What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a sustainable and scientifically documented treatment for a wide range of mental health and quality of life problems. It usually involves meeting with your therapist at least once weekly, but can be more or less frequent depending on your needs. People often expect their therapist to provide knowledge, information, and answers to life's problems, which of course we sometimes can and do. However, the most powerful and effective aspect of psychotherapy is not about the therapist giving information but rather about her facilitating a process in which the client or patient is able to feel more able to think or feel for themselves.
Psychotherapy can be anywhere between a one or two session consultation to a treatment relationship spanning the course of several years. Short-term psychotherapy is usually about three months of weekly or biweekly meetings, and many people find they feel better and are able to sustain the improvements they have made after completing a short-term course of therapy.
Longer-term psychotherapy can vary in intensity from multiple meetings per week to bimonthly meetings, depending on your needs. It can be incredibly helpful and meaningful to develop a relationship with a therapist over a longer period of time. Many people feel that they have never been understood by anyone so deeply and that they benefit immensely from having a setting in which they can be completely honest and open without being jugged or being concerned about negatively impacting the other party or worrying about social consequences, political correctness, etc. I am passionate about this kind of work because it allows my patients to forge better, more intimate relationships and to leave therapy with a stronger sense of who they are, a greater openness to life experiences, increased confidence, and improved awareness of what they think and why.
What is Psychodynamic/ Psychoanalytic Therapy?
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is traditionally a very intensive form of psychotherapy aimed not only at behavioral change, but also at understanding the precipitants and underlying dynamics affecting one's mental health and well-being. I have a strong background in psychoanalytic (psychodynamic) theory and technique, which has been my area of focus for the 15 or so years I have been in practice. This tradition and way of thinking can be applied in many different ways and in conjunction with other treatment methods. Some of the cutting-edge in psychoanalytic theory involves combining the rich and productive ways of thinking developed by psychoanalysts since the days of Sigmund Freud with data from neuroscience, attachment research and cognitive science. Psychoanalysis also has a strong connection to literature and the arts.
What is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a relatively recent school of thought and technique in the field of psychotherapy. The focus on conscious thought patterns can be extremely useful, especially as a tool for managing depression and anxiety. Some people find CBT to be somewhat impersonal because unlike psychodynamic technique, it is more focused on teaching strategies and coping skills than on understanding people and their particular histories and backgrounds. I generally combine CBT with my focus on psychoanalytic therapy depending on the needs of my clients.