How Psychotherapy Can Help
Sometimes we just have a vague sense that something isn’t quite right – a heightened sensitivity to others’ criticism, a nagging anxiety about something we can’t identify, or mild feelings of depression. Other times we know where our problem lies – dissatisfaction in work, stagnation or chaos in relationships – but we don’t know to work through these situations. If you have not been able to create change and fulfillment in these areas on your own, therapy can provide an opportunity to explore, understand, and overcome difficulties in these areas.
New patients are often unsure what to expect in the first session, how to behave, what to say. There can be anxiety about starting a new process and opening up to someone you’re meeting for the first time. The initial sessions will be an opportunity for you and I to get a sense of each other and understand your reasons for seeking help. This process, which generally takes a few sessions, provides me with an opportunity to learn more about you, what crisis or other issues you’re dealing with, what you would like to achieve in treatment and propose ways we can work together to reach those goals.
As we get to know one another and work together, I may recommend that we make changes to the frequency of our sessions to best make use of our time together. Meeting 4 or 5 times a week on a couch with a psychoanalyst is traditionally considered psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a mode through which psychoanalysts help people achieve deep and long-lasting changes. Regardless of how often we meet or if we make use of the couch, it is the type of understanding that an analyst offers that is likely to help when other therapies have not. Psychoanalytically-trained therapists tend to have a greater appreciation that human beings are embedded in a human world with a life history, not a collection of symptoms or problems of biology. Certain behaviors that are often referred to as “symptoms” are ways we try to keep a sense of self alive and whole particularly in the face of traumatizing or re-traumatizing events; they are indicators that we are struggling to maintain balance within ourselves and our relationships. The process of therapy can assist you in retaining that balance, and in finding freedom to respond to life with flexibility and compassion for yourself and others.
If you’d like a glimpse into a process of therapy and psychoanalysis that is similar to my own, then you might find the following video on contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy helpful: On Being a Patient.
Child and Adolescent Treatment
There are many difficulties that children and adolescents can face as they develop. Sometimes those difficulties are passing problems in response to temporary stress, and other times the problems might not go away on their own. When observable problems and stress emerge and persist, it is important to know what is happening with your child or adolescent, as well as conflicts the child is facing and not handling well: issues with parents, with friends, with self regulation, with school, with self esteem, with aggression. There are often signposts to indicate that things are going well and signposts that indicate whether a child or adolescent needs intervention.
Child therapy aims to provide a treatment environment that is warm and welcoming, that encourages imagination and self-expression, and that gives children a separate, safe, and supportive space for processing the sometimes powerful emotional and developmental struggles that they are facing. My treatment approach incorporates both verbal and nonverbal methods in order to give children a means to express the subtleties of their feelings, wishes, and needs – even when they don’t yet have the words for these. Therapy allows them to integrate their inner and outer worlds, and to communicate and optimally cope with their experiences.
If it seems that you and I might be a good fit, or if you have questions about my practice and the different treatments available to you or your child/teen, then please feel free to contact me.