Why psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalytic theories work to explain people’s deepest experiences. They facilitate profound change. The focus is upon your whole person, not just one aspect of you.

If your concerns are longstanding or affect many parts of your life, then psychoanalysis can be especially appropriate. People who thrive on understanding themselves and others are also great candidates for psychoanalytic therapy. Here are some situations that are well-suited for psychoanalysis:

  • Substantial history of depression or anxiety
  • Deeply ingrained patterns that keep you stuck
  • Frequent difficulties with relationships
  • Experiences that are hard to verbalize
  • Emotions that don’t make sense
  • Attachment issues
  • Early trauma
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom"
— Aristotle
"Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost." — Erol Ozan

What is psychoanalysis?

The earliest seeds of psychoanalytic thought have grown into a profuse garden of theories. Traditionally, the analyst was an authority and a knower of truth. Current analytic theories combine the richness of the past with advances in infant research, neurobiology, culture, complexity theory and philosophy. This energetic mix of contemporary ideas reaches far beyond the field’s earliest concepts. My work is based on these contemporary, collaborative concepts.

If we work together psychoanalytically, our interactions will evolve as we learn what fits you best. There are many ways that change can happen; we will shape our efforts to your personality. Most likely we will explore the patterns of your experience.  How do you connect with others, and how do you disconnect?

Where do you tend to focus your attention? What stays unnoticed? What meanings have developed through your experiences? Most of all, how can we reduce your difficulties, pain and trauma so that your strengths can shine?

In time we will develop narratives that clarify the patterns of your experience. These increasingly coherent statements help you to move more freely through the context of your life.  In addition, the collaborative relationship itself can become an effective source for change in your other relationships.

It is rare for two people to focus for an extended period on the well-being of just one of them. This opportunity to reflect together often generates surprises and deep insights. Such moments of profound knowing bring a renewed sense of possibility. Desired changes can finally take shape in your life.

"Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home."
— Matsuo Basho
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."
— Henry David Thoreau

How is psychoanalysis different from other psychotherapy?

Because psychoanalysis focuses on deep change, it is different from short term therapies. Brief therapies can be quite helpful for some issues, but they are not designed to accommodate complex situations. Experiences that defy ready explanation are often beyond their reach. Short term therapies generally use conscious techniques, whether cognitive or behavioral, to address specific problems. They offer tools that a hurting person can apply, like a bandage over a wound. But those tools must be brought into awareness and employed every time, after the wound has already appeared. In psychoanalysis we work to change unconscious assumptions so that there is less pain and wounding, less need for bandaging in the future. Instead of causing more wounds, our deepest thoughts help us flourish. These new assumptions offer resilience. After all, when we observe resilient people we see that they adapt to most setbacks without undue distress. They have the flexibility and resourcefulness to cope effectively—even when life goes badly.

In psychoanalysis we seek more than the skills for bandaging wounds. We want you to have the resilience that helps you thrive.

How does psychoanalysis work?

​Just as enduring problems develop over a considerable period of time, psychoanalytic work is not brief. Most often it takes place two or more times per week. Many people find that this increased contact brings an added sense of comfort and confidence. It allows the work to progress even as it enlarges our understanding of your situation. Psychoanalytic thinking can also be used at less intensive pace. Often called psychodynamic psychotherapy, this generally involves just one session per week.
"The past is never dead. It’s not even past." — William Faulkner

Do I have to do psychoanalysis to work with you?

Of course not. We will work in a way that suits you and your concerns.