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Psychoanalysis or Psychoanalytic Therapy?

 

Sometimes we know that something isn't quite right - but can't put a finger on it. That's okay.  Short-term goals let us get started and they tell us something about our personality and our long-term growth needs. The Psychoanalytic Model is very well suited for keeping all three interests in mind. This means that while we try to find relief from debilitating suffering, we also try to understand the underlying conditions that contributed to the development of the symptoms in the first place.  The intention of this approach is to assist patients in their immediate struggle while also aiming to help them understand their unique personality and the issues in his or her "natural self" that contributed to the development of the symptoms. This helps us side-step the perpetual "wack-a-mole" experience of putting down one symptom after another.  The fact that psychoanalytic approaches help patients go deeper, to the roots of their problems, is one key reason that this approach continues to yield benefits in people's lives for years after treatment was stopped - as research has demonstrated.

 

Treatment starts with an initial assessment phase that may go on for 6 or more sessions.  From that experience some observations and recommendations are made for us to consider together.  The Course of Treatment that we might chose can be framed in one of the following two general formats:

 

PSYCHOANALYSIS involves meeting 3-5 DAYS PER WEEK and usually over a period of time measured in years. Some find the couch very helpful, others sit up in a chair. The special atmosphere created by the analytic method makes a deep form of emotional learning possible. This talk-therapy can promote healing as well as growth in your humanity by engaging our new relationship in work on old dysfunctional relationships from the past.

Creating a special space around our words, memories, dreams and thoughts/feelings allows us to better understand ourselves and eventually transform trauma and loss into higher levels of creative functioning. Finding your voice often means discovering your own words for desires, anxieties, memories, emotions, secrets or fantasies that had eluded words in your previous life. In the process, most Analysands eventually find their self enlivened with vitality while their experience in work, love, play, and worship become more meaningful and productive.

For many people, psychoanalysis is a great choice for promoting the capacity to live in the present moment and mindfully love others as yourself in new and surprising ways. While precise outcomes are difficult to predict, my experience has been that eventually new opportunities will become visible to you, including the energy and confidence to act in the world in new ways.

PSYCHODYNAMIC PSYCHOTHERAPY requires meeting 1-2 DAYS A WEEK - usually. It can be short- or long-term in length. Similar but less intensive than psychoanalysis, it is insight-oriented and uses the distress, dreams, fantasies, and desires that are manifest in your words, body and behavior. Most participants find that they benefit from putting language on past experiences in order to increase awareness, acceptance, and understanding. This form of therapy tends to focus more on immediate and acute symptoms with a goal of sorting out a problem of specific focus. If you desire, this can develop into psychoanalysis.

INITIAL CONSULTATION is one initial meeting to see if we can work together. Some people have a feel for these things right away while others may take several sessions to asses because the whole experience of sharing so personally may itself be very strange. Be patient and give yourself enough time to feel if the connection you need is possible. If we decide to work together, I will charge for this time as the Diagnostic Interview and take the next 4 to 10 sessions to continue determining with you the best course of treatment in this opening phase. You probably have plenty of questions to interview me and explore how we might work together. You may want to ask yourself if you feel comfortable in my office? Do we seem like a good match between your needs and my competence? Are our personalities the match that you were hoping for with your therapist?

If, however, either of us decide we would not work well together I will be willing to provide you with contact information for colleagues who I think might be a better fit for you.

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