I am a board-certified psychologist with over 30 years of experience in treating and evaluating anxiety, depression, attention and behavior problems. Adults and adolescents who have a strong interest in understanding themselves and who are struggling with difficult emotions and behaviors are a good fit for my approach, which is based on effective behavioral and insight-oriented techniques. Privacy and personal, caring attention are high priorities in my practice. Feel free to call or email, I answer questions personally, usually within one day.
Services include individual therapy and evaluation, couples therapy, family therapy, psychological testing, hypnosis and behavior modification.
Commonly Asked Questions
How long have you been practicing?
How many other people with my condition have you treated?
I have a general practice—that is, I have always worked with people with a wide variety of problems, including individuals, couples, groups and families. Anxiety, depression, attention problems and relationship conflicts are the main problems that I currently help people address, and there have certainly been over 100 cases over the last 30 years in each of these categories. During certain periods I have worked in specialty areas for more than 50% of my practice time: hospitalized patients (3 years), personality disorders and trauma survivors (7 years), and developmental disabilities and brain injuries (7 years).
Can you explain to me what the letters after your name are, what they stand for and what you had to do to receive them?
PsyD stands for Doctor of Psychology, a degree that is similar to the PhD, but usually involves more training in clinical practice, and less in research. This required five years of clinical psychology graduate school (after the four-year undergraduate degree) and a one-year clinical internship, which was supervised by other psychologists. ABPP stands for American Board of Professional Psychology, the oldest and most widely-recognized credentialing board for specialties in psychology (board certification). This required evaluation of written and videotaped work samples by examining psychologists, an extensive oral examination by three senior, board-certified psychologists on theory, technique, and ethics, and verification of my credentials, training, and experience.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist? How do I know which one I should go to for help?
A psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology and has served a clinical internship and, usually, at least one more year in supervised practice before being licensed. Most clinical psychologists focus on treating patients through psychotherapy and performing psychological evaluations.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (physician) with an MD or DO degree. Psychiatrists are also trained and supervised in post-graduate psychiatric residency programs. Psychiatrists prescribe medication and conduct psychotherapy, though many psychiatrists today focus on medication in their practices.
Studies have demonstrated that both psychotherapy and medication are effective for psychological conditions like depression and anxiety, and we have a basis for predicting, in some cases, what approaches are most likely to be helpful. A combined approach is indicated for many people and I refer to psychiatrists (and they refer to me) for concurrent treatment. In general, you should talk to a mental health professional to help guide you in the right direction.
How do I know you are trustworthy as a person and a Dr.?
Psychologists undergo extensive education, supervision, clinical training, and the credentialing of licensing boards. In addition, I am a member of the American Psychological Association and several other professional organizations, and adhere to the APA’s ethical standards. I am board certified by ABPP and have had senior, highly-regarded clinicians review my actual clinical work and examine me in interviews regarding professional ethics and clinical skills. As a person, I am a husband and father, and have lived and worked in Cheyenne for over 12 years, practicing psychology and serving in volunteer positions and community activities. Because of the sensitive and personal nature of the psychologist-patient relationship, concerns about trust often arise, and I encourage people to discuss these in our sessions.
Are you going to charge me for the initial conversation?
I welcome phone calls, which give people a chance to outline their concerns and receive some feedback from me. These generally last 10-20 minutes and there is no charge. If we decide to meet for an initial appointment, there is a charge, and I encourage you to ask about fees and payment when you call.
How do I know what I am experiencing is depression or anxiety or if I am just simply having a bad day, week or month?
There are several ways to answer this question. Psychologists will conduct an initial evaluation and try to evaluate your symptoms against criteria for different diagnoses. You may also be asked to take a test or complete a questionnaire that rates your symptoms against those of others. Most people are subjectively able to tell that depression or anxiety that lasts for more than a few weeks, interferes with work, pleasurable activities, and physical functioning like sleep, appetite or energy level, and does not seem to get much better by using normal support, signals that something more serious is wrong. If you find yourself thinking “I’m just not myself”, “This isn’t like me”, or friends and family point out a significant change, these are often telling signs.
It’s important to keep in mind that the vast majority of people do not over-identify themselves as depressed or anxious. It is far more common for people to not seek treatment when they really need it. Worldwide, depression and anxiety are among the most under-diagnosed and under-treated illnesses.
What is in it for me if I do decide to participate in therapy with you? How do I know I will be able to improve my life?
Therapy, like any other form of treatment, has risks and benefits. Most people do experience therapy as positive and helpful, and the risk of negative effects from therapy, if properly conducted, is comparatively low. Because therapy requires a sincere commitment from the patient to change, and often concentrated effort to do so, no therapist can promise to produce change in another person. However, speaking very generally, if you are seen for emotional or behavioral problems that are not very severe, and have a commitment to change, your odds of improvement are quite good.
What if I would like someone to come with me for support? Would that be OK?
Yes, you can have anyone you would like come with you to your session.
How much will I get to know about you since you will be learning so much about my personal life?
Therapy is not like other relationships, in that the patient is the sole focus—my personal life does not, and should not, take center stage. This does not mean, however, that the interaction is impersonal or cold. Most people feel that one of the most helpful aspects of the therapy relationship is that they feel they can say anything they need to, without worry about the impact on the therapist personally.
I have only really ever been exposed to the negative stereotypes about therapy. What can you tell me about therapy that could change my perceptions on this to help motivate me to participate in therapy?
Most people who have been in therapy feel that it was helpful, and actually feel better about themselves for having taken this step. There are a lot of negative stereotypes about therapy—maybe because we are so afraid of talking about emotions and emotional problems openly in our culture—but 100 years of scientific support provides strong evidence that therapy is legitimately helpful.
What if I do not really have time for therapy? Will you work with me and my schedule?
Therapy takes time and energy, but having problems that don’t get better on their own usually takes even more. I do offer evening and early morning appointments and try to be accommodating in scheduling.
I have had negative experiences in therapy before. How do I know this time will be different?
This is a very important question. Negative past experiences in therapy need to be understood very well, and a plan to avoid a repeat of these experiences should be part of the overall treatment plan. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of people have had very harmful experiences in therapy, including some type of inappropriate, unethical or exploitative behavior on the part of therapist (sexual, financial, coercive, etc). In this case, special precautions to build trust, such as including a close friend or family member, can be taken, and the effects of the past therapy must be addressed as part of the healing process.