Psychiatric and psychotherapy services are offered to patients 16 years and older at my Twin Cities-based private practice and include:
- Comprehensive and personalized treatment approach which may include:
- Patient education
- Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Blended therapeutic approach (combination of above)
Mental Illness and Health Concerns I Treat
Following a thorough evaluation, I partner with patients to create a personalized treatment plan for concerns that include:
- anxiety spectrum disorders (including generalized anxiety, performance anxiety, social anxiety, fears, and panic disorder)
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- shopping addictions
- mood disorders, such as depression and dysthymia
- trauma and post-traumatic stress disorders
- grief and loss
- relationship difficulties
- career issues and difficulties in professional life such as work-life balance, blocks in creativity, “burn out” or stunted personal growth
- difficulties with academic performance
- low self esteem, procrastination, self-sabotage
- life transitions, such as menopause, aging or divorce
- gender concerns
- sexuality issues
- conflict or anger management
- personality disorders
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on understanding and subsequent reshaping of underlying forces that create or contribute to the symptoms and difficulties the patient is experiencing. These underlying forces are most often unconscious (or also called subconscious), that is, we are not aware of them. People cannot effectively change things that they are not aware of.
With the guidance of a therapist, the patient gains a greater understanding of how he or she got to the present situation. For some patients, traumatic events from childhood have had long lasting effects. For others, subtle ways of interactions with parents or other significant people from the past create barriers to success or happiness later in life. In successful therapy, the patient gains insight into how these early relationships (with parents, siblings, and others) and early life events shaped the way he or she functions.
As people go through life, they develop certain ways of thinking, behaving and interacting with the world that are at one point helpful and useful, and maybe at that time the only logical way to help them deal with difficult situations. This usually happens early in life. Later on, as life circumstances change and people mature, these “old” ways of handling problems and life in general, often remain. For some, these old ways are not helpful anymore and can become, in new circumstances, counterproductive, or flat out self-sabotaging. Through therapy, I aim to help my patients understand their own patterns and, where needed, develop more constructive ones.
How Therapy Works:
In psychodynamic psychotherapy, unconscious fears, motivations and conflicts manifest themselves through the topics that a patient discusses with a therapist and in the way the patient relates to the therapist. The therapy session serves here as a sort of a “playground” or “laboratory” where patient’s fears, wishes, inhibitions, ways of behaving and relating to people, in essence – the patient’s world – play out. In such an environment, unconscious patterns manifest and reveal themselves and can be observed, talked about, and understood by the patient and therapist together. Only then can the patient begin to understand himself or herself more fully in a nonjudgmental way.
As a person gains understanding into his or her underlying (unconscious) problems, the person becomes able to explore and try new ways of thinking and doing things. These new ways may be learned and tried initially in the safe therapeutic environment and then used in interactions with people and situations in a person’s life (the real world). As a result of deeper understanding, new possibilities and new perspectives open up, and the person gradually becomes able to experience life and relationships with more freedom and, ultimately, more satisfaction.
One of the effects of this therapy is that in the process, the patient will learn “how to” approach problems and conflicts in general and will take this new set of skills with them long after the therapy has ended. They will be able to use the skills in the future and apply them to a broad spectrum of life situations.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
See more about psychodynamic psychotherapy at the American Psychological Association website.
Psychoanalysis is the most intensive and comprehensive form of psychotherapy. It leads to the most intensive, lasting change and personal growth. Growth becomes apparent in the ability of a person to love and relate to others in a deeper and more meaningful way. A person learns to express himself or herself personally and professionally and to achieve his or her full life potential.
Psychoanalysis requires a person to look into unconscious motivations and beliefs that impede success. This is done through interaction/therapy with a highly trained and skilled analyst.
Many people would benefit greatly from psychoanalysis and have more fulfilling lives as a result. A subset of patients has life difficulties and symptoms for which psychoanalysis is the ideal treatment. For psychoanalysis to work – patients must have certain characteristics, including motivation, perseverance and ability to tolerate intensive and sometimes lengthy treatment.
Others can achieve reasonable improvement with less intensive forms of therapy. The question for the patient and therapist usually revolves around what the patient hopes to accomplish.
There are popular and widely held myths about analysis among lay people and sometimes even among mental health professionals who have not had training or exposure to analysis. Psychoanalysis is thought by some to be archaic and of dubious benefit. Psychoanalysts are viewed as silent and detached. These are not true of psychoanalysis or typical psychoanalysts.
Psychoanalysis was conceived by Sigmund Freud and others in the late 19th and early 20th century and has evolved considerably since. Over time, there have been many new and helpful insights and additions. Old approaches have been revised. Most current analysts are professionals who have gone through extensive training (and psychoanalytic treatment themselves) and are genuinely committed to understanding and helping their patients.
A large body of neuroscientific research and new evidence supports the importance of trying to understand human subconscious (also called unconscious) functioning and it’s implications for daily life as well as in mental illness.
See more about psychoanalysis at the International Psychoanalytical Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association.