Fredric Shulman, Ph.D., DAPA, LMHC, LPsyA, CCP
(718) 745-1395; 917-951-7248
110 Bay Ridge Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11220

fdshulman@aol.com
COMMON QUESTIONS

Why should I and/or my loved ones consider psychotherapy/counseling with you?
 
You and/or your loved ones should consider psychotherapy/counseling with me, for several reasons. Some of us need to respond to unexpected changes in our lives, while others of us seek self-exploration and personal growth. I can help you with these things. When we are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, despair or other uncomfortable emotions, I can help you here, as well. I will provide you with support, problem-solving skills and enhanced coping skills, for issues such as depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, health issues and both personal and professional relationship issues. I will also help you and/or your loved ones to clarify and to heal unresolved childhood issues, which most often are the basis for other personal and relationship difficulties, as we get older.

I can help you and/or your loved ones to heal from serious health issues. I can help each of you to heal from bereavement and grief  -  after losing a loved one, after a divorce or after losing a job. I can help each of you with spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, creative blocks, education and...as stated, with work issues.  I can help each of you to become more willing to learn how to take responsibility for your own actions and behaviors and to work towards very positive self-change...also, to create greater awareness in your lives. These things are really not that difficult to learn...even as we age. And psychotherapy/counseling does not have to be a life long process. What we get out of psychotherapy/counseling, however, we can use successfully for the rest of our lives. As a result, we can learn to be happier, healthier and wiser, for the rest of our lives.

What can I and/or my loved ones expect to gain from psychotherapy/counseling sessions with you? 

During our psychotherapy/ counseling sessions, we will work together, so that you and/or your loved ones can learn how to talk more comfortably about the primary concerns and issues in your lives and  to work these concerns and issues to solutions. An individual session usually lasts 45 minutes but may last longer, especially,  for couples, marital and family sessions. These sessions can last anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the nature of the problem/s and size of the family or group involved...and related fees are adjusted accordingly. Usually weekly sessions are best for individuals, couples, families and other kinds of  therapy groups. Sometimes, individual, couples, family or group sessions, are scheduled during the same week. This depends on the nature of the problem[s] at hand. If you and/or your loved ones are in crisis or extreme distress, you may request more than one session per week, at least until the crisis passes. During the time in-between sessions, it is extremely beneficial to think about...and to process...what we discussed during our sessions...even to keep a daily journal, which can be surprisingly self-empowering. At times, I may ask you to take certain actions outside of our therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book...even to watch a specific t.v. show or movie, see a play, take a course, etc. Of course, these are things that we discuss together and reach mutual agreement on. Also, please remember, that for therapy to "work," you really need to learn to be be an active participant, both in and outside of our therapy sessions. And don't forget, I am available to you, in-between scheduled sessions, " just to talk " on the phone, if you are really feeling bad or " stressed out " and I will never charge you for this. This option is part of my ongoing, continued commitment to you and/or your loved ones. 


What benefits can I and/or my loved ones expect from working with you?

A number of benefits are available to you, by working with me. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands...and I always try to understand. If you feel that I don't understand, then please let me know and I will work harder, differently...or both. But again, you will have to tell me. I can present you and/or your loved ones a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, point you in the direction of a solution...or both. Psychotherapy/counseling with me, again, can be a tremendous asset in managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships ( both personal and professional ) and other hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from psychotherapy/counseling can be enormous...even astounding... but depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. To reiterate, some of the benefits available from psychotherapy/counseling with me include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself and of your personal goals and values and feeling significantly better about yourself 
  • Developing new skills for improving your personal and professional relationships and living those relationships with significantly greater satisfaction 
  • Finding new ways to cope with stress, anxiety and other uncomfortable emotions and the chronic health concerns that often accompany these emotions...and actually becoming significantly healthier 
  • Getting "unstuck" and breaking free from old beliefs and old emotions and behaviors that these beliefs generate...and developing new ones that work for you 
  • Discovering new ways of solving  just about any kind of problem
  • In summation... improving your self-esteem and boosting your self-confidence...and as a result, becoming a truly happy, healthy and wise person. As you do this, a whole, new, wonderful  world can open up for you...and just keep getting better. And believe me, if I can do it so can you. Just give me the chance to show you how. 

       

What if I and/or my loved ones don't know what our goals are when working with you in psychotherapy/counseling?

If you aren't sure what your goals are for therapy, then our first  task will be to figure that out. That complimentary/free Quality of Life Questionnaire/Assessment  that I mentioned earlier, will definetely help. It may take a few sessions before a direction is clarified but that clarity will come, sooner than you thought. During the course of psycotherapy/counseling, your goals may change. However, establishing a direction for therapy will help you get the most out of the experience and can shorten your time in therapy. And we will continue to assess where we are in therapy and where we want to go, as we take this healing journey together.

 

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

There can be a wide array of insurance arrangements. The first thing you should do, is to check with BOTH your employer AND with your insurance carrier. I do not accept assignment of payment/benefits directly from your place of business or from your insurance carrier but I am an acceptable " out-of-network mental health services provider " for most insurance companies ( with the current exceptions of GHI, Medicaire and Medicaid ). You would pay me directly, after each session and then they would reimburse you directly, after you submit to them the appropriate insurance forms, on a monthly basis ( which I would help you with ). Your reimbursement  will depend on the very specific arrangement between your place of business and their contract with your insurance carrier. When contacting your place of business ( usually their human resources division or personnel department ) AND your insurance carrier, ask BOTH of them the following questions, as these questions apply to an " out-of-network mental health services provider ":

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • If so, what is my annual deductible for mental health benefits and is this annual deductible different from the annual deductible for my other health benefits?
  • How many  individual psychotherapy/ counseling, couples/marriage and family sessions per calendar year does my plan cover? ( If you are part of a couple but not married, then these sessions are  usually not covered, unless you have a domestic partnersip agreement). But check to be sure. 
  • How much do you pay for an out-of-net provider  -  per session, per year, per lifetime.  
  • Is my primary care physician's approval required?

 

Is psychotherapy/counseling confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist/counselor. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist/counselor is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person or someone else is threatening serious bodily harm to a client. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.