Counseling/help?

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Question
"Hello, I am currently a student in a science of psychology program at the University of Phoenix. I have been given the task of finding a clinical psychologist and/or a counselor to interview. I am in desperate need of finding one more to interview.If you could help...I would really appreciate it...Thank you for your time:



      In what setting do you practice? How long have you been practicing?

      What are your specialties or areas of clinical focus?

      What are the most common disorders you treat?

      Do you have any special certifications or training beyond your original graduate coursework?

      How do you approach therapy or treatment? Do you use specific modalities, techniques, or interventions?

      What ethical and legal issues do you think are the most challenging or common?

      Do you have an opinion on where you think the field of psychology is heading?

      What do you enjoy most about your work?

      What advice would you provide an aspiring psychologist or therapist?"

Answer
Hi, April.  I'll do my best and hope it'll be helpful. Here are my answers.

      In what setting do you practice? How long have you been practicing?

Currently I'm in private practice.  I see clients in my home office, as well as do private clinical supervision and I also do trainings.  I've been in practice since 1978 when I graduated with my MSW.

      What are your specialties or areas of clinical focus?

I practice Solution Focus Brief Therapy

      What are the most common disorders you treat?

I don't treat disorders; I treat people.

      Do you have any special certifications or training beyond your original graduate coursework?

I trained for 5 years in the early 80's in Transactional Analysis.  I hold advanced certification in Ericksonian hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.  I trained in solution focus brief therapy with the co-developers at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, WI, I've taken innumerable seminars on all kinds of topics for about 7 years when I worked for the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services in New York City.   

      How do you approach therapy or treatment? Do you use specific modalities, techniques, or interventions?

Yes, as I indicated before, I practice, supervise, and train from a solution focused brief approach.  I also consider myself a social constructionist - which is very much synergistic with solution focus.  From this perspective, I think that language creates realities.  The more we talk about something with others, the more real it becomes for us.  The kind of conversations that happen in therapy (as in other social settings) are all about making more or less useful meanings together.

      What ethical and legal issues do you think are the most challenging or common?

Therapist who insist on practicing from a theoretical orientation rather than knowing and practicing from over 80 years of outcome data in psychotherapy.  I think the other ethical issue is the insistence on taking psychiatric diagnosis seriously.

Do you have an opinion on where you think the field of psychology is heading?

It's a Tower of Babel.  Unfortunately I think the field is heading in the direction of neurobiology in hopes of finding simple answers to deal with complex social issues. As long as we continue as a field to think that problems are within people's brains rather than problems AND solutions exist in social contexts, the field will forever be a Tower of Babel.    

      What do you enjoy most about your work?

Learning how wise my clients are and how by simply co-constructing solutions with them - talking about their future aspirations, personal and social resources - I get to hear how they create lasting solutions for themselves and gain confidence in their lives.  

      What advice would you provide an aspiring psychologist or therapist?"

Milton Erickson (who, by the way, happened to live in Phoenix) was once asked how he defined therapy.  He said that as a teenager he was leaving high school one day and noticed a horse which had obviously wandered away from its owner.  Even though he had no idea who owned this horse, he still mounted it and directed to the main road.  The horse chose a direction and once in a while, as horses do, it went off the road to graze.  At those times, Erickson pulled on the reins so the horse would continue its journey.  Finally the horse turned and walked down on a long dirt road.  As the horse approached the farm house, the farmer came out, looked at the horse, and then looked at Erickson.  The farmer said, "That there's my horse; how did you know where he belonged?"  Erickson replied:  "Your horse knew where he belonged - I just kept him on the road."

It also may help to look at my website to add to this information: www.0to10.net.  Let me know if you need any more of my wisdom :)   Best wishes in your studies.  Joel

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Joel Simon

Expertise

General questions about counseling, psychotherapy and mental health.

Experience

Over 30 years as a therapist, clinical supervisor and solution-focused trainer. I've worked in a variety of settings including adolescent day treatment, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, community mental health clinics, and hospice. Further information is available on my website: www.0to10.net

Organizations
A founding member of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association, Academy of Certified Social Workers, Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New York State.

Publications
Co-authored "Solution-Focused Brief Practice With Long-Term Clients in Mental Health Services: I'm More Than My Label." Authored: "Solution-Focused Practice in End-of-Life and Grief Counseling" Several articles published in professional journals including 2 with Insoo Kim Berg. Further details are available at www.0to10.net

Education/Credentials
Masters of Social Work (Yeshiva University 1978). 5 years training in Transactional Analysis, certified in Advanced Ericksonian Psychotherapy and Hypnosis with the New York Society (NYSEPH), Advanced training and advanced supervision seminar in solution-focused brief therapy with the co-developers of the approach, Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer

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