On Psychotherapy

I believe in eclectic approach, which combines elements of different kinds of psychotherapeutic treatment such as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy , Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy ( CBT ), Hypnotherapy , Interpersonal Therapy and Supportive Therapy.
Psychodynamic therapy has its origin in Psychoanalysis and focuses mainly on the orig ins of conflict, childhood events and psychic determinism stemming from those early events and attachment patterns. The resolution of symptoms occurs when the conflict is brought to light and worked through in therapy.

CBT offers a practical approach, focusing on managing symptoms rather than on origins of symptom-causing conflicts. This would mean that rather than discussing particular patterns of anxiety and connecting them to their origins in patient's childhood, a CBT therapist would teach his/her patient relaxation and breathing techniques and provide him or her with a cognitive framework to diminish anxiety/depression by teaching patients to recognize cognitive distortions, automatic thoughts and ways that they distort thoughts and feelings. Hypnotherapy teaches patients to enter trance states for deep relaxation and is a good tool in anxiety management (please note that I do not practice esoteric kinds of hypnosis such as remembering past life experiences or achieving magic cures).

Interpersonal therapy focuses on the here-and-now of interpersonal problems which are worked through the relationship with the psychotherapist and may involve understanding of past transference reactions.

Supportive therapy focuses on emotional support and finding practical solutions to everyday problems.

While all these approaches are very valuable and have rich theoretical underpinnings, it is possible and, I believe, more beneficial to combine and gear them toward the individual patients' needs. In practical terms, this means that I might start a session with a depressed and anxious patient by doing breathing exercises (CBT approach). This would help my patient feel more in control and be able to deal with anxiety when it happens in real life. It would also lower distress in that particular therapy session so that we could proceed to productive psychodynamic work. Certain kinds of therapy can be preferential for certain disorders, and if there is empirical evidence of a particular treatment's superiority (e.g. Exposure treatment for phobias, Exposure and response Prevention in OCD or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder) I will, of course, stick to it. Most therapies, however, are about equal in their efficacy, a phenomenon known in psychological literature as The Dodo Bird Verdict: Everyone has won and all must have prizes.

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