Dr. Karen Shore, Ph D ABPP
During the COVID-19 outbreak, I am working via video (Zoom program) and telephone.
ABOUT DR. SHORE'S WORK
Individual Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Couples Therapy, Case Consultation
COMMITMENT TO ADVANCED TRAINING AND BEING THE BEST THERAPIST I CAN BE
Individual psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, couples therapy, and group therapy are all very enjoyable specialties of mine. I have taken advantage of some of the best available advanced training beyond my Ph.D. training. At this time, I offer individual psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, couples therapy, and family therapy with adult children and their siblings and/or parents.
POST-DOCTORAL TRAINING: Beyond my Ph.D. in clinical psychology, I completed three Post-Doctoral programs - Intensive Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Group Psychotherapy, and Marriage & Couples Therapy. This training included 4 years of weekly classes and 6 years of weekly supervision in intensive psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. I then completed 2 years of weekly classes and 3 years of weekly supervision in group therapy. This was followed by 2 years of weekly classes and 2 years of weekly supervision in marriage and couples therapy. Thus, in addition to continuing education (seminars, lectures, conferences), my formal training beyond my Ph.D. included 8 years of weekly classes and 11 years of weekly supervision. In addition, I became Certified in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and in 2009 and became a Certified EFT Supervisor in August, 2011. To achieve this, I have completed a Four-Day Intensive Externship, a Two-Day Advanced Externship, a 10-session Teleconference with Dr. Sue Johnson, four weekends involved with Core Skills training in EFT, and dozens of hours obtaining supervision. In addition, Certification required that a work sample be submitted to the EFT Center in Ottawa for approval. Qualifying as a Supervisor involved supervising several therapists training in EFT, taping these sessions, and receiving supervision on my supervision. I also present workshops on EFT to other therapists. In 2011, I also achieved the status of Diplomate (ABPP) in Group Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. This involved a great deal of study and an oral and written exam.
While this advanced training does not necessarily mean I am the "best" therapist in the area nor necessarily the best therapist for you, it does mean that I strive to be the best therapist I can be, and I have felt that the training has had tremendous importance and influence in my work. It does mean that I might be a very good choice for you or for you and your spouse/partner. I might be able to provide a more involved, more complete treatment than most others could provide.
If I am not able to help you, I will try to help you find someone who would be better able to help. Whether you choose a master's-level or doctoral-level therapist, choose one who shows an interest in advanced training, choose someone who seems intelligent enough for you, choose someone who seems to have the ability to understand you and who shows it is important to understand you, someone who seems to have the ability to help you, and someone whose personality seems to be a good fit for you. Choosing a therapist is a very personal thing. A really good therapy can make a tremendous difference in your life. Allow yourself the time to find the therapist that seems right for you.
INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOTHERAPY AND PSYCHOANALYSIS: I provide individuals, couples, and groups with the freedom to explore their thoughts, feelings, and relationships in an atmosphere of privacy, safety, and trust. Understanding people as a whole and helping them understand themselves and their relationships in order to increase satisfaction in living, relationships, and work are of prime importance. Also important to me is helping people identify and articulate their feelings. While I encourage thoughtful exploration and understanding, I also am active in session so that people feel they are receiving guidance and feedback. Exploration and understanding are best when they are used to make changes that will lead to more satisfaction. In Psychotherapy, a person generally comes in once/week. In Psychoanalysis, a person generally comes in more than once/week, which allows for a deeper process of exploration than weekly psychotherapy allows. COUPLES THERAPY: In Couples Therapy, using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, we work to discover and identify the distressing, repeating interactions that make a couple feel stuck in an unhappy cycle of repeating negative interactions. Once we can identify repeating, negative cycles and understand the feelings that underlie them, the couple works to try to slow down and stop these repeating cycles - fighting the negative patterns rather than each other. This helps to create a safer relationship that can then allow for healing to take place. Without more of a sense of safety and security, a relationship cannot heal and grow strong. Once there is more safety and the couples sees they are able to slow down and stop their negative interactional cycles by working together, I then help them begin to explore the feelings and longings underneath the anger, frustration, and disappointment that drove the cycles. I then help the couple create new patterns of interaction that brings them closer and strengthens their bond, helping them build more positive, constructive cycles of interactions. Couples often begin to hear each other in a new way and start to build a new interest in a safe and secure closeness.
GROUP THERAPY: I led a weekly Therapy Group for about 6 years in NY and for about 6 years in Santa Monica before deciding not to work evenings. This was a psychodynamic/interpersonal therapy group where people can work on family of origin issues, relationships, self-esteem, anxiety and depression, etc. However, I do not have a therapy group at this time.
