First, let me tell you what individual psychotherapy is NOT:
1. It is not a "fix."
2. It is not magic.
3. It is not (just) for "crazy people."
Since Freud’s time, psychotherapy has broadened in scope, and now includes many modalities. Nowadays, people who practice strict Freudian psychoanalysis are in the minority. The rest of us, though, owe him a debt of gratitude, for his work of organizing a school of thought about how human personalities work, and submitting those ideas for scientific study.
In general, Freud’s "grandchildren" — today’s psychotherapists — work in three basic ways:
Behavioral therapies, as you would imagine, are focused on what we DO in our lives. In this area, you would observe your common maladaptive behaviors and, through observation, decision, and determination, change them.
Cognitive therapies, including Cognitive Behavioral Treatment and Dialectical Behavioral Treatment, focus primarily on your thought patterns, developing new skills and strategies, to develop a better life.
Psychodynamic therapies, including psychoanalysis, consider the emotional underpinnings of both behavior and thought. If you have a habit that you just can’t change, no matter how hard you try, or if you find yourself in the same fight with your loved ones, over and over, there’s probably more to it than doing and thinking. In psychodynamic therapy, you can learn to understand yourself in new ways, and fully accept yourself.
I practice what is called Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. While based on the philosophies of psychoanalysis, there’s no couch (except to sit on) and we meet usually once a week. I’m much more interactive than a traditional analyst, and I do weave elements of Behavioral and Cognitive practices into your treatment, when appropriate. As a Clinical Social Worker,I’m trained to start where you are , rather than where I might think you should be.