When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

Frequently Asked Questions

by Michael G. Mruz, LCSW, ACSW, MSW – Westchester Psychotherapist

As a Westchester psychotherapist, I am frequently asked about therapy in general and my therapeutic practice in particular.

If you have a question that is not answered below, I invite you to browse this website. If your question is still not answered, please contact me.

I have been a practicing psychotherapist for over 25 years, with a private practice in Westchester. I am licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in both New York and New Jersey, have a graduate degree in clinical social work from Columbia University, and extensive training in a variety of effective psychotherapeutic approaches, as well as Eastern Mindfulness approaches and stress reduction techniques. Please see About Michael G. Mruz for more information.
I believe each person has an intrinsic ability for healing and transformation that can be activated and supported through therapy. My work is to assist you in this process, utilizing my advanced training in a variety of effective therapeutic approaches to design and carry out a treatment plan to meet the specific needs of each client – individual, couple or family.

Please see Treatment Philosophy & Approach, Treatment Specialties, and Mindfulness-Based Programs for more information, or browse this website.

Our first consultation or therapy session will be one hour. Subsequent sessions will be 45 minutes. We will schedule sessions to meet your needs. Usually we schedule weekly sessions, but we may decide to have sessions either more or less frequently, depending on your concerns and needs.
Yes. I have evening hours up to 9:00pm on three nights a week. I also have Saturday hours every other week.
First of all, I will listen to your concerns. I will also ask questions and listen to your answers. We will also review your medical history and family background, and you will fill out a biography. To save time, you can check out the forms I’ve designed to gather this information by going to the Administrative Policies & Procedures page of this website. You can also download, read, and fill out those forms before we meet, if you choose.

It is not uncommon to feel uncomfortable in your first session, and if you do, we will work together to ease your discomfort and create an environment where you feel safe to talk about your concerns and where we will build a trusting relationship.

Therapy can be very beneficial and those benefits depend in good part on how you choose to use the therapy and apply it to your life. Some of the benefits of therapy may be:

  • Finding resolution to the issues and concerns that lead you to seek therapy.
  • Improving your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Gaining a better understanding of your self and clarifying your personal values.
  • Defining your goals in various areas of life, and discovering how to achieve those goals more effectively.
  • Developing skills, including communication and listening skills, to help improve your relationships.
  • Getting “unstuck” from unhealthy patterns of thinking, as well as ending old unhealthy behaviors and developing new healthy ones.
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems.
I am an “out of network” insurance provider. Insurance policies do cover my services provided you do not have a restriction to only “in-network” providers and the policy is open to “out of network” providers. A portion of my fees may be reimbursed as part of the “out-of-network coverage” in some insurance plans. Please be sure to give me information about your insurance plan during our initial conversation, so we can determine if and how your insurance may reimburse you for a portion of my fees.
While I do not prescribe medication, I can refer you to a number of psychiatrists for medication evaluation and management while I provide therapy. I can also coordinate my treatment with your primary care physician and have him/her provide medication evaluation and management.
Yes, I treat children 8 years of age and older, and I also treat teenagers/adolescents. Please see Adolescent & Child Therapy, Divorce and Separation Therapy or Treatment Specialties for more information.
While the fundamental philosophy and meditative techniques for developing Mindfulness are rooted in the teachings of the historical Buddha, founder of Buddhism, Mindfulness itself is not a religion. You do not have to be a Buddhist or have any particular religious beliefs to practice Mindfulness, and Mindfulness does not generally interfere with the practice of other religions or with being an atheist or agnostic. In addition, modern science has standardized and secularized Mindfulness techniques for therapeutic use today.

In the 21st Century, Mindfulness is a type of cognitive awareness training and therapy, and the positive psychological and physical effects of Mindfulness therapy and techniques are well documented by scientists. In combination with what we therapists call “third-generation cognitive/behavioral therapy” and “acceptance based therapies,” these Mindfulness techniques are powerfully restorative and create tremendous psychological awareness in clients.

For more information on Mindfulness and on the Mindfulness-Based Programs I offer, please see Mindfulness-Based Programs. You will also find a list of other sources for learning about Mindfulness in Media & Resources.

The short answer is, “Yes.” These Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs are highly effective at lessening stress in the lives of individuals. This effectiveness is predicated on how diligent an individual is at following the program guidelines and in bringing these techniques into his or her everyday life. For more information, please see Mindfulness-Based Programs or contact me.