Who I am and what I do

Hello! The primary focus of my practice for nearly 40 years has been helping people achieve recovery from substance use disorders. I use a collaborative, motivational approach, rather than confrontation, and work with people on setting and achieving realistic and healthy goals for their problems. I believe, as did Bill Wilson (the founder of AA), that there are many paths to recovery; each person must work on a program that reflects their unique needs and assets. I encourage people to explore their resources, their obstacles and their values in setting goals and in working a positive program.

Most people with a substance use problem have struggled unsuccessfully to control their use, and they feel demoralized and shameful. My initial goal is to restore a sense of hope and defuse the shame that often prevents a person from seeking help in the first place.

I have trained professionals nationally and internationally, including psychologists, psychiatric residents, counselors and other human service professionals. I have written a book—A Clinician's Guide to 12-Step Recovery (W. W. Norton)—and several chapters and articles, including a recent chapter in the APA Handbook of Clinical Psychology published by the American Psychological Association. I remain active in helping to train professionals to expand their skills into this neglected area. I have been on the Board of the Society of Addiction Psychology, a division of the APA, and am on the Board of the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists.

I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University and have had postgraduate training in family therapy. In addition to my clinical work, I have held faculty positions at several local universities and medical schools; I have consulted with various agencies; and I have held supervisory and administrative posts in psychiatric and substance abuse programs throughout the area. My experience has given me an excellent understanding of how people work and how social systems operate.

Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, I have conducted most of my work via teletherapy. Despite my initial ambivalence, teletherapy has turned out to be a feasible approach to therapy, and, in fact, has some advantages over face-to-face meetings. In certain instances, I am able to meet face to face in our home office or on our screened-in back porch. Both settings are comfortable and private, ensuring confidentiality.

I do not participate in any insurance panels, but I can provide invoices to submit to insurance companies for reimbursement as an out-of-network provider.

Feel free to contact me by phone or email if you have questions or would like to discuss your situation confidentially.