The importance of meaning in psychoanalytic psychotherapy is core to the field. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy recognizes that the meaning of behavior is important. Unlike most behavioral therapies where behavior is explained in terms of learning and contingencies, psychoanalytic theories support the idea that our behavior is purposeful and meaningful. While there is no argument that we … Continue reading Importance of Meaning in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Is psychoanalytic psychotherapy empirically validated? The short answer is, yes. And empirical support for this long-established approach is rapidly growing. Why do some people assume that it isn’t evidence-based? Probably because empirical research on psychoanalytic psychotherapy has been slower in coming than for some other clinical approaches. There are a number of reasons why empirical … Continue reading Is Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Empirically Validated?
As a psychoanalytic psychologist who has specialized in treating children and adolescents, I have often been asked how psychoanalysis can benefit children. Given society’s attention to scientific evidence-based data, one would expect that theories that consider instincts, drives, and Oedipal Complexes must be archaic and obsolete. Much of contemporary thought on psychotherapy seems to embrace … Continue reading How Psychoanalysis Can Benefit Children
How Lacan’s theory can be helpful in psychotherapy may not be obvious and is often overlooked. The theories and concepts of French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, are considered by many as among the most significant contributions to psychoanalytic thinking and praxis since Freud; yet his work is largely unknown to many American psychotherapists. Lacan is mostly … Continue reading How Lacan’s Theory Can Be Helpful in Psychotherapy
What is the purpose of psychotherapy? Many new patients ask, “How can psychotherapy help? How will talking about my problems make my life better?” The question seems well founded. People often seek psychotherapy when they feel at a loss for what to do about the misery in their lives. They may recognize that their sleep … Continue reading How Can Psychotherapy Help?
Psychoanalysis is still relevant because: Psychoanalytic theories and therapies strive to understand the unique phenomenology of a person. In doing so, the meaning and values that give significance to our lives are honored and supported. In our modern era of brain research, a person’s experience of living is sometimes reduced to a discussion of biochemicals … Continue reading 7 Reasons Why Psychoanalysis Is Still Relevant Today
Is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Evidence-Based? The public—and many clinicians—often assume that it is not. In fact, many university courses teach that only cognitive-behavioral approaches have current empirical support. This assumption is false and does a disservice to the field and to the public alike. A growing number of studies demonstrate that psychodynamic psychotherapy is evidence-based, and … Continue reading Is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Evidence-Based?
Psychiatric Diagnosis Needs Rethinking: Psychologist Richard Bentall’s Alternative Paradigm For many years, British psychologist Richard Bentall has promoted rethinking about the way psychiatric diagnosis has been conceptualized. When I first read his book, Madness Explained (Bentall, 2006), I was immediately impressed by his carefully researched and referenced arguments that challenged many mainstream views on mental … Continue reading Psychiatric Diagnosis Needs Rethinking
Some of you have read my earlier blog, “Isn’t Psychoanalysis Dead?” I lamented that psychoanalytic theory is often excluded from discussions in psychology courses—at what I believe is a great loss to future clinicians’ ability to understand their clients/patients deeply. Well, I recently ran into another example of the value of psychoanalysis, of its omission … Continue reading Value of Psychoanalysis
Jacques Lacan: A Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Psychoanalyst As a practicing psychoanalyst for the past 30-plus years, I have sought to integrate the wisdom from many mentors. My supervisors and training analyst guided me through the collected works of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, and Spotnitz. While writing my doctoral dissertation on clinical psycholinguistics, I learned of … Continue reading Jacques Lacan: A Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic Psychoanalyst