Therapists - especially psychoanalysts - are notorious for not answering, or answering questions with questions. There are good reasons for this. That said, it’s hard to start without knowing some of the basics, so…
What is psychoanalysis?
A good working definition is tricky as it is rooted in the unconscious which itself is somewhat unknowable. Freud said it offers a cure by making people’s unconscious conscious which is both accurate and frustratingly abstract.
An analyst I know says it “helps you make better choices.” This speaks directly to the benefit which is something far easier to identify with: what you actually get when you do the work, when you actively engage.
Psychoanalysis involves a patient (Latin for “one who suffers”), an analyst (who listens and interprets - me), and a room. It’s a super-intense, life-changing experience that offers transformation through deep personal understanding. It involves our notions about ourselves, the world around us and the many conflicts we experience with all these inhabitants - all of which affect how we live. It typically requires thrice weekly sessions, for sustained frequency and continuity is key to such growth - fear not, I offer both psychoanalysis and weekly psychotherapy.
In the room is where the cure takes shape yet it lives and breathes outside the room, where one practices what one has taken in. In this way, it never ends (even after the treatment has ended); you’ve essentially developed a psychoanalytic mind - the goal of psychoanalysis.
What’s the difference between psychotherapy or psychoanalysis?
A century ago, psychoanalysis took place daily, employed a couch, and lasted years. Today, it’s a 3-4 day/week commitment, still using a couch and often lasts years. (Psychodynamic) psychotherapy is a modern arrangement to time and financial realities: 1-2x/week and continues until it stops.
Psychotherapy is, by design, less frequent, less expensive and less intense modality. It requires more time for a truly curative effect yet it very much works and is, for many, a far more reasonable, cost-effective solution.
What can psychoanalysis or psychotherapy do for me?
There are many benefits. Here are the biggies, most of which I’ve personally experienced as a long-time recipient:
1. Significant symptom reduction (and, sometimes, elimination)
2. Deeper, more meaningful relationships with family, friends & colleagues
3. Better individual and group communication capacities
4. More effective use of one’s talents and strengths, with far better results
5. Realistically recalibrated self-esteem, one that is authored from within
6. A richer, wider, enlivened (and more available) range of emotions
7. Profoundly satisfying intimate relationships
8. A more sophisticated, nuanced understanding of others
9. A (near) real-time, contextually-sensitive appreciation for oneself
10. The ability to face life’s challenges (triggers) with greater flexibility and freedom
11. A renewed sense of wonder and fascination about oneself and one’s world
What’s about “evidence-based” modalities like CBT or DBT? Do you offer those too?
I do not. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT) and other “evidence-based” modalities are short-term interventions for certain disorders. They are suggestive/supportive but unlike psychoanalysis, they do not strive to create an analytic mind in those who partake.
They don’t often cure per se; they offer solutions by deconstructing problems (e.g., social anxiety). They are effective in the short-term so insurance companies love them but, statistically, they are not all they claim. They can help you deal with your issue(s) - not understand nor cure it…
Providers of one modality tend to poo-poo the other. I’m a believer in finding what works and committing to it until you’re ready to move on. Over time what works might stop; acknowledging that and then finding an alternative is what helps people become and stay unstuck.
What are your rates?
My fee for a 45-minute session depends upon situation and circumstance. This can be a discussion point during our initial consultation. Checks, cash and credit cards are accepted forms of payment.
Do you accept insurance?
I am not an in-network provider. However, our work may be partially or fully covered by your insurance company. To know your “out-of-network” benefits, please ask the following questions (of your insurance company):
• Am I eligible for outpatient psychotherapy by a licensed psychoanalyst?
• May I use an out-of-network provider for psychotherapy and psychoanalysis?
• What is my out-of-network deductible?
• When does my yearly out-of-network deductible begin and end?
• How much of my out-of-network deductible has already been met?
• What is the percentage rate for reimbursement?
• Is there a limit to the number of sessions?
What’s your cancellation policy?
I’m a believer in leased time. That is, the scheduled time is yours and yours alone. If you miss an appointment, you’re responsible for the full cost of the session. If you notify me at least 48 hours in advance, I will work with you to find an alternative time though I cannot guarantee a mutually convenient time will be found.