I view psychotherapy as a collaboration between patient and therapist to help the patient resolve problems and live a more satisfying life.
My first task is helping patients feel as comfortable as possible to speak about what is troubling them. To this end, I offer a non-judgmental, accepting, and professional approach to therapy.
I value each patient as a unique individual. I listen deeply and empathically and offer steady commitment, warmth, and caring to my patients. All patients need validation of their feelings and experiences but also at times need help facing ways their own behaviors may contribute to their problems.
Part of the art of being a therapist is being able to help foster such self-reflection and self-honesty. My approach to therapy is what is called psychoanalytic or psychodynamic, but I believe that therapy is not “one size fits all”, and I try to tailor my approach to your needs.
Many of the patients I work with experience issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, low self-esteem, sexuality and gender identity issues, relationship issues, work/career problems, and concerns about aging.
In addition to seeking help to resolve problems such as these, patients also come to therapy looking for ways to live a more authentic-feeling and creative life.
What Is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy?
As adults, we are often unaware of how our current attitudes, expectations, and relationship patterns were shaped during our childhood and adolescence.
These unacknowledged childhood influences have an impact our current life problems and limit the options we see for solving them. Our familiar patterns of living, even though unrewarding in important ways, provide us with a sense of comfort and safety as we navigate the complexities of adult life.
Modifying these can feel difficult and even dangerous. Change always involves entering uncharted waters and, while liberating, it can also stir up anxiety.
This is one reason therapy takes time, as efforts at change involve working through feelings such as anxiety, guilt, anger, grief, shame, or other unpleasant emotions.
The psychoanalytic therapist engages the patient in a joint discovery process, working together to find links between formative childhood and adolescent influences and current patterns of thinking, feeling and relating that are ineffective in meeting adult emotional needs.
As these links are discovered, the therapist facilitates the patient feeling safe enough to take risks to step outside their comfort zone in trying out new, more effective ways of living and being.
What is Psychoanalysis?
While meeting more than once per week may seem strange, if you think about learning to play a musical instrument or excel at a sport, you expect that you have to practice several times per week. It is the same in exercising the “emotional muscles” that lead to insight and change.
Over the course of treatment, the patient brings their ingrained patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting into the relationship with the analyst where these can be experienced and explored in the immediacy of the here and now therapeutic relationship. This enables insight to be a vivid, convincing emotional experience and not simply an intellectual exercise.