How I help solve problems with Individual Psychotherapy

I commonly provide individual therapy for adults and adolescents. When working with school age children, I am more likely to take a family therapy/parent counseling approach.

People enter psychotherapy for an enormously wide range of reasons. Therefore my approach must be optimal for that particular person. A carpenter who only knows how to use a hammer would not be much help. My approach to treatment reflects an integration of several major psychological perspectives.

The psychodynamic approach helps me to understand the influence of early relationships, formative life experiences or traumatic events. Our past is part of who we are. The relationship experiences of childhood and adolescence influence how we relate to people later in life. At times past relationship patterns emerge within the therapeutic rapport, allowing a valuable opportunity to explore and understand how early life influences the present. At any given point our personality and life view reflects some combination of our past and present experiences. I seek to help my clients understand the blend.

The broad realm of cognitive behavioral therapy sets out a way for looking more specifically at patterns and habits of thought. In relatively automatic ways, people tend to think in negative or irrational ways and then operate and feel as if those thoughts are factual. Many people develop very negative or self defeating ways of thinking about themselves and the events in their lives. I strive to help my clients to understand and change this maladaptive thinking and develop a more positive and adaptive perspective.

Family systems psychology helps to highlight how engrained patterns within the family or relationship tend to provide barriers or benefits to forming intimate and gratifying relationships.

There are so many ways to understand and address psychological problems. All rely on the client to be open and honest. This is not always easy. Throughout therapy I try to be aware of my role in helping people to speak freely. However complex the human mind can be, in the end, effective psychotherapy comes down to the healing power of two people talking together about what it is like to live in this confusing and at times troubled world.