The decision to pursue therapy is often a challenging one. Seeking help may involve mixed feelings – is it ever going to really matter? A sense of ambivalence and the apprehension about developing dependence may also arise along with various other issues.
Beyond any specific theory, therapeutic approach or the experience of the therapist, the single most important predictor of a successful therapy is the working alliance with the therapist. It is that chemistry that is hard to put in words that matters the most. Will it happen? Well, if you don’t try, you’ll never know. In order to help you with the decision whether to pursue therapy with me, I will now tell you a little bit about myself and about my core professional beliefs and principles. You can easily find out about the rest within our first one or two sessions together.
I am a registered psychologist in New York and in Israel. I earned my PhD in clinical psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and my Masters in clinical psychology from Tel Aviv University. In New York I worked at Kings County Hospital and at the Women’s Health Project at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt, in addition to having a private practice in Manhattan. In Tel Aviv I am head of psychological services at Shenkar College of Design and Engineering, a senior supervisor at Amcha (an organization that support Holocaust survivors and their families) and have my own private practice.
In my 15 years of professional experience, I have had a wide variety of clients, running the gamut from those having independent lives and holding prestigious jobs, to individuals who are hospitalized since they are dangerous to themselves or to others. Having worked with such an array of people with such different needs has underscored for me the importance in finding the right match between the client and the most appropriate therapeutic technique. My integrative approach to psychotherapy combines psychodynamic therapy; cognitive-behavioral approaches; mindfulness; schema-therapy; and feminist approaches. In addition, I regularly attend professional conferences in the United States, Europe and Israel and actively follow the literature in the leading professional outlets. As a result, I am able to offer the most effective and professionally appropriate treatment to each client, in accordance with her needs, goals and wishes.
Psychology is a constantly changing field, and clinical research allows making a better fit between the types of psychotherapy and the needs of each individual. A better fit of that sort not only saves time, money and resources but is also, to me, a part of my ethical and professional commitment.
Michal Ben Zvi Sommer Ph.D.
My fields of expertise include:
* Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with anxiety disorders (phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, social anxiety, test anxiety, general anxiety disorder)
* Combining Mindfulness with other Cognitive-Behavioral approaches
* Feminist approaches to help women seeking their voice and the courage to use it
* Therapy concerned with the family-career conflict with both women and men
* Schema Therapy.