I am “fee for service” provider and expect full payment at time of service. However, depending on your out-of-network insurance coverage, you may be able to receive some reimbursement for your counseling sessions. I am more than happy to have my billing manager submit your claims to your insurance company as an out-of-network therapy provider to help reduce your costs. If you would like this service, my billing manager will submit all of your sessions to your insurance company for you. Your insurance company will mail you a check for any portion of our counseling sessions that are covered by your plan. As far as payment goes, I only accept payment at time of service in the form of cash, check, or HSA cards.
how long are the sessions+how often do you see your clients?
Initial therapy sessions and assessments typically take about 50 minutes, but may take longer depending on the complexity of issues and need for care. Individual and relationship counseling sessions typically last 50 minutes as well. Group therapy is scheduled for 90 minute sessions. The duration and frequency of therapy depends on your particular circumstances/problems as well as how quickly you heal, grow, and meet your goals. I tend to initially work with clients on a weekly basis. As improvement is made, the sessions are oftentimes extended to every other week to once a month. The time between subsequent sessions are adjusted accordingly to the client’s level of need and improvement.
What can I expect working in therapy with you?
Sometimes it isn’t easy knowing when you need to work with a psychologist or to continue trying to make things better on your own. In general, as a therapist I have experienced a high level of success with the persons who participate in therapy with me. People choose therapy for various reasons. Some persons participate in therapy to resolve the level of distress in their lives, some for personal growth, and others to build on specific skills.
There are many factors that determine the effectiveness of therapy. Some of the biggest factors are your level of commitment and the issues you hope to change. I know that the clients who are active and productive in therapy and who actively apply what they learn outside of our sessions make considerable progress. Therapy is not for all problems and not all people are at the point where therapy can be effective. I will honestly appraise your situation and provide feedback that I feel is in your best interest.
I would be glad to talk briefly over the phone or communicate through email to help you determine if I can help or refer you to a person who I think can be of assistance. If you decide to meet with me, we will periodically assess your progress to make sure that therapy is effective for you.
What are your areas of special interest?
In the past 20 years working as a counselor and psychologist, I have worked with most issues that people face. I have many areas of interest and specialization and here are a few that I discuss in detail. If you have a question about my having specialization in an issue you are facing, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to discuss my experience and training in the area.
Trauma, Abuse, Assault, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
It is quite common for many of the problem issues in peoples’ lives (depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, chaotic relationships, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, impulsivity, etc.) to be the result of traumatic experiences earlier in their lives. Many of these issues are either reactions to the trauma or attempts to cope with or avoid the trauma. My treatment focuses on helping the person regain a sense of power and safety, increase and improve coping strategies, and reduce the emotional trauma from the memory. Please see my links to trauma and its treatment.
Millions of persons in the United State report having significantly disrupted sleep that impacts their health and quality of life. Many life events, psychological issues, and sleep habits can result in insomnia. It’s quite common for disordered sleep to cause psychological problems, as well as, psychological problems to cause sleep disturbances. I treat primary insomnia, assist people with coping and managing symptoms of secondary insomnia (insomnia primarily due to medical conditions), as well as assisting in the assessment of sleep disorders. You can take an on-line test to help determine if you may have a sleep disorder.
Relationship and Sexual Issues
It is common for relationship problems to worsen because couples wait too much damage occurs. I find that counseling can significantly improve the chances of partners working through their obstacles, strengthening their bonds, and getting their relationship back on track. Couples experiencing constant fighting or a lack of communication and trust should consider becoming involved in relationship counseling soon to keep problems from getting progressively worse. Working in therapy will offer a way to release your stress, to share your frustrations, and to resolve your conflict in a healthier manner. I help partners to build skills and understanding so that they can learn to listen to each other more effectively, resolve differences, and approach the relationship as a partnership.
There are particular issues that are gender related; additionally some men prefer to work with male therapists. It is common for men in our culture to feel a great deal of stress in their lives, emotionally disconnected, misunderstood, pressured to
be a “particular” way, and to always be in “control.” In working with male clients, I create an atmosphere where men can be themselves, build life skills, reduce and mange stress, and work on feeling more connected to the important persons in their lives.
Various Emotional Difficulties
Depression – Depression includes such symptoms as pessimism, discouragement, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts/behaviors, guilt, irritability, insomnia, abnormal eating, a sense of failure, low energy, and feeling overwhelmed.
