You are here. You clicked this “Private Counseling” link. What are you hoping to find? Odds are, you’re having some difficulties in your life and you are looking for someone who has something to say that can help. Someone with something to add that resonates within you.
This someone, the Los Angeles psychologist, must be a person with whom you can relate. Hopefully, there will be chemistry between the two of you. They must be someone with whom you feel you are able to trust your inner being, fears, scars and cares. A wise person who can reach through your defenses, denials and fears and help guide you through whatever curative emotional work and life changes you need to make.
Maybe you want someone who can promise you a quick painless cure like a dentist might for a toothache. If you find them, and they can produce, please alert the news media – the whole world deserves to know.
The fact is: Great change requires great work, and great emotional change requires great emotional work. I believe I can help you take on this challenge.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is equal parts craft and art… like gardening – gardening that requires a team effort – tending the rose of consciousness. And from my experience on both sides of the couch, I have learned that for every bloom in the rose of consciousness there is a thorn thrust through the heart… And the removal of that thorn ain’t that much fun either.
Usually in an initial meeting several things happen: The patient explains their situation, talks about their issues, concerns, fears, personal history and what they would hope to get out of being in and doing therapy. The psychologist takes a history of the patient and asks questions necessary to clearly understand what is going on, where the roots of the problem lie, the severity of the issues and, ultimately, decides whether or not they feel they can help. If the fit is a good one and both are comfortable, usually some therapy goals are mutually agreed upon and the work begins.
That work itself can take time and is usually far from painless. Rarely, if ever, is therapy a walk in the park. It is more a walk back through our histories, with special stops at the painful areas where a good therapist can help facilitate “corrective emotional experiences.” Corrective emotional experiences happen when an individual revisits difficult events that may have occurred when they were, for example, 10-years old and reinterpret the events with the eyes of an adult. If A 5-year old witnesses his drunken father hitting his mother – the appropriate response is to hide under the bed. Maybe if the child was seventeen the correct response might have been to call 9-1-1 and physically engage his Dad. If such an event happened at five and a person, to this day, cowers at conflict and rues that they did nothing – revisiting with mature, adult eyes may free up much that was bound in the misinterpretation made by a five-year olds point of view. By “re-seeing” and “re-experiencing” these events with different “eyes” a person can change the way those events affect them.
The modern climate of medical care has been defined by managed care companies, and their actuarial policies limit treatment to between five and twenty sessions… Worse, their preference is often to advocate drugs (as they are cheaper than therapy sessions). Actually, research shows drugs and therapy have the same level of efficacy, but therapy has longer lasting effects when the treatment (drugs or therapy) is discontinued. Not the “plop plop, fizz fizz” instant relief approach that managed care companies and their stockholders like to see. I possess a Post Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology and have an advanced understanding of the opportunity for medicine – I believe medicine definitely has its place. Yet I believe it is almost always best to treat an ailment (be it medical or psychological) at its source rather than just treating the symptoms.
Do you hurt? Have things happened that you need to get a handle on? Are you fairly certain life could be richer and more fulfilling if you had a few “emotionally corrective experiences?” Then roll up your sleeves, contact a therapist or three, and interview them until you find good chemistry. Then begin traveling down the road toward greater mental health. Keep in mind, it will take strength, perseverance and, to the extent that you put in the time and do the work, it will pay off.