FAQ

Where’s your office?

My office is at “The Park on Blanco,” close to 1604. Here is the address:

16607 Blanco RoadSuite 904San Antonio, TX 78232

I will occasionally see clients at other locations depending on their needs, but that’s generally after we’ve been working together a bit.

What are your hours?

I keep regular business hours, and usually work two evenings a week.

I see clients on Saturday mornings, but those appointments fill up quickly.

Existing clients have access to a client portal that lets them know when I’m available during a given week.

Is your office ADA accessible?

I’m afraid not. My office is a stand-alone second floor suite, and you need to be able to walk up an outdoor flight of stairs to get there. If that’s not possible or puts you at an undue level of risk, we can discuss what your needs are, and I can access adjacent offices in the complex if necessary.

How long are sessions?

I think restricting sessions to 45 minutes is an arbitrary insurance requirement left over from what we think worked in high school. Most of our good ideas did not come from high school.

You have your own pace, and I insist on the freedom to discover it and best tailor our work to it.

If you make an appointment, be prepared to spend anywhere from 55 minutes to 90 minutes in session. Sessions that run longer end up bumping the day’s schedule, so I might need to adjust the session fee in such cases. It won’t ever be a surprise.

How do I set an appointment?

Call me at (210) 920-1572.

You can also go online to the client portal and do all the paperwork there, including scheduling your initial appointment.

Just expect me to call before the appointment begins.

What’s your cancellation policy?

Because I work with men, and because I often work with men who can have long histories of self-medication, I have a strict cancellation policy: If you cancel within 24 hours of the appointment, you are still responsible for the appointment fee.

And because life doesn’t give a rat’s ass about my policies, I understand that being inflexible about such things is uncivilized. If we’ve never met, yes, the policy stands. Each appointment time I block off is a time I’m unavailable for others who might want that slot.

Once you’re a client who has been showing up for appointments regularly, I tend to offer a compromise: The fee for the missed appointment is due, but if we can make up the appointment within seven days, then there’s no charge for the makeup session.

Last-minute illnesses and sudden inconveniences of life are unavoidable. If you’ve been a regular client and following our treatment plan, we can figure out whether to keep the fee on credit or to waive it altogether.

With whom do you work?

I work with men.

Do you work with women?

I’ll start by saying the world doesn’t need another middle-aged white guy telling women about what they need to change about themselves.

That being said, I work with women as part of couples therapy, and I do take on women as individual clients. More than I thought I would when I began my practice. So yes, on occasion, I work with women. Let’s talk and see if I’m the right fit for you.

Do you work with children?

My time for children is occupied by my own, and I know too many excellent children’s therapists for me to presume that expertise.

Call me if you want a referral. I have worked with adolescents from time to time when it’s been clear to me that I can provide assistance, but that requires a good phone conversation first.

With whom DON’T you work?

If you’re just after a signature for an official letter so that your Great Dane can share your seat on an airplane, there are others who provide that service.

Wiccans in general don’t really get me… and people who identify as witches find me particularly insufferable. I didn’t set out to be that way, but there it is.

Do you work with Christians? Will you try to convert me?

I have worked with dedicated, born-again Christians; “I used to be Catholic” clients; and devout believers in almost every flavor of spirituality. I have also worked with the doubtful, as they appear in each of those flavors as well. And though I do attract some clients just because I identify as Buddhist

But that doesn’t mean I’m here to convert anyone. Besides, Buddhists are pretty bad at proselytizing.

We may work with meditation techniques (and I do have weekly groups for meditation) but, if anything, I work a bit too hard sometimes to ensure that folks know the value of these methods as peace-hacks, not as religious practice.

More than anything, our spiritual beliefs require dignity and respect. It’s my job to work within whatever belief system you have.

Are you LGBT-friendly?

Yes, and I’ll add this: if you identify as a man, you’re in my specialty. That having been said, I am acutely aware that some folks might be in a transitional status, even cis-gendered, heteronormative men.

I am fortunate to have friends who are among the best LGBT counselors in Texas, and I’m happy to refer you if I feel as though they might be a better fit.

Do you work with couples?

