|We understand human problems and psychotherapy somewhat differently from many of our colleagues. There are a number of reasons why we develop psychological problems. Some problems are genetic in origin, others are produced by a unique stressful situation, and still others are the result of an interaction between a stressful environment and your early patterns of behavior. Each of these origins require a different kind of treatment.
For problems which have a genetic base, usually supportive psychotherapy and medication are required. These are problems like schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder, etc. In these disorders, there is a malfunctioning with the chemistry of the brain. The client needs both the proper medication to bring the brain function back into the normal range, and supportive psychotherapy to help the client respond to the demands of life.
Other problems are caused by unique stressing events. These events might include a job layoff or termination, a divorce, a problem with your children, and so on. Usually individual therapy is called for here. You and your therapist will fashion an individualized response to this stressor and then test this response until you find a way of responding to it that is best for you.
Still other problems are caused by an interaction between a stressful environment and your early patterns of behavior. These are problems like anxiety and depression. With both anxiety and depression, we first work to reduce the symptoms. Usually this involves behavior therapy or cognitive behavior therapy. Then we shift gears and look at your early patterning. Usually we find that you have been interacting with your world in ways that were appropriate at an earlier age. These previously adaptive patterns are now causing trouble for you. Unfortunately, most of us don't recognize this on our own -- it is in our blind spot. We help you identify these kinds of patterns, and then work with you to craft different responses.
Psychotherapy can be used as a therapeutic tool, to remediate problems and difficulties that people have throughout their lives. But it can be used for more than this. It can also be used to optimize our functioning. This has nothing to do with fixing problems and everything to do with helping people understand themselves so that they can live in accordance with their own deepest yearnings and desires. Often our clients want to go beyond the remedial phase and look at how they might function at their highest capacity. For us, it is a great joy to be able to do this with you.
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