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FAQs

Other questions?  Contact Dr. Erica.

If I decide to begin, or just try, therapy or coaching, what happens next?

If you decide to contact me, we will begin by briefly discussing why you are considering therapy or coaching, as well as scheduling, fees, and any questions you may have.  At that point, you may choose to schedule an initial session so that we can meet in person.  

In our initial session, we will continue to talk about your situation and how we will work together.  The goal of our first meeting is for you to get a sense of how I work and how you will feel working with me.

If we agree that I can be helpful to you, then I will give you my initial perspective on how we can best work toward your goals, and we will discuss a schedule for our subsequent meetings. If, for some reason, it doesn't feel like a good fit, then I can provide you with a referral to help you find the right therapist or parenting specialist for you.

How often do we meet?

For therapy, in most cases we will begin by meeting once per week; this allows for the regularity necessary to build the understanding and trust that contribute to a good working relationship. In certain circumstances, we may decide together to meet more or less frequently.

For parent coaching, the frequency of our meetings depends primarily on the issues you would like to focus on.

What are your fees? 

My standard fee for an office appointment is comparable to other professionals in the area. I also offer home visits as part of my parent coaching work, and group workshops on positive parenting. Please contact me for more information.

Therapy or coaching is an investment in yourself and your life.  You should expect that working with me will make a positive difference in your life, and help you achieve your goals.

Do you take insurance?

I am an out-of-network provider and do not work directly with insurance companies on their panels. If you have out-of-network coverage for mental health or counseling services (contact your benefits administrator), I can provide you with an invoice if you would like to submit a statement to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Please be aware that if you decide to utilize your insurance benefits for mental health services, you may not have the same extent of privacy and confidentiality that you would otherwise.

What is parent coaching?

Using my training as a clinical psychologist, and insights from research in the fields of child development, learning theory, and developmental psychology, I work with families on age- and development-appropriate issues.  

The focus of parent coaching is as it sounds:  to give you, the parent, the knowledge and tools you need to achieve your parenting goals.  Parent coaching is like life coaching, but with a different emphasis. 

One aspect of parent coaching typically focuses on helping parents minimize problematic behaviors, and cultivate pro-social, constructive behavior in their children.  Often our daily interactions with our kids unintentionally and implicitly reinforce the very behaviors we want to minimize (lack of listening, impatience, power struggles, etc). 

Minimizing:

  • Tantrums and power struggles
  • Whining
  • Hitting, yelling, and other aggressive behaviors
  • Oppositional behavior

Increasing:

  • Listening skills
  • Cooperation and responsiveness
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Good manners

Another aspect of coaching focuses on teaching parents how to foster happiness, confidence, empathy, patience, and self-reliance in their children, such as:

  • How to help kids deal with stress and disappointment
  • How to help kids develop self-discipline (to do things they don't want to do, but need to be done)
  • How to praise kids in ways that don't inadvertently hinder creativity or achievement
  • How to cultivate "happiness habits" in your family (happiness is largely a habit and a skill)

Please contact me if you would like to learn more, or to arrange a no-cost, initial phone consultation. 

I offer parent coaching in two primary formats, private and group: 

 

One-on-One Parent Coaching

When you have specific questions or issues that are best addressed individually, I offer one-on-one parent coaching tailored to the specific needs of your family.  

As part of my coaching, I  also offer home visits if we decide together that it would be helpful.  Home visits enable me to see your child(ren) and family in a natural and comfortable setting, and to identify more quickly the specific strategies you can use to address your issues and concerns.

 

Parenting Workshops:  "What Great Parents Do"

Workshops are offered throughout the year, at my office and also at schools and parent resource centers such as Bananas and Habitot Children's Museum.  For PTA and other school groups, I offer reduced fee workshops.

More information on parenting workshops here.

Topics covered in my "What Great Parents Do" workshops include:

  • The ABCs of great parenting:  Acceptance, Boundaries and Consistency
  • How to reshape challenging behavior   
  • How to help kids manage intense feelings
  • Why some types of praise can undermine kids' achievement and what to do instead
  • What to do when your kids say "no"
  • How to guide children toward becoming happy adults

 

Parenting Book Club & Support Groups

Been meaning to read the latest books and research on parenting?  Want to learn how to guide children toward becoming happy adults?  In this book club and support group for parents, we read both new and classic books on children and parenting, and discuss how their insights can be applied to our own families.  This group is for parents who want to cultivate a deeper understanding of the art and science of parenting.

Parents may register for one or more series in this ongoing group.  Each series is 4 sessions, and covers up to 2 books, with new books and themes to be covered in each 4-session series.  Sample themes include:

  • Increasing children's emotional and interpersonal IQ
  • Understanding the psychology of success
  • Fostering a resilient and growth-oriented mindset
  • Teaching key happiness habits
  • Establishing a relationship of respect and mutual trust

Space is limited and advance registration is required.  Please contact me for more information, or to register.

Who should consider parent coaching?

Like most things we do in life, parenting is a skill. However, many parents receive little or no training in child development and behavior, developmental psychology, and learning theory. Parent coaching is for any parent who:

  • Feels like their kids don't listen to them
  • Sees areas of behavior in their children that they would like to be different
  • Wants a sounding board
  • Deals frequently with power struggles around homework, bedtime, meals, clothes, etc.
  • Didn't have positive parenting role models when they were children
  • Has little energy left over after parenting for their adult relationships
  • Wants to do their best parenting

I specialize in working with everyday parents of children ages 1 through 10.  More

What should I expect from parent coaching?

My goal in parent coaching is to give you the knowledge and tools that will enable you to achieve your goals as a parent.  Most of the consultation time is directed toward you, the parent, and children are included when appropriate, ideally during a home visit, which is the most natural and comfortable setting for kids.

After working with me, you will have a better understanding of what drives your child(ren)'s behavior, and what you can do specifically to shape it.  You will also understand how to guide your child(ren) toward becoming happy, confident, responsible, kind and accomplished young adults.

You should also expect a concrete set of tools and an action plan, with techniques that you can put into practice in your family immediately. More.

Recommended Parenting Books

I am often asked for my recommended list of parenting books.  Here are some favorites:

  • "Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child"  (John Gottman)
  • "The Parents We Mean To Be"  (Richard Weissbourd)
  •  "Everyday Blessings:  The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting"  (Jon & Myla Kabat-Zinn)
  • "The Optimistic Child"  (Martin Seligman) 
  • "Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success"  (Carol Dweck)
  • "Teach Your Children Well" (Madeline Levine)
  • "How To Raise an Adult" (Julie Lythcott-Haims)
  • "Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More than IQ"  (Daniel Goleman)
  • "Nurtureshock:  New Thinking About Children"  (Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman)
 

Please contact me if you would like to learn more, or to arrange a no-cost, initial phone consultation.

 
Erica possesses a unique combination of compassion, intelligence, and pragmatism that make her a superb clinician. Her clients walk away from sessions with tools to make immediate changes that have a lasting impact in their lives.
— Leslie Bell, Ph.D., LCSW, Faculty Member at Women's Therapy Center