Beginning Treatment with Dr. Federman

Prior to becoming a patient in my practice, I ask that individuals contact me by email.  If my clinical hours are full and I do not anticipate openings in the foreseeable future (often the case), I will recommend that you continue forward with your therapist search.  If I do have the ability to accept a new patient on my caseload, I will typically schedule a phone screening appointment.  This is usually a 15-20 minute phone call where I gather information about one’s background and try to get a sense of whether my skill set is a good fit with the individual’s needs.

Assuming we do choose to go forward with therapy, my preference for first appointments is to schedule a double session (1.5 to 1.75 hrs). Whether we can do that will often be a function of whether you’re paying with insurance (often insurance does not reimburse for double sessions). These decisions are usually arrived at during our initial phone and/or e-mail interactions.

Once we are beyond the initial assessment and we’ve agreed on the focus of our work together, I typically like to proceed with an in-depth social/developmental history. Exceptions to this kind of sequencing involve someone who may be in the midst of a situational crisis that requires immediate attention.

A social/developmental history typically takes about two to three sessions. Granted, this is a chunk of time, but looking closely at your life story facilitates my understanding the key influences that have shaped your development as well as the kinds of adaptations you’ve had to make. Understanding how your personality has been shaped and how it influences your functioning in the present is an important part of the psychotherapy I do, even if your diagnosis reflects a neurobiologically based illness such as bipolar disorder.