherapy services online during COVID-19.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER THERAPISTS?
Practicing mental health counseling is just one part of my long-term commitment to 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 various 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 studying multiple disciplines related to mental processes, including: anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, religion, history, politics, gender and multicultural studies. I also reserve considerable time each week to practice thorough case conceptualization, consult with local and national experts, and I make sure I remain current with emerging mental health research and theories.
In other words, I spend a lot of time on activities that directly increase the quality of care in my clinical practice, even though these activities are not required of licensed counselors and psychotherapists. I am only able to take all of these extra measures in my clinical practice because I see fewer patients per week than most therapists.
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. In my training, I pioneered several community action leadership programs. My focuses of interest then and still now are men’s issues, relationships, trauma, personality, and social psychology.
In my early career, I worked with underserved populations as part of a community mental health program – treating substance abuse, chronic illness, and poverty stress. At the same time, I began teaching psychology courses to undergraduate and graduate students.
I soon began writing about my own ideas and presenting this work at psychology conferences – so far in three countries. I was awarded one of the Early Career Scholar Awards by Division 39 of the American Psychological Association at their Psychoanalysis Spring Conference in 2015. I opened my private practice that same year.
I voluntarily pursued additional training to further my professional (and personal) growth by living in and training at a Korean-inspired Zen Buddhist sangha. I then furthered my education in the Postgraduate Fellowship Program at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, where I also later taught a continuing education program on men’s issues.
In total, I have been practicing clinical work for a decade and in a wide variety of settings, including private practice, telehealth counseling, college counseling centers, 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 – particularly my patients whose stories I am honored to bear witness to.
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.
Many of my clients tend to be outwardly successful yet internally conflicted. They have achieved a lot, and often at the expense of overlooking other areas of life that have now caught up to them. They feel “something is off” and that life has turned out differently than they imagined. Some even wonder if it’s possible anymore to truly be happy, as opposed to feel fleeting moments of pleasure or gratification.
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 hearing “how-to” steps – the approach that tends to drive book sales and internet clicks. Like fast food, these approaches often sound appetizing but can fail to adequately explore and reorganize the historical roots that led to creating the problem 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. I am open to understanding you fully first and foremost, rather than wanting you to understand me and my ideas. I believe we will both learn a lot together as we focus our efforts toward helping you. Along the way, I will use my clinical expertise and academic background when considering how I can be most useful to you, always assessing what is working well for you and what could be even better. 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, I draw from a wide array of frameworks, including (but not limited to): Self Psychology, Relational Psychoanalysis, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Multicultural/Sociocultural approaches to psychotherapy.
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 each 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 or licensed professional counselor who is out-of-network. You can give them the appropriate CPT codes/rates listed below to obtain this information.
Diagnostic Session/First Appointment (CPT code 90791): $260
Individual Psychotherapy, 53-60 minutes (CPT code 90837): $210
Couple/Family Therapy (CPT code 90847): $240
I offer sliding-scale (reduced) rates for certain income ranges when insurance plans do not offer benefits for out-of-network psychotherapy services.
HOW DO WE MEET DURING COVID-19? HOW CAN I SET UP AN APPOINTMENT?
I only meet with patients via telehealth video conferencing at this time.
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.