- Are you suffering from chronic pain that is causing you emotional distress?
- Have you been told that you have a mental disorder such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety?
- Are you afraid to get help from a therapist because you are concerned about privacy?
- Are you concerned about receiving a diagnosis that may be “incriminating” or “stigmatizing”?
The objective of psychotherapy or “therapy” is the resolution of psychological conflicts that produce psychiatric symptoms that often result in a diagnosis as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). These symptoms are created by emotional resentments that begin in childhood and become the core of your unconscious psychological defenses. While such defenses have an original protective purpose, if you continue to use them as an adult, you will find that these resentments will lead to feelings of victimization, hate, and self-sabotage that not only affect your mental health, but also your physical, social, and spiritual health.
It is normal to feel concerned about privacy and even receiving a diagnosis, as these can affect your ability to trust and your civil rights. This is why it is important that you seek help from a professional who understands these risks and will do whatever is within his or her limits to educate and protect you. I encourage you to read my Office Policies (Consent to Treatment) prior to contacting me for services, as it addresses some of these concerns in detail.
PSYCHOTHERAPY TECHNIQUES FOR TREATMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS
All of the psychotherapy techniques that I use are evidence based, but the evidence does not just come from scientific experimentation; much evidence comes from ages of experience and wisdom.
Many various psychotherapy theories and techniques have been developed since the early 1900s when Sigmund Freud formulated the concept of psychoanalysis. These techniques have one basic objective: to help us do the things we would like to do, but, by ourselves, cannot manage to do.
Some of these techniques are based in conscious, rational thought processes.
- Cognitive-Behavioral techniques, for example, focus specifically on changing faulty or unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Vocal, silent, and even written techniques may be utilized.
- Teaching and reasoning are also forms of psychological healing, which has been a preferred method for many people who seek to understand ‘why’ they should change or how change can help them. Short stories, which illustrate a specific lesson, and other psychological exercises that can be practiced in and outside of session to achieve a particular goal, are examples of how this practice works.
Still, some psychotherapy techniques are necessary to get past resistance to change and we must reach deep into the unconscious part of the mind, well past a person’s conscious thought.
- Guided Imagery helps you visualize things that could or might occur so that you can achieve them or avoid them in the future.
- Dreams can be interpreted to help you understand emotional elements of your life that you have not yet recognized consciously.
ALTHOUGH YOU MAY SEE THE BENEFITS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, YOU MAY STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROCESS…
I’ve read self-help books and have even tried medication with little to no results. What can psychotherapy really do to help me?
Psychotherapy can help you develop emotional awareness, which is a psychological tool. Psychotherapy is hard work. But, if you do it, you can learn to respond to any situation with emotional awareness and emotional honesty. Emotional awareness gives you the ability to respond honestly and appropriately to every moment of the present, so that you can recognize the difference between what you can change versus what you cannot change and choose an appropriate non-defensive, mature, and psychologically healthy response to your current feelings.
How long should I expect to be in psychotherapy?
I offer short-term and longer-term psychotherapy methods based on your goals and history, so that you may receive a personalized approach. Research indicates that client motivation and aptitude are the most important factors when determining success in psychotherapy. Therefore, I am unable to give you a general timeline until we have a chance to talk, and I fully understand your needs and level of commitment to the process.