Depth-oriented therapy for a multifaceted life
Psychodynamic psychotherapy (sometimes called psychoanalytic psychotherapy) is an evidence-based approach to mental health treatment that focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. Through the development of a trusting therapeutic relationship, we will explore the broad spectrum of your life experiences, from the deepest despair and heartache to your greatest joys and accomplishments.
Core Elements of Treatment
Here's what you can expect when you work with me:
We will focus on the ways you regulate and express your emotions
We will discuss your past experiences with a focus on how they may have influenced your development
We will identify recurring themes and patterns in your life
We will focus on the dynamics of your past and current interpersonal relationships
We will focus on the dynamics of our therapeutic relationship
We will explore your fantasy life, including dreams and daydreams
We will explore your attempts to avoid distressing thoughts and feelings
The Process of Change
The change process is highly personal and can look different for everyone. That being said, there is a general trajectory you can expect while working with me:
Opening up to self discovery
Discovering patterns of relating and perceiving that stand in the way of current functioning
Finding ways to disentangle influences of the past from the present
Finding new ways to cope
Psychodynamic Therapy vs CBT
There is a common misconception that manualized, symptom-focused therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are evidence-based, while psychodynamic therapies lack empirical support. In reality, psychodynamic therapy has robust empirical support.
It is not uncommon for therapists to advertise as practicing CBT, while in reality they are using a form of psychodynamic therapy with CBT-informed interventions. CBT is a manualized therapy that requires the practitioner to follow a specific set of procedures in a proscribed format. If you are interested in CBT, inquire with the potential therapist about whether they have specific training in CBT.
Humanistic therapies emphasize people's capacity to develop their maximum potential. I do not utilize a humanistic framework as a primary modality, but there are some important principles of humanism that imbue my work:
A client-centered approach, which means that I genuinely care about you, your experiences, and the issues you present in therapy. I believe that you are the authority on your own internal experiences and reject an authoritative position as a therapist. My expertise lies in the process that I facilitate with you. I cannot make choices for you or tell you how to live, but I can help you identify patterns and themes that have had an impact on your development.
Focus on the here-and-now, which means attending to the significance of what happens, in the moment, as we meet for our sessions. Learning to live in the present may be one of the most important aspects of any therapeutic journey. What better way to attend to difficult thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, than to simply be here, now, as they arise? Together we can mindfully and lovingly tend to the emergence of your true self.
Attending to existential issues, including meaning, free will, self-determination, and death. While these major life concerns may not always be at the forefront of our work, they remain the permanent landscape of our journey together.
Cultural context is an essential aspect of the therapeutic process. We are each formed in particular communities with some amount of shared history, ways of understanding the self in relation to others, and unique expressions of illness and health, among other things. These communities may be part of a larger majority, resulting in an ability to navigate through social systems with ease, or they may be historically and currently marginalized, resulting in chronic stressors related to experiences of bias and discrimination.
It is my responsibility to cultivate a safe and affirming space, and it goes beyond generic claims of inclusivity. You should be able to talk about your experiences of racism, sexism, or homophobia without your therapist responding in a defensive or dismissive way. Ultimately, my goal is to honor your individuality while remaining sensitive to the broader cultural and systemic forces that are a part of our ongoing formation.
I have specialized training through the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and have specific experience working with people who identify as transgender. I have successfully assisted individuals in writing letters for medically-necessary services.