240 Madison Ave.,10-B
New York, NY  10016


(212) 479–8400


(Scroll down to read complete answers)

  • How do I know if I need psychotherapy, medications, or both?

  • If I take psychiatric medications, do I have to take them forever?

  • Can I see Dr. Spicer for medication management and continue seeing my current psychotherapist for psychotherapy?

  • Can Dr. Spicer work with my Complementary/Alternative Medicine Practitioner or Accupuncturist to help manage my mental health needs?

  • Does Dr. Spicer provide psychotherapy as well as prescribe medications?

  • What are the benefits of seeing a psychiatrist (physician specializing in mental health) for psychotherapy?

  • What type of psychotherapy does Dr. Spicer offer in his practice?

  • If I think I may use more alcohol/drugs than I should, and I engage in treatment with Dr. Spicer, do I have to stop using alcohol/drugs completely?

  • Does Dr. Spicer provide treatment with Suboxone or Buprenorphine?

  • What are Dr. Spicer’s fees and can I use my insurance if I see Dr. Spicer for treatment?

How do I know if I need therapy, medications, or both?

Whether one chooses treatment with psychotherapy, medications or both is a very complicated decision which takes into account many factors--including personal preference and multiple clinical variables to be weighed together by both physician and client.  In general, one looks at two factors: (1). The underlying illness and cause of that illness; and (2). The level of impairment or suffering caused from the symptoms. Some illnesses such serious psychotic or mood disorders are very organic in cause and will typically require medications for full symptom remission. On the other hand, some forms of depression and anxiety are largely related to our prior experiences and inflexible ways in which we may view and interact with the world. Often, these types of symptoms are best addressed in psychotherapy. In some situations, both medication and psychotherapy work best in conjunction.  One of the many benefits of seeking consultation and treatment with Dr. Spicer is his ability to work with you as an active participant in your treatment and educate you and discuss the benefits and risks of all possible treatment options—including both psychotherapy and medication. 

If I take psychiatric medications, do I have to take them forever?

One size does not fit all when it comes to psychiatric treatment. Clients are often nervous about the idea of taking psychiatric medications. Often, Dr. Spicer will spend a large portion of a session discussing possible medication options (if indicated), its benefits, risks and what it means to take such a medication. Often clients are fearful that they will need to continue on medications indefinitely once started. What if I become addicted? Will I be worse if I decide to stop the medications? Depending on your situation, you and Dr. Spicer may decide that medications can be a helpful tool in your moving forward in a successful way. However, just because medications are indicated as a useful tool at one moment in time, does not necessarily mean that you will need to take medications “forever.”  In determining the appropriate duration of using medications, Dr. Spicer will evaluate not only your current symptoms, but look at factors such as how long you have had these symptoms, how frequently you experience the symptoms and other important information.  There is an ongoing assessment of necessity and utility of ongoing medications.  All treatment decisions are made in conjunction between the client and provider in terms of discussion of benefits and risks and possible utility of other treatment modalities if clients desire. It is recommended that clients take medications (and stop medications) only under the supervision of a medical provider to prevent any adverse events and in order to monitor for recurrence of symptoms.

Can I see Dr. Spicer for medication management and continue seeing my current therapist for psychotherapy?

Yes, if you are engaged in a productive psychotherapy already, you can certainly continue in that work. If you are considering the idea of adjuncting your treatment with psychiatric medications—or at least want to learn more about that option--Dr. Spicer can work closely with you and your current therapist (if you desire) to provide an in depth consultation to address your specific needs and concerns. Sometimes clients come for a medication consultation and end up deciding that medications are not for them—or not for them at this particular time in their lives. And that is fine! A successful consult is one that ends with you being more informed about your available options.

Can Dr. Spicer work with my Complementary/Alternative Medicine Practitioner, Nutritionist, and/or Accupuncturist to help manage my mental health needs?

Yes, Dr. Spicer will work with your other providers to help create a holistic, integrated treatment plan to meet your specific needs. Although Dr. Spicer practices Western medicine, he does have a broad exposure to Eastern and alternative treatment modalities. Dr. Spicer trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Accupuncture in China and continues to attend trainings in Complementary/Alternative Medicine.

Does Dr. Spicer provide psychotherapy as well as prescribe medications?

