WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PSYCHOANALYST AND A PSYCHIATRIST?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in understanding how medications for mood disorders interact with the body and other medications you may be taking. Some psychiatrists may provide occasional therapy but they primarily provide medication. Psychoanalysts specialize in understanding mental health. They do not prescribe medication.
SHOULD I TAKE MEDICATION OR GO INTO PSYCHOTHERAPY?
It is well established in medical literature that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved by medication alone. Instead of just treating the symptom, psychotherapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of both medication and therapy is the right course of action.
I’VE NEVER TALKED TO ANYONE. I’M USED TO HANDLING THINGS ON MY OWN. AREN’T PEOPLE WHO NEED TO TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL WEAK?
On the contrary. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TALKING TO YOU OR MY BEST FRIEND OR FAMILY?
The difference is talking to someone who has the training and expertise to understand you and your life. A psychoanalyst can help you approach your situation in a new way – teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, psychotherapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
HOW DOES IT WORK? WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO IN SESSIONS?
Because each person has different issues and life goals, sessions will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my approach to your specific needs. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Depending on your specific needs, psychotherapy can provide short-term relief, for a specific issue, or have longer-term objectives in order to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular weekly 50-minute sessions initially, and then adjust the frequency to your needs.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AND HOW CAN I GET THE MOST OUT OF THERAPY?
It is important to understand that you will get more results from psychotherapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in sessions back into your life. Beyond the work you do in the therapy sessions, I can suggest some things you can do outside to support your progress – such as practicing relaxation skills, journaling on a specific topic, reading a pertinent book, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. Individual sessions can be accommodated and determined once we have met and discussed the concerns.