It is important that we agree there is a good enough “fit” between us if we agree to work together. Some people will interview a number of therapists before deciding to work with a therapist. Trust your intuition. If desired I can help with referral to another therapist in the community.
When I feel I have some sense of your difficulties, I will share my impressions with you, and together we will formulate a plan to address them. Often, I will recommend psychotherapy, group therapy, couple’s or family therapy, or some combination of therapy. Occasionally, the work we do in consultation may be sufficient to address the problem that is troubling you. At times, I will recommend psychoanalysis. Frequently, I will suggest additional consultations or treatment with other professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, or addictions specialists.
Some people come to therapy with a bigger agenda; they feel their life is not working and they do not understand why. Often psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety signal deeper distress and pain. People seek therapy not only to get relief from pain, but also to gain a better understanding of their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships.
Because people have different goals and needs, therapy can be a matter of meeting once a week for a couple of months, or once or twice a week for several years or more. After our work is completed, I will continue to be available to you, if more work is needed or new difficulties arise.
Analysis is not for the faint of heart; indeed it is recommended only for people who have basic emotional strength and stability. Analysis can sometimes involve using the couch to facilitate opening to deeper levels of self and often involves the exploration of your dream life. Analysis can be enormously helpful at getting to the roots of chronic emotional distress, and resolving self-defeating relationship patterns. Analysis can stimulate a new relationship to one’s own psyche, expand one’s imaginal capacities, and deepen one’s consciousness and wisdom.
Sometimes, a couple with a basically sound relationship will work with me for a month or two on a weekly basis, especially when there is a specific crisis to negotiate, or a particular disagreement or miscommunication. Often, problems are more complex and chronic and demand deeper exploration and emotional growth from both parties.
I work with married couples, and couples in all kinds and degrees of committed relationship, both straight and gay. The basic requirement for couple’s therapy is that both partners are willing to honestly collaborate in the work.