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- Counseling and psychotherapy for children, adolescents, adults, and couples
- Hypnosis and hypnotherapy (eg. stopping smoking, weight loss)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Career and vocational guidance
- ADHD Evaluation and Management
- Screening for bariatric surgery and other medical procedures
Who am I?
I hated school when I was a child. Oh, I loved learning, but I didn’t find that out until I got to college. Because I have ADHD I was easily bored and distracted. In 4th grade my teacher sent me to the school psychologist because I was out in space a good deal of the time. He pronounced me extremely intelligent, but “lazy.” After all, it was 1958, and they didn’t know that much about ADHD. My confused and misguided parents believed the remedy was to yell at me and insist I just “buckle down” and work harder. My grades were above average until high school when they tanked. Today we use the term “Hit the wall.” My natural abilities were no match for new strategies to master in subjects such as Latin and algebra (my math teacher’s thick New England accent notwithstanding) and my grades suffered, along with my self-esteem. Off I went to the counselor who quizzed me with naïve questions like “You’re so smart, why don’t you just study harder?” I found myself mumbling “I don’t know,” but in my head I was thinking “It’s not like I’m doing it on purpose. I don’t really enjoy getting yelled at.”
Somehow I survived and made it to college. I discovered I loved learning and I was particularly fascinated by learning about people. I had questions about how events and relationships affect us and what goes on in our heads. I decided to become a psychologist. I wanted to help people find better ways to make it through life’s challenges. Because of my experiences I knew that people possess tremendous strengths and resources, but they sometimes can’t access them and become stuck. This is where a psychologist comes in.
Later in life I had a religious epiphany which inspired me to learn more and my learning continues. Now much of my work involves an appreciation for the spiritual dimension of human experience.
Brief Approach to Therapy
While it may take people a long time and involve great deliberation to seek psychotherapy, it generally takes a surprisingly short time to receive a notable benefit. The research literature tells us that most therapy is completed in around six visits. Data from my own practice over the years bears this out. Some people I treat require only one to two visits and some continue for considerably longer. But on average our work is completed within six visits. So if you have avoided seeking therapy because you believe it’s going to require a major commitment of time, emotional and financial resources, rest assured that this is not a likely scenario. My approach to therapy is brief and focused on solutions. I try to create a warm and supportive environment, often sprinkled with humor that rarely breaches the canons of good taste to allow a therapeutic relationship to develop rapidly.
- Attended Hofstra University; received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, 1971
- Received a master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina , 1973
- Earned a PhD from Duke University in 1978 with a major in Counseling Psychology and a minor in Mental Health Program Leadership
- Completed an internship in Clinical Psychology with the North Carolina Department of Mental Health.
- Completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Mental Health Systems Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri School of Medicine
- Completed training in Rational Behavior Therapy and Sex Therapy at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine
- Served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of South Dakota School of Medicine
- Served as Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology (directed program in Marriage & Family Therapy), Psychiatry, and Family and Community Medicine, University of Miami
- Authored or co-authored over 60 scientific and professional articles/book chapters; co-authored five books
- Full-time private practice since 1992.
- Received training at Rabbinical Seminary International, under the mentorship of Rabbi Joseph Gelberman zt’l; received ordination in 2003.
- Studied the art of maggidut with Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, a disciple of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach; granted ordination as Maggid in 2009.
- Licensed to practice psychology in Florida and Missouri
- Board certified hypnotherapist and certified in Jewish Healing.
- Member of the American Psychological Association, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, International Federation of Rabbis; National Association of Jewish Chaplains.
To learn more about the rabbinical services I offer, such as weddings, baby namings, and funerals, please visit my website: www.ModernRabbi.com.