My approach to psychotherapy builds on ideas, concepts, and the practice of psychodynamic, relational and humanistic theories as well as family systems. Drawing from this blend of practice techniques allows for greater opportunity to create a holistic view of each person, and guides understanding of each individual’s, couple’s and family’s quest for greater emotional health and overall well-being.
The psychodynamic approach assumes underlying unconscious forces that influence current behaviors. The knowledge of clients’ past developmental histories is essential to discover the unconscious roots of present behavior. Once identified, clients are better positioned to change behavior. Within psychodynamic psychotherapy, my emphasis is on object relations and attachment theories.
Object Relations theory recognizes how early life experiences and relationships become imprinted and shaped into a belief system, thus influencing future relationships. By understanding and identifying these recurring and potentially limiting patterns, clients move beyond past history to achieve greater success in relationships.
Attachment theory suggests that early bonds between a child and their parents shape future attachment styles and relationships. Each child’s unique needs require a particular response or attunement by the parent or caretaker. The more accurately a child’s needs are met, the stronger his/her connection, trust, and secure attachment. The goal is not perfect parenting, but parenting to build connections so that children have optimal chances for fulfilling and balanced relationships.
Relational psychotherapy focuses on the social nature of human development. We seek connection, intimacy and to know others and ourselves. Our sense of self, as well as our emotional and physical health, requires connection to other people. As a relational system, the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client is a social microcosm and becomes a vehicle for working through and improving each client’s relationships and interactions.
Humanistic. As humans, we have an innate need to grow, evolve, and enhance aspects of ourselves. The humanistic approach is client-centered and views each person as the expert on his or her own life. It is based on the belief of our ability to self-actualize. The role of the therapist through this approach is to assist you as client to more fully trust and believe in yourself while reaching your own objectives.
Family Systems. The family systems approach is based on the idea that a family is a unit and functions according to it’s structure and dynamics. Such dynamics may include the way members communicate, resolve conflict, and relate to one another, as well as their roles and boundaries. Dysfunction within families is viewed as a family issue as opposed to resting within one individual member. Change is incited by shifting the dynamics within the family structure, as well as changing ways of interacting and behaving. A healthy family system is one in which different needs of family members, such as the need for closeness or independence, have the opportunity to be met.