Frequently Asked Questions

Why might I want to see a psychologist-acupuncturist?
From the perspectives of both depth psychology and Chinese medicine, psyche and body are a single energy system; injuries to this system, whether physical or psychological in origin, can emerge as symptoms in embodied, emotional, interpersonal, and behavioral forms of suffering.  Both psychotherapy and Chinese medicine offer the possibility of resolving these manifestations, and of healing wounds at the deepest level.

As a seasoned practitioner of both healing traditions, I find they inform each other and mutually deepen the healing process–as well as offering an array of practical approaches to working with physical and psychological suffering.

Do you offer psychotherapy without acupuncture?
Yes.  I offer psychotherapy in ‘traditional’ format, a 50-55 minute counseling session.  It is not necessary to include acupuncture; however, some elements of Chinese medicine such as limited acupuncture, nutritional counseling, qigong, and herbal medicine may be included with psychotherapy if you wish.

Do you offer acupuncture without psychotherapy?
Yes.  I offer acupuncture/Chinese medicine on its own. However, from the perspective of Chinese medicine it is important to address psychological and behavioral elements which are often underlying a physical ailment, so acupuncture often includes some discussion of personal history, life circumstances and situations, behavioral and lifestyle concerns, and other psychological considerations.

Do you offer combined psychotherapy and acupuncture?
Yes.  For those wanting to thoroughly utilize both healing traditions, I offer the option of a full psychotherapy session in conjunction with a full acupuncture visit–these can be back-to-back on the same day, or separate visits on separate days, depending on my availability and on what works best for you.

How do you incorporate working with contemplative counseling, mindfulness / meditation, and qigong?
In my experience (and according to a body of current research) mindfulness, movement, and energetic practices such as meditation and qigong can be of benefit for people suffering with many physical and psychological ailments–depression, anxiety, chronic pain, trauma/PTSD, stress-related concerns, addiction recovery, and many others.  The above methods can be incorporated with either psychotherapy or acupuncture visits, where relevant and if desired.

Can I see you for acupuncture if I’m working with another psychologist, psychiatrist, or other therapist or counselor?
Yes.  If you’re working with another mental health provider, it’s fine to see me for acupuncture in conjunction with your existing psychotherapy; this can be a helpful adjunct to other therapies.

Can I see you for psychotherapy if I’m working with another acupuncturist, energy/bodyworker, or other alternative medicine practitioner?
Yes.  Depth psychology and somatic/energetic healing approaches often work well together; if you are already working with an acupuncturist or other alternative medicine practitioner, it is not necessary to duplicate or replace those services with me.

How frequently will I need to see you?
For psychotherapy, weekly visits are typically recommended, although in some cases greater or lesser frequency may be appropriate.

For acupuncture, at the beginning of treatment, it can be helpful to come regularly–weekly, or on occasion with greater frequency, depending on the type of condition and on practical considerations (your schedule, my availability, etc.).  As treatment progresses, it may be appropriate to lessen frequency, again depending on a number of considerations.

Traditionally, in addition to addressing illness, acupuncture / Chinese medicine were considered a means to remain well, and monthly or quarterly visits can be helpful for this–especially around times of season change.

What is your perspective on psychiatric medication?
As a licensed psychologist and licensed acupuncturist, prescription of medication is not within my scope of practice. However, I often work with people with concerns that may be medication-related, and am happy to discuss options (including alternatives), and to refer to other professionals where appropriate. Current research suggests that the methods I offer–psychotherapy, acupuncture, mindfulness–can be as helpful as medication for some conditions, and in my clinical experience are sometimes able to help people avoid medication altogether, or (in consultation with the prescribing provider) reduce medication dosage and/or alleviate discomfort for those discontinuing a current medication regimen.