Survey Response: Laurel Steinberg, PhD, LMHC

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This survey was last updated in January 2014.

Degrees/License Held:
Degrees: MA, MA, PH.D.
License: New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (#004642)
Graduate Studies in Applied Psychology: New York University
Clinical Internship: Columbia University
Undergraduate Degree in Biology: Johns Hopkins University
Adjunct Asst. Professor: Columbia University Department of Counseling & Clinical Psychology

Contact Information:
Phone: (917) 574-0825

Number of years in practice helping people with TMS: 7 years

Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS:
I have had the honor of working with 30+ patients who had TMS. A number of these patients began treatment for other reasons and we subsequently discovered that there was a connection between their physical ailments (that they believed would never go away!) and how they handled uncomfortable ideas/feelings/rage in response to life stressors, “goodist” personality traits and residual feelings about childhood. Helping patients recover from agonizing physical symptoms has been a most rewarding professional experience for me.

What is your association to the TMS community?
I am a recovered TMS sufferer and the daughter of a recovered sufferer, have completed the TMS Master Class training programs, and an avid reader of all TMS literature.

Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes. TMS contributed to my own symptoms of headache -- and after experiencing headache symptoms for the first 21 years of my life, I am now nearly symptom free since 1998. Additionally, my father suffered from chronic back pain for my entire youth – until he was treated and cured by Dr. Sarno and his team. I understand the sadness, worry, isolation and frustration that one can experience when they feel ill all the time – and know that that is no way to live.

What insurance plans do you currently accept? I am an out-of-network provider and am happy to provide patients with a “superbill” as well as any additional paperwork that they may need to receive insurance reimbursement, if applicable.

Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? Yes. I offer a sliding scale to a limited number of patients with demonstrated financial hardship.

Are you able to conduct sessions over the phone and/or via internet video services (i.e. Skype or FaceTime)? Yes – telephone and online video chat services are available.

What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I completed the TMS Master Class trainings taught by the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association in NYC, read the books written by Dr. Sarno (many times), read books and articles written by his patients, attend all PPDA conferences and have taught the TMS treatment approach to many of my colleagues. I am committed to keeping up with all of my efforts and focus on this amazing therapeutic modality so that I may continue to help patients heal via Dr. Sarno’s genius approach.

What mindbody books do you recommend to your patients? In particular do you recommend Dr. Sarno's books?
I recommend that patients read two of Dr. Sarno’s books: The Mindbody Prescription and Healing Back Pain. I also give patients handouts that I have created which explain Dr. Sarno’s theory and its mechanism, as well as exercises that support meaningful journaling, introspection and securing faith in the diagnosis and treatment modality.

As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself.
Hello. My name is Dr. Steinberg. I am a psychotherapist with offices in Midtown Manhattan and Great Neck, Long Island and am also honored to be an adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University. I treat individuals, couples & families – many of whom have suffered from TMS. Having recovered from TMS symptoms myself (which manifested as headache). I am grateful to now be nearly symptom free for over 16 years. Once I became free from the hold of headache, I was finally able to live and enjoy my life – something I wasn’t sure would ever happen. I now take delight in my profession and in the meaningful relationships that I share with my family and friends. If you are suffering with TMS, I want you to know that you, too, can overcome whatever symptoms you are currently experiencing. I would be honored to help you with this journey. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Thank you.

Questions Specific to Therapists

What is your general psychotherapeutic treatment approach?
I have training in both psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. I work with patients in a collaborative fashion that emphasizes warmth, humor (when appropriate) and unconditional acceptance.

How does your approach to treating TMS differ from your general psychotherapeutic treatment approach?
When working with patients with TMS, I adhere strictly to the TMS psychotherapy protocol developed by Dr. Sarno and his team of psychotherapists. Patients are taught to understand and believe in the TMS principles, to think in more helpful/flexible ways about things past and present, as well as to be able to tolerate uncomfortable or anti-social feelings and develop and use language to describe feelings so that they may unlearn the “body language” that they have gotten so good at expressing.

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