My Approach to Helping
I believe psychotherapy is a collaborative process that is tailored to fit the patient's--whether adult, child or adolescent--needs. The process of change and development occurs optimally in the context of an empathic therapeutic alliance. My areas of specialization include depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, identity confusion and problems of unfulfilled development. I believe that effective treatment involves a process in which doctor and patient work together both to understand current problematic patterns and to facilitate new ways of being and relating.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Psychotherapy helps people to understand their often unconscious motivations more fully and then to use this understanding to guide them in developing more effective coping strategies and ways of relating. While self-help books may provide some clues, it really takes a good working relationship between patient and doctor in order to open new channels of relating with others that, in turn, lead to increased satisfaction and meaning. Just as people develop optimally through relationships, both in childhood and as adults, traumatizing or unfulfilling relationships can contribute to derailed development and create a kind of "template" that influences later perceptions of others, both positively and negatively. Psychotherapy can help patients understand how early relationships leave their imprint on their perceptions and behavior, and also teach them to develop more effective means of coping and achieving--and thus a more enjoyable and meaningful life.
My Role as a Therapist
My role as a psychotherapist is complex: sometimes I need to teach and serve as a model, and other times I need to sit back and guide the patient towards a developing awareness of their inner feelings and strivings. Always, I strive to be empathic with the patient's feelings and needs, and to collaborate with the patient in understanding how their early experiences have shaped who they are today. My training has taught me that patients will bring their own (often unconscious) attitudes towards others to their unfolding therapeutic relationship. It is my job to collaboratively engage in understanding how that happens with the patient,that is, how their perceptions influence their reactions to me, as emblematic of how they experienced and related to the important people in their lives. People often come to therapy with their "solutions" rather than their problems: that is, people's coping styles develop in response to the earliest relationships that shaped them, but they may not be able to articulate how that happens. It is our job to figure this out together to enable the patient to develop new ways of relating that are more enjoyable, effective and meaningful.