Art: Psychotherapy is said to be an art and a science. It’s a science in terms of it’s purpose- understanding and making use of elements in the world. It’s an art in the sense of creation- when we are sitting together in a room we are creating a new metaphor, an aesthetic with a meaning of it’s own.
Belonging: I like this word because it has Be and Longing in it, two states of mind that are deeply connected. Psychotherapy has everything to do with Being: who and how we are in the world, and with Longing for things we lost and those things we never had. Belonging may be the way our longings shape who we are and how we see ourselves. Psychotherapy is the process of bringing the being and the longing together.
Change: This is a good word not only for politicians, in the heart of my practice stands my belief in our capacity for change and for doing good in this world. A Psychotherapeutic relationship is a place where change is facilitated.
Dreams: Freud said: “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” Dreams are amazing, creative thoughts. Understanding their language can enrich our waking life and bring unconscious thoughts, feelings and wishes into our consciousness.
Emotions: One of the main goals of psychotherapy as I understand it, is helping patients to better emotionally process their experiences. This impacts the way we perceive the choices that we have. This can have an enormous impact on the quality of our lives.
Freedom: Psychotherapy, as a process of knowing and understanding ourselves, can relieve us of symptoms of depression, anxiety, obsessions, low self-esteem and other feelings, which limit our choices, and the range of our experience. Psychotherapy is a process that can give us a freedom to choose, experience and dream in a way that was never possible before.
Giving Up: If you ever feel like giving up, that things are just not worth it- try psychotherapy first, there will be other opportunities to give up. Being a one on one medium, you and your psychotherapist will find the thing that is worth it for you and will fight for that thing to be seen and known in a way that will make things worthwhile again.
Horoscope: Unlike the horoscope in the newspapers, the process of psychotherapy is different for each individual. I, as a therapist, am interested in a person’s thoughts, feelings and experiences. I want to know how you feel about a situation, what it reminds you of, what you think about it. I want to share the experience of our time together. It is through this experience that a patient can grow. I don’t have formulas, I don’t’ consult with stars: I listen, think, feel and experience it all over again every time.
Immigration: Is a difficult thing to go through and to process. As an immigrant to this country myself, I use my experience and interest in this process to help my patients put words to their own experience and explore how it had impacted their lives.
Jargon- I try to avoid it as much as possible.
Knowing: Getting to know one self is often said to be one of the goals of psychotherapy. This could mean many things: knowing how our past experiences impact our behavior and the choices that we make, knowing what is important to us and knowing how to emotionally process our experiences. The goal of psychotherapy is to help with all those knowings.
Love: is not all you need, but it sure helps. I believe growth happens in the context of a loving relationship. Psychotherapy is a special form of loving relationship, one that is somewhat mysterious and difficult to define. Nonetheless, it is a loving environment that promotes growth in a unique and exciting way.
Memories: Human beings have interesting relationships with memories: we are nostalgic, they haunt us, and they impact our expectations and our wishes. Psychotherapy works with memories, like with thoughts, dreams and feelings finding connections and understanding how they impact our lives and the choices we make.
Not Knowing: There is so much unknown in the psychotherapy process. We don’t know each other; don’t know what we will find. Not-knowing is an important part of the process, it keeps us going: asking questions, making links, going deeper.
Ongoing: I meet with patients in my office, once, twice or three times a week. Psychotherapy is an ongoing process in which continuity is very important. It is a commitment on both sides: sometimes painful but also extremely rewarding.
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: Psychoanalysis starts with Freud and continues with a hundred years of thought, ideas and development. Studying psychoanalysis is an ongoing process for me, it informs my practice and enriches my life.
Questions: A psychotherapy session is a place where questions will be considered seriously. We won’t always be able to answer all of them but there will be a place for us to think about them together, you won’t believe how exciting it can be to seriously think together.
Relationship: Psychotherapy can help in improving relationships. it is, in itself, a relationship. When I sit in a room with a patient I am fully there, my training, background and experience enable me to help you use this relationship to deal with the things that are troubling you.
Suffering: “anger leads to pain, pain leads to suffering, suffering leads to hate” (yoda, star wars) well, perhaps it’s not that simple. Though suffering is a big part of human experience, it is what we do with it that determines the impact that sadness and suffering will have on our daily lives. Trauma, depression, dissociation and addiction are all ways in which our psyche tries to deal with the suffering in our lives. Psychotherapy offers other tools to deal with difficult emotions in a way that promotes growth.
Truth: Do you ever get a sense that things around you are fake, unreal or meaningless? Psychotherapy can help you find out who you truly are, what are the things that have meaning for you, what is real in your life.
Unconscious: Freud came up with the concept of the unconscious and changed our society’s way of thinking about the world, ourselves and our relationships. Not that the world is a better place now but I do think that Freud’s contribution enables us, as individual human beings, to stretch beyond the concreteness of our daily lives. Some of our behaviors, our thoughts and dreams are not conscious to us but impact the decisions that we make and the way we live our lives. Knowing more about them is a fascinating life-changing process.
Veronica: I don’t have a patient named Veronica and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you. The therapeutic relationship is confidential, what you tell me stays in the room, I will not discuss it with anyone.
Witness: Not only in court we need a witness to validate our reality, we need it internally as well. The stories we tell, and those that are listened to, construct our history, give meanings to our lives.
X: There are no xs in psychotherapy, we can talk about anything.
You: a psychotherapy session in your time. A time for you to think, feel and be. It’s often a time when you can discover new and exciting things about yourself.
Ziplock: Did you ever feel like you want to put all your bad memories, emotions, experiences and thoughts in a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer? It doesn’t really work that way, does it? Psychotherapy recycles them instead : )