Dr. Spicer is a psychiatrist who has training and experience in both psychopharmacology (medications) and psychotherapy (talk therapy). During his residency (Northwestern University) and fellowship (Columbia University) in psychiatry, Dr. Spicer received extensive training in psychopharmacology as well as training and supervision in psychotherapy modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. In addition, he received supervision and training through The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute while training at Northwestern University.  Having expertise in both psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, Dr. Spicer is in a unique position to help you explore all of the possible tools available in your treatment. His practice is flexible, allowing you to pursue psychotherapy and/or ongoing medication management, as indicated. If you are already in treatment with another psychotherapist and interested in seeking a consultation regarding psychiatric medications, Dr. Spicer can work closely with you and your current therapist (if you desire) to provide an in depth consultation to address your specific needs and concerns.

What are the benefits of seeing a psychiatrist (physician specializing in mental health) for psychotherapy?

There are many types of psychotherapies available.  Some are very structured and interactive, while other types of psychotherapy are similar to what one considers more classic psychoanalysis--often involving the client lying on a couch talking to an often-silent psychotherapist. Further, therapy can be offered by many different types of professionals—psychoanalysts, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Depending on your treatment preference, your ultimate goals, and current situation, you may benefit from a particular type of therapy or from working with a particular type of psychotherapist.  Engaging in psychotherapy with a psychiatrist (physician specializing in mental health) can sometimes offer a unique advantage. Drawing from the rich education and training in the biological, psychological and social issues of mental health concerns, Dr. Spicer can assess your situation from multiple perspectives. The more tools available in your treatment, often the faster, the more robust and the longer-lasting the results you can expect. Frequently, if clients are interested in both psychotherapy and medication management, they find it more effective and convenient to receive both of these services with the same provider. You and Dr. Spicer can monitor your situation together, first-handed while using different types of psychotherapies and/or medications, better evaluating which interventions are most effective and best-tolerated in your specific situation. This can allow the ideal in holistic and integrated care as well as the convenience of a “one stop shop.”

What kind of psychotherapy do you offer in your practice?

Dr. Spicer encourages both the client and the therapist to be active participants in determining the goals and process of the psychotherapy.  Dr. Spicer has received training and supervision in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) as well as supervision at The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.  With this extensive training, he is able to draw from several different theoretical models and treatment styles to best meet your particular needs at a given time in treatment.  

If I think I may use more alcohol or drugs than I should, and I come to Dr. Spicer for help, do I have to stop using alcohol and drugs completely?

Depending on your specific goals, needs, and present situation, you and Dr. Spicer will come to a decision, together, about how best to address your substance use. There is no “one size fits all” in mental health treatment. Often, people come into treatment due to having an ongoing debate in their minds—“should I stop using or not?”. Discussing in your consultation the benefits of the substance use as well as the possible consequences of ongoing substance use can sometimes help you clarify what steps need to be taken to best achieve your goals. Some clients come to treatment to find a safer, more balanced or less problematic way of using substances. Other times, clients want to stop using substances altogether. Depending on your needs and goals, we can create an individualized plan including psychotherapy, medications and/or referrals to groups or other resources to help create the changes you want.

Do you offer treatment with Suboxone/Buprenorphine?

Yes, Dr. Spicer offers treatment for addiction to opioids (such as “pain pills”) in his practice by using a very effective medication called Suboxone/Buprenorphine. Suboxone/Buprenorphine is very effective in helping clients safely and comfortably discontinue the use of “pain pills” and other opioids. Often, it is very difficult to discontinue “pain pills” and opioids without medical assistance due to painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, chills, muscle cramps, intense anxiety and restlessness, and other various problems. This treatment can be initiated and prescribed in the comfort of Dr. Spicer’s office—often eliminating the need for programs such as detoxification centers, rehab programs or Methadone Maintenance programs.  

What are Dr. Spicer’s fees and can I use my insurance if I see him for treatment?

Although Dr. Spicer’s private practice is not directly affiliated with any insurance panels, you are welcome to use your available out-of-network benefits. If you would like to submit for out-of-network insurance reimbursement for your treatment, Dr. Spicer will provide you with the appropriate information on your service receipt and help you with any necessary paperwork. The fees for this psychiatric practice are moderate by New York City standards and can be paid in cash and check (no credit cards). Payment is expected at the time of service. This practice does have a limited number of sliding scale appointments for clients who are motivated and lack the necessary funds to pay full fee.  

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Spicer, please call his office at (212) 479- 8400 or complete a confidential inquiry form.