Dr. L. Michael Tompkins became a psychologist relatively late in life as the next logical step to augment his consulting, but in doing so found a new vocation of helping people. While he spent much time working with the incarcerated at California Correctional Institution Tehachapi, California State Prison Folsom, and Sacramento County Jail, as well as the acutely mentally ill at Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center, he found that he is effective and enjoys helping any adult who genuinely wants to work through his or her problems.
Between his extensive career as a successful management consultant with clients representing government, non-profits, law enforcement, academia and more, and having worked with the incarcerated, and Worker’s Comp patients, Dr. Tompkins brings a unique perspective and an unorthodox approach to his healing.
Dr. Tompkins doesn’t just listen to someone’s problems, he helps them address them, confront them and solve them, if at all possible. Dr. Tompkins views psychology much like a detective and seeks to find and fix their problems by uncovering salient details of a person’s life that are causing distress.
He is comfortable working with people suffering from chronic pain, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, domestic violence, grief, struggling with relationships and Axis II Personality Disorders (DSM-V).
Since he is also a management consultant, he is a good resource for CEOs and business men and women who have complex problems that straddle the workplace and other aspects of life. As a veteran himself, he regularly works with and empathizes when treating veterans and police officers to help them in their journeys.
Kind and compassionate, but tough when warranted, always using humor when appropriate, and sometimes when it is not, Dr. Tompkins is usually able to cut through the fog and get to the real issues that trouble a person, quickly and competently.
What are your specialties?
Chronic pain, PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Do you work with veterans?
Yes, and I am one also, Commissioned Officer United States Navy.
Are you a QME?
No, but I work closely with one– Dr. David L. Green, PhD, QME in Folsom, Fairfield and Walnut Creek, CA.
What is your experience working with people with addiction?
Several years with incarcerated individuals, most of whom are addicted.
Do you have any preferred types of patients?
Adults who are motivated to change their lives for the better, and take risks in doing so.
Do you work with families?
Do you do marriage/couples counseling?
Do you conduct phone/skype sessions?
No, but not opposed to the technique.
Who are your influences in psychology?
Freud, Carl Jung, Karen Horney, Albert Ellis and Henny Youngman. Who is Henny Youngman? The late king of the one-liners: “Doc, it hurts when I go like that.”
“Don’t go like that.”.
Have you been published?
Do you offer faith-based counseling?
Yes to the extent that the patient brings his or her faith to the sessions.
Do you work with children?
Why don't you work with children?
I am not opposed to it on a case-by-case basis, but I am not a child psychologist and I prefer to work with adults.
You work with prisoners? Do you like it?
Ten years experience working with state prisoners, county jail detainees, and lock-down acute mental health patients. I have enjoyed them very much.
Do you do group therapy? How do you set up a group?
Yes. Prefer process groups of same sex, in which the focus is created at the beginning of each session. Have conducted “lifer” groups, domestic violence (both male and female), and various forms of interpersonal relationships and life choices processes.
Do you prescribe meds?
Do you work with a psychiatrist who does?
What do you do if you think therapy isn't working?
Suggest alternative therapies, from Acupuncture to Zen.
How do you determine if you will take on a patient?
If the patient is suffering from disorders in which I feel I have expertise, then I will give it a try.
Why don't you take insurance?
Too much trouble. I would rather make less money than compete for the insurance dollar.
What does sliding scale mean?
My per hour fee is $125 for private practice psychology. If a patient is motivated to be in therapy and bereft of financial resources, I will reduce my fee to accommodate that person, but not indefinitely.
Do you ever do pro bono work?
Is there any one thing that sets you apart from other therapists?
Yes. I think of therapy as the work of a detective – find out what factors are causing the distress, then fashion a plan to overcome them. It would resemble “quick therapy” often including this statement: “Here’s what you’re going to do…”
Are there any people you don't like working with?
As a consultant, I dislike working with clients whose egos are so fragile they cannot accept constructive feedback. Likewise, I don’t care for managers who are reluctant to make the hard decisions. As a therapist, I do not like working with Axis II patients, but then, who does?