Archives for March, 2012

New Video Series on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

In lieu of my usual Friday post, I'm taking this opportunity to announce a new series of YouTube videos that I've initiated. Over on my After Psychotherapy website, I asked my site visitors for input/suggestions about what I should do next with my videos; one regular reader suggested something about "what to expect in psychotherapy" and I realized that a series on that topic would allow me to address just about all the suggestions I received, and all the clinical issues that are...
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Psychotherapy

Self-Injury: A Dream

Adrienne said she’s having difficulty holding to our agreement that she reach out to me before cutting herself. The drive to self-injury feels “insatiable,” as she put it. She then told me the following dream: She was outside with her son, and they were having a great time together. She suddenly realized there were snakes everywhere, on all sides.

Most of them were small and harmless but as the dream went on, there were more...
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General

ADHD Symptoms: A Psychodynamic Perspective

After the spirited discussion about my two posts on ADHD symptoms, I felt eager for more experience working with someone who considered himself "ADD"; my intake on Friday with a new Skype therapy client did just that and, even in the first session, provided many details that pointed toward a psychological explanation for his ADHD symptoms.

Adam told me he had been diagnosed as an adult for having a history...
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Psychotherapy

Identifying the Enemy Inside

In thinking about the new videos on psychodynamic psychotherapy I plan to do, it came clear to me this week that an early focus of treatment with many clients is helping them to recognize the internal saboteur at work. Some people begin therapy highly aware of their "internal critic"; others suffer under its harsh regime but aren't conscious of the saboteur operating behind the scenes.

As I said to one of my...
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Psychotherapy

The Bipolar Dynamic

In our last session, I felt a moment of clarity when some of David's central issues came into focus and the bipolar dynamic became clear. Since we began working together a couple of months ago, I've caught glimpses -- the way he's so enthusiastic about our work in one session, and then hopeless about the possibility of change in the next; now, I feel as if I have a better...
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Psychotherapy

The Meanings of Murder

Two emails over the weekend with references to murder. One from Sarah, telling me what she keeps forgetting to mention during session -- that she has lately become unable to sleep with the lights off; the other from Dylan, about a recent dream.

Sarah tells me she feels as if her apartment is haunted by something that wants to kill her. She doesn't believe in ghosts, but the feeling is very convincing to her,...
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Psychotherapy

The Agony of Rage

After mentioning the sadness she felt over the break, about the damage she might have done to her therapy with those angry, accusatory emails she sent me, Sarah asked me point-blank if I disliked her. At first, I talked about her understandable fears -- how in most relationships, other people might want to turn away from such rage -- but then, I shifted gears and just told I didn't dislike her, not...
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Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy Issues at the Beginning of Treatment

Regarding my upcoming intake with David -- as always before agreeing to take on someone new for Skype therapy, I asked him to read my policies and Disclosure Statement carefully, to be sure I’m the right therapist for him and that he understands the way I work. He asked the amount of my fee and agreed to it.

This morning when I woke up, I found an email from David requesting that I reduce my...
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Psychotherapy

Separation Issues

As Melissa continues to separate from me, her anger at having to think for and look after herself has begun to surface. She related a short dream – that the company where she works was being summarily evicted from their building; the landlord told them to “get out.” A large sum of money was owed, but she wasn’t sure if the landlord owed it to her company or vice...
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