Individual therapy gives you a chance to explore yourself in depth, allowing you time (generally 45 minutes once or twice a week) to notice yourself in the presence of another person trained to listen. You have a chance to notice patterns in your life, some that you want to change, some that you want to enhance. It's an adventure in the discovery of your true self that you have already started -- you're here reading this!
There are many adjustments to be made when we become a couple. In many cases, no one has taught us how to "fight fair" or prepared us for the hard work of being with another person. And yet being in a couple is fertile ground for personal growth: we know, intutitively, that love heals. You don't have to be in trouble as a couple to benefit from couple's therapy; many couples use the space as a preparation for a future together.
My approach with couples is, first, to look for the positive. By the time couples come for therapy, some have lost a sense of each other's and their relationship's goodness. It's still there -- it just needs some air time. Sometimes that is enough to get the couple back on a good footing. Then, from a place of connection and strength, we look at what has gone wrong, rather than, as one couple put it, "push it under the rug." We work on communication techniques and learn listening skills.
There are times when none of this enough, and despite good effort, the relationship is ending. Then, I work to help you leave the relationship with as much love and understanding and as little hurt as possible.
In the early days of psychoanalysis, analysts and patients met five times a week and analysts said "hmmm" and "ah" a lot. Things have changed. Analysis is more interactive, more exploratory and less explanatory. But there is still a space for the couch. When you relax on the couch, your relationship both with your inner world and with your therapist can open up and deepen. At some points in some therapies, perhaps yours, this allows the first steps toward a path to growth that might otherwise have been passed by.
The days of five-times-a-week are mostly gone, but two or three times a week in the open space that relaxing on the couch provides can both support and accelerate your progress toward your goals. It can be especially useful for those engaged in creative fields, but many can benefit. Please contact me if this is something you might be interested in exploring.
Sometimes you just want help with one specific issue. I can help. In eight to ten sessions, I have helped people with fear of speaking in public, with adjustment to a medical diagnosis, and with processing a specific traumatic event, among others. If one specific issue has got you worried, please give me a call.
Therapist-led group therapy is useful both as a supplement and an alternative to individual therapy. It provides real-life feedback and interaction among the patients. I am an Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society-trained group therapist. Please call me or check back in this space for information on any open groups.
Going places in group therapy
We can all learn creative, diverse, adaptive ways of responding to life's challenges, ways that sometimes even bring us joy. Old habits fall away, new ones bloom -- in your own individual psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, in couple's work, and in group work. Please give me a call.