My Approach to Helping
In my more than three decades in private practice, I have seen the most common underlying issue that brings people to psychotherapy is a diminished, confused sense of their own worth. My training taught me to first look for the positives in a person rather than putting people in little psychopathology boxes. A positive is each person's having made early decisions for thinking and acting that made sense to them as a child. These decisions, however, may not make sense in the individual's adult life. A common such decision is how he or she handles their feelings and those of others. My approach, Transactional Analysis, which I explain early in therapy, provides a way of de-confusing thinking and validating feelings in such a way that my patients develop the life skills to communicate with others as well as to examine their own inner thoughts and emotions, to listen better and to be better listened to. The feedback I have gotten from my patients is that these new skills help them in all levels of relationships, from intimate to impersonal, as well as to in analyzing their own feelings and behaviors in order to be a happier person. For those who want deeper psychotherapy, we make use of Re-Decision Therapy, a type of Transactional Analysis, in which the patient experiences an important early memory in which he or she made a major decision about self-worth, does the scene over again in imagination and re-decides at gut level to think, feel and act so that he or she feels their own adult ability to provide permission, protection, and positive power to the ever-present child part of themselves. My patients also tell me that they feel safe, accepted and understood in our sessions, each one that I strive to make matter.