Anxiety – Anxiety includes such symptoms as tension, worry, self-consciousness, shame, panics, phobias, stress, and exhaustion. Sometimes anxiety is not experienced directly but manifested through symptoms such as addictions, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or medical problems.
Stress – Stress is an overactive nervous system which causes fatigue, depression, anxiety and other mental and physical symptoms and exacerbates many psychological and physical disorders.
Shame – Shame is experienced as unworthiness, inadequacy, or badness. Shame undermines confidence, self-esteem, and self-assertion. It leads people to being controlled by others, sabotaging success, feeling anxiety, and being overly self-consciousness.
Anger – Anger involves outbursts that frighten or harm others and destroy relationships; these seething resentments that adversely affects health as well as relationships.
Clinical Supervision and Consultation – $100 (50 minutes)
Cancellations in less than 24 hours and missing appointments – a $100 fee is charged directly to the individual
If you are interested in working with me but my fees are beyond your means, you may call me and tell me your situation. I reserve a limited number of appointments for reduced-fee clients, and I will do my best to work out something if I have space in my schedule. If not, I will do what I can to make a referral to a person or agency that can assist you. In reciprocation for the reduction in fees, I require will the person to take on a significant growth or learning challenge between each session and that he/she will donate/pay forward a specified amount of time to a volunteer organization or good cause that David Cummins and he/she agrees upon.
how long does therapy take?
There is no easy answer to this question because personal and psychological needs vary from individual to individual. I work to be as effective as possible in therapy in order to help you improve your life in a timely manner. In general, short-term therapy (between 4 and 10 sessions) is typically best-suited to individuals who have very specific goals and needs, such as overcoming a certain phobia or giving up unwanted “habits” such as smoking, overeating, etc. With these situations, I tend to be more educative and directive, working with you to cultivate goal-oriented patterns and behaviors.
Some more complex issues may require longer-term therapy. Typically, the longer the duration and the more debilitating the issues, the more therapy and personal work will be needed resolution and healing. In addition, long-term therapy is particularly well-suited to addressing pervasive feelings of dissatisfaction, histories of trauma, ingrained behavioral patterns, and more complex psychological disorders. During your initial visit and ensuing sessions, we will work together to determine the probable length of treatment needed to meet your goals.
what services do you provide?
I work with my clients to accurately assess the level of care and focus of treatment they need. I tend to be very active in the therapy process of connecting with my clients and I help them find and implement solutions to their problems. For specific issues, I provide short-term therapy. In these situations, I work as effectively as possible to help my clients quickly build the strategies and tools to resolve their difficulties. However, some persons have deeper, more complex issues in their lives that require longer-term therapy. In these instances, I help my clients gain insight into the reasons behind their conditions, create a safe environment to talk about their issues, and help them to incorporate solutions and transform their lives in a healthier way. As a psychologist, my approach tends to be very active, collaborative, supportive, and solution focused. I believe that people have the capacity to heal themselves and that my role is to help create conditions for the person to succeed in their endeavor.
It is quite common for people to care very deeply for one another and want the relationship to succeed, but they keep finding themselves returning to the same blocks that keep them from achieving this. I help couples identify the factors that are keeping them stuck, teach them more effective relationship and communication skills, and work on helping them to regain what initially brought them together. Areas that I will assist couples with include:
Regain and enhance the bond, respect, and affection in the relationship
Improve communication and conflict resolution skills to help you more effectively work through the problems you keep facing
Help the relationship to heal and grow, while increasing your overall satisfaction and love you feel for one another
I have found a lot of enjoyment counseling adolescents, generally make quick connections with them, and see significant progress in their ability to cope effectively with their world. My goal is to help adolescents identify patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are related to current difficulties and help them replace these with more effective strategies. Because adolescents are usually not self-referred for therapy, often much of the early work is focused on establishing a trusting relationship and helping them understand how they can personally benefit from our meetings. I also work with parents on understanding their child’s behavior as well as teaching them more effective coping strategies and parenting skills to help them assist their child.
I have coordinated and developed clinical training programs as well as taught classes and workshops on clinical supervision for counselors and psychologists. I have a developmental approach to clinical supervision, working with the supervised clinician at his or her particular level of needs and experience. I find clinical supervision to be a very rewarding and exciting experience for my supervisees and myself.
Workshops, classes, and consultation
One of the roles that I thoroughly enjoy as a psychologist is that of teacher and mentor. I have received consistent positive feedback on the quality of my workshops and classes. Some of these include: