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
Psychoanalysis, Resilience, and Meaning-Making Can psychoanalysis help build resilience? Psychoanalysis, resilience, and meaning-making may go hand-in-hand. Resilience involves being able to do better than expected in the face of difficult circumstances. It requires inner strength. What factors may help promote such strength? Meaning-making—finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life—seems to be especially important. … Continue reading Psychoanalysis, Resilience, and Meaning-Making
Benefits of Psychoanalysis What are the benefits of psychoanalysis? Psychoanalysis benefits the individual in a number of ways that not all types of psychotherapy do. First, some context. In a complex society such as ours, people are challenged to adapt to a constant flow of change. Each of us is subject to cultural, ethnic, … Continue reading Seven Benefits of Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis and Mindfulness Psychoanalysis and mindfulness may seem to have little in common. They both involve the mind and are often focused on taming disturbing thoughts and feelings. But their methods seem to be completely at odds with each other. Or are they? Let’s take a look at mindfulness and see how it may be … Continue reading Psychoanalysis and Mindfulness
Criticisms of Freud: Commentary on the Freud Wars Today’s Wall Street Journal offered a book review by Adam Kirsch of, yet another, “quasi-biography” of Sigmund Freud. The book in question is Freud: The Making of an Illusion by Frederick Crews, the latest in his seemingly endless criticisms of Freud. As noted by Kirsch, this endless war on Freud by Crews … Continue reading Criticisms of Freud: Commentary on the Freud Wars