Dr. Mandel provides individual psychotherapy employing evidence-based principles of care. Although he has experience treating a wide-range of psychopathology, he is particularly interested in working with patients experiencing anxiety, attentional, bereavement, depressive, personality, substance, and trauma-/stressor-related disorders. Dr. Mandel also devotes a substantial portion of his clinical practice to helping individuals manage and adjust to major life transitions.
Dr. Mandel values transparency in individual treatment. In that spirit, this page provides extensive detail about what one can anticipate when working with Dr. Mandel.
Therapy begins with a psychodiagnostic assessment that takes at least two 60 minute sessions. Toward the end of this process, Dr. Mandel will provide feedback regarding diagnostic conclusions. Goals are then discussed and operationalized in concrete behavioral terms that can be tracked over time. Finally, taking into account both diagnostic conclusions and patient goals, treatment recommendations are made. Before beginning treatment, Dr. Mandel works to establish clear agreement regarding treatment goals and methods.
Once treatment begins, Dr. Mandel typically provides 45-60 minute weekly sessions that are organized in parallel with the overall course of therapy. To align priorities for the day, sessions begin with assessment and agenda setting. The patient’s between session “homework” is then reviewed. Homework is designed to serve as the bridge that carries therapy from the treatment room into everyday life. Once homework is reviewed, new therapeutic material is introduced. To help consolidate learning, sessions wind down with a brief review of the day’s material and a discussion about the following week's homework. Sessions conclude with an invitation to provide feedback on the session and course of treatment.
COURSE OF TREATMENT
The typical course of treatment is measured in weeks or months (not years). Response to treatment is measured regularly using three distinct sources of information. First, patient symptoms are monitored using brief, well-validated instruments (e.g., symptoms of depression may be monitored using the Patient Health Questionnaire). Second, a patient’s self-report is used to monitor their subjective experience of change (e.g., a patient exhibiting generalized anxiety may observe that they are less distracted by worry and accomplishing more at work). Third, as hinted at above, concrete behavioral benchmarks are used to monitor the patient’s progress toward specified goals (e.g., a patient who tends to withdraw when stressed may want to maintain valued relationships by inviting a close friend to an event one time per week). Treatment is designed to end when symptoms abate and goals are consistently met.
FLEXIBLE, RESPONSIVE INTERACTIONS
Of course, as a result of personal growth and life-circumstances, goals may change over time. Dr. Mandel balances a structured approach with a responsive relationship in order to optimize outcomes. He focuses on providing and soliciting feedback about progress so that patients can take ownership of their treatment and actively collaborate to shape its trajectory.
As you can tell, treatment with Dr. Mandel will not look like the therapy you have seen on TV. You will share control of the agenda and conversation. You will likely focus more attention on the present and future than the past. You will work toward clearly defined goals. And you will have a partner to help along the way.