Therapist Spotlight: Clinical Psychology via Skype with Danielle Sheypuk

This Therapist Spotlight is a part of our interview series with experienced Mental Health Practitioners, where therapists share their experiences in Private Practice Therapy.
What was one of the biggest problems you struggled with and ultimately solved in the beginning of your private practice? What solution did you find to your (perhaps persisting) problem?
Regarding my private practice, I struggled with deciding whether or not to accept insurance. Being on insurance panels makes your practice more affordable and thus brings more client traffic. On the other hand, one then deals with the hassles of paperwork, obtaining reimbursement, and accepting lower fees for service. Since many of my clients in the my private practice have physical disabilities and some live on limited income, I have decided to begin the process of getting on insurance panels.
What advice would you give to a budding mental health practitioner just getting licensed?
The advice I give mental health practitioners just getting licensed as well as to the clinical psychology doctoral students that I supervise, is to obtain a salaried position in the field and start your private practice on the side. This is a great way to continue to gain experience as a therapist and simultaneously keep stress levels low. Building a private practice takes time and patience. With a salaried position, you do not have to worry about the financial issues that can be involved while waiting for your practice to expand.
What advice would you have given yourself early in your career?
After obtaining my license, I would have started my private practice right away instead of waiting a year. As a clinical psychologist who uses a wheelchair and specializes in the dating and sexuality of people with physical disabilities, I find that many of my clients with physical disabilities seek me out as someone who can understand them on multiple levels. Our work together is enriching and rewarding with feedback from them that working with a psychologist with a disability is more helpful and satisfying then working with an able-bodied therapist. People with physical disabilities are frequently stigmatized in our society and continue to be looked at as “different.” I would have opened my practice sooner to address this population’s unmet psychological needs especially in dealing with the emotionally damaging stereotypes that we are asexual, not dateable, and incapable of being in romantic relationships.
Do you see any persisting or upcoming problems in the private practice industry. If so, how do you handle them?

I conduct most of my therapy sessions in my private practice via Skype. I engineered my practice this way to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to attend therapy. With Skype, my clients can stay in the comforts of their homes and do not have to worry about any issues involved in traveling and physically getting to the therapist’s office. The field of psychology is beginning to accept the influence of the internet on our practices and I hope it will continue to encourage and expand it’s acceptance allowing the profession to grow and keep up with our technologically-advancing society.

I conduct most of my therapy sessions in my private practice via Skype. I engineered my practice this way to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to attend therapy. With Skype, my clients can stay in the comforts of their homes and do not have to worry about any issues involved in traveling and physically getting to the therapist’s office. The field of psychology is beginning to accept the influence of the internet on our practices and I hope it will continue to encourage and expand it’s acceptance allowing the profession to grow and keep up with our technologically-advancing society.

Please let us know about you: where are you located, any specialties, credentials, and educational background. How should someone get in touch with you?
I am a licensed clinical psychologist who is located in Manhattan, New York. Having obtained my Ph.D. from The New School for Social Research in New York City, I have since established a successful and innovative private therapy practice that employs Skype-based treatment, designed specifically to make it easier for people with disabilities to attend sessions. In addition to treating the spectrum of mental health issues, I am widely regarded as a “sexpert” and leading commentator on the psychology of dating, relationships, and sexuality for people with physical disabilities. For more information, please visit my website at daniellesheypuk.com.
Dr. Danielle Sheypuk promotes her very real message that people with disabilities are sexy, datable, educated, and glamorous – and that they are integrating more successfully than ever into the social scene. After a recent explosion of media attention when Dr. Sheypuk became the first model in a wheelchair to "walk" the runway at New York Fashion Week, Spring 2014, her impact on the disabled community and on the way society views this population has been tremendous and universal. Holding a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The New School for Social Research in New York City, Dr. Sheypuk is widely regarded as a "sexpert" and leading commentator on the psychology of dating, relationships, and sexuality for the disabled population. She has established a successful and innovative private therapy practice that employs Skype-based treatment, which she engineered disabilities to attend sessions.

2 Comments

  1. Dr. Gregg A. Pizzi December 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    The fear of the unknown … whether the current patient will return, whether you’ll have enough future patients to cover your expenses, whether past patients will make referrals to you … can be a problem if you allow it to gain momentum. I quickly learned to stop doubting myself and to trust that the universe will provide. It does.

    Reply

    • Denny December 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      Great observation Dr Pizzi. Not only can momentum help but it can run us into the ground. Having faith and trust in a process and working towards reachable goals has helped us at TheraThink grow and thrive.

      Wishing you a wonderful beginning to the New Year!

      Reply

      Denny

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