Resources & FAQs

Here are useful informational Resources in the fields of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy:


NATIONAL


LOCAL


SUBSTANCE ABUSE/DEPENDENCE


SPECIFIC ARTICLES

About Psychoanalysis
Abuse (from Psychology Central)
Depression (from National Institute of Mental Health)
Depression (from Psychology Central)
Anxiety Disorders (from National Institute of Mental Health)
Anxiety and Panic (from Psychology Central)
Eating Disorders (from National Institute of Mental Health)
Eating Disorders (from Psychology Central)
Grief and Loss
Post Traumatic Stress (from Psychology Central)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (from a practicing Psychologist)

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of client do you work best with?

Someone who is curious about himself or herself and who wants to understand his or her feelings and behavior. Someone who is seeking self-knowledge as well as symptom relief.

What is unique about your approach to psychotherapy?

Different approaches to therapy work different ways for different people. Some treatment philosophies are called Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) (which emphasizes changing one’s conscious thoughts to change behavior), or Behavioral (which emphasizes changing one’s conscious behavior to change thoughts and feelings). A psychoanalytic/psychodynamic approach includes all of these emphases; in addition, its unique contribution is the belief that thoughts and feelings we are unaware of also influence us. In a psychoanalytic approach, we would examine together your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and understand how they interact with each other to result in the difficulties you are experiencing in your life. Through this process of mutual collaboration and reflection on patterns that will present themselves as we talk together, a goal will be achieved of gradually increasing your understanding and awareness of yourself, helping to allow positive change to occur in yourself, in your relationships and giving you a greater freedom to live the more fulfilled life you want to live. Research has been conducted which indicates that compared to non-psychodynamic treatments such as CBT (in which benefits tend to decay over time, after therapy has ended), the benefits of psychodynamic therapy not only endure, but increase with time, following the end of treatment.

How will the therapy process work?

Our first few sessions will evaluate your needs, and for me to obtain information from you about your background and what you have already tried to cope with your problems. By the end of the evaluation, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a treatment plan to follow, if you decide to continue working with me. You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with me. Therapy involves a large commitment of time, money and energy, so you should be careful about the therapist you select. If you have questions about my procedures, we should discuss them whenever they arise. If we agree to begin treatment, I may recommend that we meet in 45 minute sessions at a frequency anywhere from one to five times/week. Of course, you are free to disagree with my view, in which case we would negotiate a mutually agreed upon frequency schedule.

What is your role as my psychotherapist?

I believe my role involves providing as safe of an environment as possible in our sessions for you to freely share all of your thoughts/feelings as openly and honestly as possible. I will aim to understand and accept what you talk with me about, without being judgmental or blaming of you or your problems. My job will be to listen attentively to you and help you to understand yourself in a deeper way so that you can use that understanding to make changes that will allow you to live a more fulfilling life. I view my role as assisting and supporting you in your search to find constructive solutions to your problems, rather than solving your problems.

What would be my role as a patient/client in psychotherapy?

I would encourage you to talk openly and honestly about your problems, thoughts and feelings, regardless of how personal or painful they may be. I would also like to hear your feedback about what you think is working well and helping you to change, as well as what you think you would like to have happen differently, so that we can adjust and readjust the therapeutic process in order to make it as beneficial for you as possible. I would like for you to share with me if you think therapy is taking too long, if you don’t plan on coming back or if you feel uncomfortable about any of the ways I am conducting our sessions. It may be hard sometimes to share with me what is on your mind, or you may feel afraid to share some things, but I believe the best way I can help you is if you are as open and honest with me about what is happening in your life.

How will I know if you are the best therapist for me to work with?

In reality, the same intervention (or the same therapist) can work very well for some patients but fail to work for others. It is very important for you as the patient to feel as if you will be able to have a good working relationship with whomever you chose as your therapist. If as therapy progresses, and a sense of discomfort persists for you, it is important that you let me know, so that we can talk about this together.

How long should therapy last?

The exact length of therapy will depend on what types of problems you are experiencing, how long you have been experiencing the problems, and what type of treatment approach is being used. In all cases, however, it is good to keep in mind that therapy does not provide an overnight fix - change takes time and effort! As a general rule, therapy should end when you have reached your treatment goals. It is important to keep in mind, though, that it is not uncommon for goals to change during the course of therapy, or when initially identified goals have been achieved, for additional ones to emerge. It is also important to note that research done on comparison of psychodynamic psychotherapies relative to other therapeutic approaches indicates that for patients with complex or chronic emotional problems, longer term therapies produce outcomes that are superior to shorter term methods (Shedler, J. 2010. The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65 (2), 98-109). In his findings, Shedler states; "Especially noteworthy is the recurring finding that the benefits of psychodynamic psychotherapy not only endure but increase with time....In contrast, the benefits of other (non-psychodynamic) empirically supported therapies tend to decay over time for the most common disorders (e.g. depression, generalized anxiety)" (pp101-102).

How soon will I start to notice things getting better?

Although it will probably take a little while for you to experience recovery from the problems that led you to seek treatment, you will likely notice some improvements early on. Many patients will notice some gains in their general sense of well-being after just a few sessions. these early improvements may include increased hope and optimism or the relief that comes from sharing your problems with someone, knowing that I am trying to understand, and that there is a way to overcome them. Although these gains are a good sign, they do not always signify lasting change. There is more work to be done, and it typically takes continued sessions and effort to notice a more enduring reduction in your symptoms and for things to get back to normal in your life (i.e. at work or school, with family and friends).

What if I feel worse?

Change doesn’t always come easy. In therapy you may be asked to face some of your fears and pains. Although you should notice a general progression over time, there may be some ups and downs. Experiencing the downs or setbacks need not always be taken as a sign that therapy is failing. Instead, it may be a sign that you are doing some difficult work. At the same time, setbacks should not be all that you experience. When you do notice some setbacks, it is important that you talk with me about this, and see if together a plan can be developed to get you through them as quickly as possible.

Is payment due at the time of my appointment?

Yes, unless you have made other arrangements with me, payment is requested by either cash or check at the time of your office visit. I do not accept credit card payment.

Do you accept insurance?

I am currently contracted on the Provider Panels of Aetna and Anthem Blue Cross, and if you have In-Network Outpatient Mental Health Benefits with one of these carriers and decide to use your insurance to help pay for your therapy, I would be able to bill your insurance company directly, and you would be responsible for the payment of your copayment and/or deductible if applicable, at the time of your appointment. If you have a PPO policy with another insurance company, you can contact them to see if you might have Out-of-Network Outpatient Mental Health Benefits, in which case I would request payment of my fee at each session, be able to provide you with a claim form to submit to your insurance company, and then they could reimburse you directly, according to your benefit plan.

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