Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis
Problems with intimacy
My main professional interest is in treating people having trouble succeeding in their intimate relationships. Many people are unsure why they repetitively strike out and fail to sustain what they most want to achieve, closeness and warmth with a loving partner. The reasons often lie in the person’s past experiences—in childhood, adolescence, and in prior adult relationships. People are understandably frightened of being hurt and often erect defenses against reexperiencing trauma which then interfere with closeness.
Safety to talk and be heard
Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps people explore these issues in a safe environment. Talking is the main method. Simply revealing yourself to another person can be enormously relieving. The approach encourages and allows you to talk about anything and everything. All topics are in bounds. The potential exists for experiencing the listening therapist as attentive, understanding and tuned into you. This positive experience often leads to greater calm, comfort, vibrancy and hopefulness. The dialogue aspect in psychotherapy is used to collaboratively explore yourself as well as to problem solve dilemmas and situations in your current life.
The relationship as laboratory and training ground
Unlike other forms to psychotherapy, we also use the relationship with the therapist as a laboratory to help understand your inner life. Just as when you take piano or dance lessons, it will help not just to talk about your problems, but to show the teacher how you play or dance. In the same way, the relationship with the therapist allows us to study how your personality actually works in the moment, and then to try to help you to modify it using both insight into your dynamics, and new experiences with your therapist. Since the main problem we are addressing is difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, psychoanalytic psychotherapy is specifically designed to uncover and ameliorate possible impediments to that goal.
Other problems as well
Along the way, most patients will also discuss a number of other problems concerning their goals, work, family and friends. Some will work on issues of anxiety, depression, and anger. While some therapists specialize in treating specific disorders of anxiety and depression, my focus is on the person’s map of the world, their expectations, hopes and fears, rather than on their biology. However, should medications be helpful, as a board certified psychiatrist, I am able to prescribe them, but this is not my area of specialization.
For some selected patients, an even more intensive psychotherapeutic experience may be helpful with more frequent meetings, use of the couch, and a deeper experience with the (transference) relationship with the therapist. Contrary to some bad press, this form of therapy, termed psychoanalysis, is, neither passé nor unscientific. It has improved considerably since the first Model T version originated by Sigmund Freud, and offers an unsurpassed opportunity for self-development. Unfortunately, for most people, it is just not feasible given exigencies of time and finances. However, should a patient wish a full-fledged psychoanalysis, I am a card carrying graduate and faculty member of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and would be happy to provide that service as well.