Consultations vs. Psychotherapy
A consultation is a time limited experience with me where you provide specific information about yourself and your situations so I can give you professional perspective on your possible options. You use my consultation services to learn more about healing and recovery exercises and how to apply them and integrate them into your life.
A first brief consultation occurs over the phone at no charge.
Later consultations occur in my Los Angeles office or on Skype video and are billed at my normal fee. Payments can be made via check or paypal.
You and I then schedule a telephone consultation that can be from 5 to15 minutes. During that free consultation you describe what is troubling you. You may talk about your eating disorder or the eating disorder of someone in your family. I will help lead you, if necessary, into describing a few details of your experience and what you have done or are doing so far to address the situation. I will listen to what you have found helpful or not helpful. Then I will ask you questions that are designed to clarify your situation.
If you are struggling with any issues related to eating disorders, yours or that of another person, you may want a more lengthy discussion with me. In order to explore more deeply what your best course of action might be you would then make an appointment for an in person session in my office or a Skype video appointment.
If I believe I can offer you some useful information or perhaps help you rally your own thoughts and feelings to help you find a promising therapeutic path that suits your situation you may schedule one or perhaps two additional consultations.
At the close of your consultation/s I will provide you with recommendations that can vary. I may refer you to a private psychotherapist or a clinic or an in-patient treatment center. I may refer you to a parenting class or to a support group or to a 12 step program. I may determine that what you are describing may not be an eating disorder but indicates some other issue that needs to be addressed. If this is the case I will make a different kind of referral suggestion.
If during the consultation you feel you would like to work with me and I believe you qualify for my psychotherapy practice you would make a first appointment to meet in person at my office.
You may be reading my book, Healing Your Hungry Heart, and want to consult with me on your experiences in working through HHH exercises. If so you can set up consultation appointments for in person or Skype video meetings. These consults are like private workshops for one based on the theme you are exploring in the book or in a particular chapter.
While a consultation can sometimes feel and be therapeutic, it is not psychotherapy.
You may have a psychotherapist you meet with regularly yet you and your therapist decide that you would benefit from consultations with an eating disorder specialist. If that’s the case, then you can make consultation appointments with me that are designed to teach you how to develop and integrate eating disorder recovery methods into your ongoing psychotherapy work.
A regular psychotherapy appointment with me is part of a commitment to ongoing psychotherapeutic work. I am accessible to you and am an available resource should you need more time and attention for increased or extra sessions or emergency support. In psychotherapy, any topic, feeling or experience you choose to bring up or that spontaneously emerges determines the content for the appointment. Together, in secure privacy, you experience your own feelings and thoughts coming together in the presence of someone who is listening deeply to what you express and what you may convey without knowing. Bringing those three elements together can create greater clarity for your experience and more internal unity in your psyche.
The consultation is designed to help you find your starting place for healing or support you as you proceed on your recovery path. Consultations can lead you to your psychological challenges and indicate possible methods to address them. Consultations are far more limited in scope than ongoing psychotherapy. However, consultation appointments may lead you to the deeper work of psychotherapy.
The psychotherapy appointment is where the healing work gets done and your psychotherapist is available to you for emotional emergencies and detailed fluctuations in your healing experience. Consultations appointments can provide clarity to your existing issues, give you support as you explore your thoughts and methods of recovery work and indicate helpful options.
A series of consultations can be like a workshop experience for one. You and I decide in advance the time frame that is best for your situation. Usually a client books a block of four weekly sessions at a time.
Psychotherapy has an open ended time frame and can proceed for months or years as you work toward solid and lasting recovery.