Therapy with Andrew
Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room so that I can form a visual or narrative of what to expect.
The work begins with just a discussion about what is going on that led the client into therapy in the first place. This assessment phase helps to determine what the client needs. Often this initial session is also about developing rapport—having the therapist and client get a sense of each other, which is vital in regards to the efficacy of the treatment provided by the therapist. So, a lot of questions in the beginning.
Following that, there is a presentation of what the therapist thinks is going on and how therapy can be helpful. At that point, therapy continues to be conversational, but at times can become experientia,l depending on the particular needs of the client. For example, let’s say a client hates his boss. We might pretend that the boss is in the room and let the client vent his/her frustrations without fear of judgement. Then we might take that “venting session” and turn it into a song. Following that, we might give the client skills to tolerate the feelings that the boss evokes in the client, as well as skills to better communicate to that boss.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
When it’s appropriate and can inform the work, I will share something about myself. My rule on this is: sharing something from my life should always serve the client, and the reasons for sharing should never have to do with my own needs.
How participatory are you during sessions?
I am a ‘lean in’ therapist—not passive, jumping in when appropriate. I want the session to feel like an exciting dialogue between two people. Never boring, always moving things forward to help my clients to get to a better place in their heads and in their lives.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
I do assign homework when it is necessary. Homework can be a great way to integrate the truths and skills, that we generated in session, into a person’s life.
If I have never been to therapy before, what should I expect? How do I know if I should go, and how do I start?
Come to one session and let me show you how therapy can be helpful to you, how it can make things better. I want to prove to my clients that this work can be effective.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
There are boundaries in place to protect our therapeutic relationship. They help to keep the work productive.
Is there ever a time when you would encourage me to leave or graduate? Or how do I know when it’s time to end or move on, or time to stay and explore more?
Yes. If I feel like a client does not need to come with regular frequency because they are doing so well, I recommend coming less frequently, or on an "as needed" basis. I call it a "tune up" session.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I worked for 15 years in a psychiatric hospital. I did individual and group therapy, but also ran a recording studio, theater program, and meditation program within the hospital as well. This taught me that there are many different ways to do therapy; and part of my job is to figure out what the best “way” is for each of my clients.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I’ve had extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Techniques, In-Action Methods for Group and Individual Psychotherapy, Psychodrama, and some training in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) and Integrated Family Systems (IFS).
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
Interacting with and helping people brings out my best self. I find that when I work with clients I am also my most present self. The work is rewarding, fascinating, and I think I have helped change some peoples' lives for the better... that feels good and gives me an amazing sense of purpose.
What is the best part of the work for you?
Being present with a client and seeing them grow and change for the better. Showing clients that therapy doesn't have to always be this heavy thing—it can light at times and even fun.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I encourage my clients to be creative and collaborative in session. I work hard to eliminate any perceived power differential between myself and my clients. I try to use humor as a way to connect with my clients, and believe that therapy at times can be fun. Finally, I want to be effective and never boring and hope those sentiments come across in my work.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I try to enter a "student’s mindset" and not pretend to know everything. I'm open with my clients and ask that I learn from them.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
I'll frequently check in with clients to ask if our sessions are helpful, and if not, is there something that can be done to change that. If there is resistance to the therapeutic process, it's during that check in that I will gently address that resistance.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
By frequently checking in to make sure that the work is productive and helpful, and that they are feeling heard and validated in the work.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
After the initial consultation session, I ask my clients to commit to just 3 more sessions. In those four sessions, a lot of work can get done. After those sessions, I partner with my clients to determine the course of treatment after that.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
Be mentally prepared to talk about your life and what’s troubling you.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
If you have a psychiatric history or take medication, please be ready to provide that information during the first session.
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
The entrance to our office is on 40th Street, right off of Lexington Ave.
“My experience with Andrew Tepper was that he is an expert in balance. During our sessions I felt he could connect deeply with what I was experiencing and help guide me into healthier patterns of thinking. The result for me was always walking out of a session feeling even, like my problems were manageable, like my life was manageable. Working with Andrew helped me grow as a person, and set me on a path of self discovery. I believe working with Andrew helped me learn to become a more authentic version of myself.”