view psychotherapy as a kind of conversation between myself and the person
who comes to see me. I say "a kind of" conversation because it is not
always conducted in words. The following are descriptions of some of my
methods, both verbal and non-verbal.
Psychodynamic Relational "Talk Therapy"
This is a modern psychotherapy that grew out of the rich European
history of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic methods and theory have gone
through many modifications since their inception. Unlike Freudian psychoanalysts,
I do not expect all the talking to come from the patient nor all the interpretations
to come from me. I do not attempt to remain impassive or neutral, or present
myself as an ultimate authority. I have a more collaborative model of
working. The development of the therapeutic relationship, itself, is an
important part of the transformation process.
I work in this way, I do whatever I can to help the patient tell his or
her story: listen, allow silence, ask questions, validate perceptions,
identify important patterns, events, and feelings. I also answer questions,
provide psycho-education, as well as interpretations and analyses. It
is common to talk about family history and trauma history during this
An innovative body-mind therapy developed over the past 15 years.
It is exceptionally useful in working on the persistent after-effects
of trauma. It combines "Talk Therapy", Behavioral-Cognitive Therapy, and
direct work with the brain through eye movements, auditory, or tactile
bilateral stimulation. (See EMDR).
Hypnotic induction is useful in putting patients in touch with
their breathing and their bodies. Sometimes it helps people at the ends
of sessions, in preparing to re-enter the city streets outside my office.
I also use
a form of hypnosis in creating therapeutic visualizations. Using the imagination
can help to "unstick" one's mind. Adding hypnotic technique adds power
to this experience.
Used when patients have trouble finding words to describe their
inner conflicts. Sometimes drawing feelings can be more articulate than
finding words to describe them. I keep drawing pads and crayons, markers,
colored pencils in my office, as well as other special materials.
technique using a flat tray of sand with tiny figurines, and other objects.
I sit on the floor with my patients, while they touch, rake, and shovel
the sand, creating hills and hollows, allowing the natural substance to
flow through their fingers. The material itself can be very soothing.
After a few minutes, people might sort through my collection of objects
and figurines, and create a landscape in the tray. Sometimes we talk during
this, and sometimes not. Sometimes we talk about what is being created
in the tray, and sometimes we talk about totally unrelated things. At
the end of the session, when we look at the tray together, we often understand
something new. Inevitably, patients feel calmer when they leave the session.