I do one-to-one psychotherapy with all ages of adults, adolescents and children. With adults, I help people with problems of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and relationship issues in marriages and other partnerships. I have a psychoanalytic way of thinking about how the human mind works, but my technique is flexible and draws on cognitive-behavioral, meditative/mindfulness,and other approaches as well. I choose a way of working in collaboration with my patients, keeping in mind their goals and objectives for themselves in therapy and in their lives outside. I listen carefully and give feedback freely about what I understand about people in therapy from what I hear and what I observe, and how changes might be made that help in their lives in the world.
Sometimes a family challenge is presented as the reason for seeking therapy: a divorce or separation, a breakdown in communication between parents or partners or between parents and a child or children, or to help with life-stage adjustments like the emergence of a child or children into adolescence, or a child leaving home for college or leaving/re-entering the family home post-college. In other cases, a child or adult is presented as needing help, but in evaluating the situation it seems that there are broader issues in the family that must be addressed and resolved in order to help the individual or individuals in the family. An individual’s psychoological challenges may ripple throughout the family. In such cases, I will recommend seeing the family as a whole or subgroups of the family to address particular conflicts or areas of misunderstanding. I may also recommend that I work with an individual while referring the family to a colleague for family therapy.
Group therapy is often helpful, most commonly with children who have difficulty with peer relationships, with adolescents who normally look to peers as their reference group, and with adults who have social anxiety or who have had difficulty making emotional relationships work. Group therapy allows for the individual to receive input and feedback from the group members as well as from the therapist, multiplying exponentially the information group members receive about the way their behavior affects other people, while giving them opportunities to try out new forms of social behavior. Interactions in the group may be examined in vivo by the therapist and other group members to learn about behavioral patterns that may be dysfunctional in the world outside, and to experiment with new, more functional, patterns. All group members may benefit when people within the group address a conflict or challenge, finding an innovative way forward.
The most common form of Family Therapy is work with couples. A couple’s relationship must evolve in synch with life-stage changes; I frequently work with couples to help them with communication and/or to address the evolving challenges of family life, as detailed in the section on Family Therapy. I frequently help couples address emotional issues that arise upon the birth of a child, or a child becoming an adolescent with all the attendant changes that may be unsettling, or the departure of a child from the family home for college or boarding school or any other reason. When a couple relationship has hit an impasse, the presence of a therapist as a trained and skilled third person in the mix may help the partners see new pathways forward.