I practice talk therapy. Within this broad framework, my approach can be described as psychodynamic and insight-oriented. This recognizes that within a trusting professional relationship key psychological threads within the individual in treatment can emerge which integrate history with current concerns and challenges. Bringing the cumulative whole of one’s life experience to fuller and more coherent awareness can provide a more secure sense of self in relation to others, and of place and direction in the world. Such an enriched consciousness is a strong basis for living resolution of persistent dilemmas and wider, more gratifying options for living.
The theoretical basis for my clinical approach incorporates linked perspectives of several schools that comprise the relational psychoanalytic orientation. From a point around the mid-twentieth century, this body of theory has proposed and firmly established a significant rethinking of Freud’s original understanding of the formulation and development of the Self, the role of the unconscious mind, and the prevailing dynamics that guide individuals’ experience of themselves and others. Among the better-known and influential schools which have contributed to relational psychoanalytic theory and practice are: Object Relations (British) and Self Psychology.
As the relational analytic perspective recognizes that an individual's psychological development and his/her current feelings and perceptions are all shaped by continuous interaction with the social environment, my clinical perspective also assimilates many valuable perspectives of Family Systems Theory. This parallel tradition focuses on revealing the structure and dynamics of a family's history across generations, and exploring the impact of past family relationships and ongoing family dynamics on each individual's life experience.
With all this said, I emphasize that I do not practice psychoanalysis – a clinical methodology traditionally founded upon a Freudian theoretical orientation. Moreover, my intellectual orientation serves solely as an indispensable foundation for my work: Though I am an intent listener, I am never just a silent sounding board: I reflect with my clients on all matters, and in terms familiar to them. I introduce perspectives and ideas within a fully-engaged conversation, and I participate in the formulation of solutions and in working toward decisions. I do at times offer direct counsel.
I have no single, generally accurate answer to this question, as my practice of psychotherapy provides for persons who have quite individual needs and expectations, and who present a broad range of psychological difficulties and challenging life situations. For example, I can and do work with persons who seek direct counsel and very expedient resolution to difficult situations which they consider strictly of the moment and short-term. I have also established many longer-term working relationships with my clients.
Although I can't provide a sole definitive answer to the question of how long therapy will last, I do observe that most clients have basic and quite valid concerns about the length of the process: Psychotherapy in any form requires of the client a commitment of valuable resources of time and money; this carries an expectation of receiving real benefit. I therefore welcome any and all feedback from my clients about how things are going for them in our work - about its value to them. I encourage their collaboration in best utilizing our time, in setting agendas and in directing or redirecting the focus of our attention according to their needs. I encourage those I work with to freely communicate their level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with what we are doing.
Above all: I emphasize to all my clients that they must never feel “trapped” in the process of psychotherapy; that they must feel entirely free to end our work when it feels right to them, and to consider that such an ending leaves entirely open the option of a future renewal of our therapeutic relationship if and when they choose.