CASE CONSULTATION, TEACHING AND SUPERVISION: I have led a monthly Case Consultation Group for licensed psychodynamic therapists who were studying Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and now provide individual case consultation. I have 30 years of experience supervising trainees and therapists in their clinical work. I have been a Supervisor for the Wright Institute Los Angeles, the Maple Center, the Valley Community Clinic, and am a Supervising and Training Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP). I have also taught a course in "Using Dreams in Psychoanalysis" at ICP and a course in Group Therapy at the Wright Institute Los Angeles, and have presented often on Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
Volunteer Organizational Involvement
It is my strong belief that having a mentally healthy nation is of prime importance. Involvement in a variety of organizations has provided me with the opportunity to have some effect on public policy and professional organizations. From 1980 - 1984, I was a volunteer counselor at the Middle Earth Switchboard, which was later renamed The Long Island Crisis Center (LICC). From 1982 - 1992, I served on LICC's Board of Directors, and was President of the Board from 1990-1992. My graduate training (Ph.D. studies at Adelphi University, Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Garden City, NY) was from 1984-1988. I worked for the V. A. Medical Center on Long Island from 1987 - 2004, leaving in January 2004 to move to Los Angeles. During my service at the V.A., in addition to my clinical work, I served on the Training Committee and provided supervision for psychology interns. In 1992, the managed care industry seemed to take over the insurance plans in New York State. Though many were saying that this would provide better benefits for the public, it was clear to me from the beginning that they were going to begin taking charge of treatment. Before "managed care plans," people received somewhat limited psychotherapy benefits, but they were able to choose their own therapist (no "lists" of "preferred providers"), attend as many sessions per week as they felt they needed, and remain in therapy as long as they felt the need to do so. Most therapists worked on a sliding scale and there were many clinics available, so most people were able to find affordable therapy and stay in therapy as long as they felt the need to do so. As I began to read about the "better benefits" of managed care, it was immediately apparent to me and a few others that what the insurance industry was going to do was to limit the patient's choice of therapists to those who would take severely reduced fees and who would do very little therapy. I knew that they would insist on crisis intervention and very short-term therapies that would not allow people time to understand the cause of their symptoms nor to work out longstanding problems. I knew that they would change the way therapists were educated and that newer therapists would not be taught much at all about what goes on inside a person's heart, mind and soul. They would be taught "techniques" to address symptoms, but not know how to help people address the cause of the symptoms. I knew that the insurance company was now going to decide who needed therapy and how much of it and what kind they needed. I also knew that there would be a new emphasis on seeing emotional problems as "brain" problems and that medication would become preferred over psychotherapy, and that many patients would be influenced to use medication when it might not be needed, because medicating someone is cheaper and can work faster in the short run than allowing them intensive psychotherapy. Some people are helped a great deal by medication, but this is a decision that should be made by the patient in collaboration with his or her chosen clinicians, not by an insurance company looking to save money in the short run (short run is important to them because people change insurance plans too often to benefit an insurance company if they focus on the long-run emotional and physical health of their beneficiaries). Because the professional associations at the time were not yet willing to denounce the managed care movement, I and a few colleagues created the National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers (www.thenationalcoalition.org). Our goals were to protect patient privacy, choice, and the right to make one's own treatment decisions. At our height, in about 1997, we had 19 state chapters. Our members were effective in obtaining patient protection legislation in many states. As the President of the organization, I was often interviewed by newspapers, magazines, radio, and television reporters. Though we hoped ultimately to create a better health care system, we also needed to work full-time to support ourselves. For our size and the limited time available to each of us as volunteers, we accomplished a great deal in terms of awareness and legislation. I served as Co-Chair, and then President, until 2001. I still serve on the Board of Directors. During this time, I was also an active member of the American Psychological Association, the New York State Psychological Association, and the Nassau County Psychological Association. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have become active in the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA). I was elected President-Elect for 2005 and President for 2006 of this 950+ member organization. I served on LACPA's Board of Directors as Chair the Continuing Education Committee from 2007 through the end of 2011. I have also been active in the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles. In 2010, a dozen of us who were studying Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) formed the Los Angeles Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (LACEFT.ORG), and I became President of LACEFT in 2016 and will serve as President until June 30, 2020.
This speech expresses Dr. Shore's feelings about the insurance companies re-naming therapists as "Providers." It was delivered as an acceptance speech when Dr. Shore was named the 1997 "Psychologist of the Year" by the American Psychological Association's Division of Independent Practice.
About "The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy"
Over the past decade, many health insurance/managed care companies have tried to force people into limited forms of psychotherapy by allowing few sessions per year and by trying to influence the way in which therapists conduct the therapy. They have also come to severely limit a person's choice of therapist and many have found that when their insurance changes, the therapist they have been working with is not on the new insurer's "panel." The insurance industry has tried to convince policy-makers and the public that very brief therapy is superior to longer-term therapy and that longer-term therapy has little to no value, and that being able to freely choose one's therapist is not very important. Consumer Reports conducted a survey of their readers which looked at the issues of choice of therapist, length of therapy, and other issues regarding psychotherapy. This article is written by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., the lead researcher in the Consumer Reports study, and was published in The American Psychologist (1995), a publication of the American Psychological Association.
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