Survey Response: Laurel Steinberg, PhD, LMHC

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This survey was last updated in February 2023.

Degrees/License Held:
Degrees: BA, MA, MA, PH.D.
License: New York and Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor, also offering worldwide coaching to patients residing outside of NY & FL. (#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: 15 years. I have been licensed since 2010, and also worked with TMS patients during my Clinical Internship at Columbia University.

Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS:
I have had the honor of working with many, many hundreds of patients who had TMS. I treat TMS every day of the week and have for the past 15 years because it’s my favorite subject to treat. 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 therapist in private practice who treats TMS patients every day. I am a completely recovered TMS sufferer. While I specialize in teaching patients how to prevent migraine headaches using my Sarno Concept-infused program called, “The Headache Preventive Lifestyle,” I also treat other manifestations of TMS, all with great success. My patients get better and I love it! I am the daughter of a recovered sufferer, have completed the TMS Master Class training programs, attended many of the late and great Dr. John Sarno’s lectures in person, and am an avid reader of all TMS literature and media. I taught graduate students at Columbia University about Dr. Sarno’s approach for many years.

Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes. TMS contributed to my own symptoms of migraine headache -- and after experiencing headache symptoms for the first 20 years of my life, I am now symptom free since 1998. 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 who are New York and Florida residents with a “superbill” to receive insurance reimbursement, if they’d like. For those patients who live outside of NY and FL, the work we do together is considered “coaching,” for which they cannot submit a receipt for insurance reimbursement.

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.

Are you able to conduct sessions over the phone and/or via internet video services (i.e. Zoom or FaceTime)? Yes – telephone and Zoom 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, attended live lectures by the late and great Dr. John Sarno, carefully studied the books and writings of Dr. Sarno, have 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. Laurel Steinberg. I am a therapist licensed in New York and Florida 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 migraine headaches). I am grateful to now be nearly symptom free for over 25 years. Once I became free from the hold of migraine, 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. I derive great pleasure from teaching my program, “The Headache Preventive Lifestyle” but also treat symptoms beyond headaches. 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 advanced training in both psychodynamic psychotherapy and a highly specialized form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. I work with patients in a collaborative fashion that emphasizes warmth, kindness and the use of evidence-based treatments (treatments that work!).

How does your approach to treating TMS differ from your general psychotherapeutic treatment approach?
When working with patients with TMS, I infuse all of the teachings of Dr. Sarno into my psychotherapeutic approach. 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. Patients 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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