I work with adults (individuals, couples and larger numbers of people in relationship – families, etc.) as makes most sense in each situation:
- Psychotherapy (talking and non-verbal communications – now, virtually),
- And always holistically considering what else might be helpful
Best workable integration of consciousness/thinking, emotions, and deeper, more subtle parts of the self/body-mind can evolve through this. This moves a person from distress to more sense of well-being and meaning, with more ability to do things how one wants (not in superficial egotistical terms, but rather in context of other people, and the rest of the cosmos).
Always foundational: best diet, exercise, sleep, and environmental factors – human and the all the rest of being – that can be mustered.
An initial consultation can be as brief as one long initial session or extend over a few meetings. The goal is to recommend possible ways to continue on, including referring to other providers/paths/resources if need be. For people who are shopping for treatment providers, sometimes I have time to meet briefly for 15-20 minutes without charge.
Psychotherapy and analysis are general terms for ongoing personal interaction meant to facilitate positive change. This can be short-term–a few sessions or months–or longer-term, perhaps over years. The more temperamentally core and longstanding the habitual patterns are which a person intends to change, the longer and deeper the process will generally be.
Traditional Western psychodynamic understandings of people emphasize differences between various parts of a person’s makeup, conscious and unconscious, often heavily influenced by formative life experiences. Increasing insight into varying–often conflicting – motivations within us, desires and past experiences, our interactions during sessions, and thinking into the future can foster innovative new solutions more adapted to a person’s current and coming life.
Contemplative (mindful and aware) approaches to therapy have grown over the past 50 years to the forefront of current healing/helping culture world-wide. This was spurred by growing influence of Hindu-Buddhist “yoga/meditation” and other traditions after the Second World War, in turn rekindling similar threads in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim one God lineage and other paths. An emphasis here is on cultivating awareness, including close observation of one’s mind-body, and techniques for skillful living. Acknowledgement of basic goodness and compassion as core aspects of being are part of contemplative practice. Specific cognitive/dialectical-behavioral exercises, meditation-based interventions, spiritual traditions, etc. are helpful for some people.
My way of working with dream material tends to follow the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and others across cultures and times. This is by looking for perspectives from deeper and broader parts of the self, including aspects we’d at some level rather not acknowledge, etc. Gradual incorporation of this material into conscious awareness can profoundly enrich one’s life.
Some people are interested in seeing if a medication approach might be of help – alone, or synergistically with other approaches above. Others aren’t interested in medications – including people who have had difficult experiences with them and want to avoid a repeat. Stigmatization of medication use; expectations; no, slow or partial response, adverse effects, other options – and most fundamentally, the uniqueness of each of our individual body-minds – are some essential aspects we cover if considering this approach.
Sometimes medications are too easily defaulted to – and also, they can be helpful in specific cases. This includes for actions, memories and other thoughts which are repetitive and significantly disturbing, intrusive and/or unwanted; anxiety, depression, impulsivity, low energy, attentional deficits; mental-emotional experiences with hormonal changes; disturbing experiences seeing and hearing things which others do not; sleep problems; undesired substance abuse/dependence, and so on.
The Resources Links tab connects to more in-depth information on specific traditions I work from, as well as other sources.