Quite often. In couples work, I am neither a referee nor an absolute authority on your relationship.

Many couples value the work I help them do in translating each other’s communications and values.

What’s different about couples work?

For many men, the first time they’ve seen the inside of a counselor’s office is after an infidelity. So they come in feeling not at all their best.

You’ve likely heard some version of the adage, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” That only counts if nobody saw a good counselor afterwards. It rarely has to mean that he can no longer be trusted or that the relationship is irretrievably broken.

Getting men into counseling after such events can make incredible changes happen in their lives… and in the lives of those who love them.

If I come to you as part of a couple, but want to see you individually as well, can I do that?

There is no outright prohibition against it. However, most professional counselors hesitate to take on that challenge, because it takes a lot of emotional discipline to advocate for a client’s peace of mind without appearing to advocate for their preferred outcome in a couples situation.

I will accept this challenge on a case-by-case basis, and some of the facts that might impact my decision to do so include: your age, the length and commitment of your relationship, your history in counseling before you met me, and my own concerns based on whatever topics we have encountered so far.

I do not assert a diagnosis of your partner for any legal or custodial action except in dire, time-sensitive emergencies such as would fall under my privacy policies. I can’t expect you to be honest with me if you believe I will help your partner use that honesty against you.

There are lots of counselors who do not take this position and are happy to say in writing that your partner is a deeply ill person. It’s more important to me that I sleep at night.

So, if you’re looking for a counselor to stand up in court and affirm that your partner is a narcissistic asshole, I’m not your guy (even if I agree).

What happens in a session?

My sessions can appear quite casual at first, and those who come to counseling for an immediate diagnosis and bulleted list of things to fix are often confused by my approach.

We talk. And by ‘we,’ I mean to say it’s about 50-50, as most good conversations should be. Once we find a rhythm, the structure of our sessions becomes even less apparent.

Do I have to bang a drum?

No. You also don’t have to wear buffalo-plaid flannel, grow a ponytail, kneel on a carpet and bray about your weaknesses, or burn torches in a sweat lodge. I was around at the beginning of the Men’s Movement in the late 1980s, and some of the ridicule those men received was earned. I don’t have much interest in creating fanboys of masculinity. I’m interested in helping you integrate your passions and your power.

That being said, there are times when I don’t want to work, I just want to bang on the drum all day.

Do your clients receive assignments?

Generally, yes. I don’t make you take formal psychological evaluations very often, if at all.

But I’ll frequently recommend small exercises to help you identify your thinking between sessions.

I will also recommend films that are relevant to our discussions.

What modalities do you use?

Our thoughts determine our experiences. Because I believe this, I am ultimately a cognitive therapist. But it also makes me a mindfulness-informed therapist, a Stoic therapist, a behavioral therapist, and a dialectical therapist.

My formal specializations are in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-informed therapies. I have trained at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia, with both Judith Beck and Aaron Beck. I’ve also gone as far as an individual counselor can in the University of Washington trainings of dialectical behavioral therapy.

I’ve been a Buddhist of varying intensity since 1983, and my lineage derives from Jack Kornfield and Alan Watts, among others.

That being said, I’ve internalized most of those trainings by now, and it’s not always obvious what approach I’m using. If you come to me with a checklist of things you want me to work you through on the DBT Emotion Regulation front (“It’s my third session and we haven’t done WISE MIND ACCEPTS yet!”), then you might have to adjust your expectations for us to work together for long.

What’s your worst habit as a counselor?

I use the entire English language, even the words you still can’t say on television. If cursing offends you, then fuck off.

Sometimes, to get where we need to go in counseling, the words need to be unusual if they are to stand a chance of getting through to the part of the brain that needs to hear them. I don’t curse casually without a reason.

What’s one thing that new clients should know about working with you?

I have not one, but two things… because I’m “that guy.”

We get angry when the world doesn’t follow the rules, we try to impose on it, and…

We are not punished for our anger nearly as much we are punished BY our anger.

The more we learn about how our brains work, the more important these facts become.

There’s a way to end this suffering, and I hope we can find your path to it together: (210) 920-1572