To explain how a course of therapy with me might evolve, the best thing to do is to describe how I developed my approach.
I originally trained in a fairly classic psychoanalytic school. The approach to time was essentially “it takes as long as it takes.” The patient was allowed to develop their own insights in their own time, with the minimum of input from the therapist. The days when you were expected to attend five times a week were (mostly) over, but there wasn’t any sense of rush. If a patient spent a whole session not saying a word, it wasn’t a problem.
I still have a lot of sympathy with this approach. If you have as much time and money as you need it is the most thorough way of doing it, and offers benefits besides dealing with your immediate problems. But when I moved to the UK in 1989 I found I needed to make some fairly major changes.
I found myself working in the department of psychology of a large hospital serving a very deprived area of north London. People here had some fairly severe problems – financial problems, domestic violence, homelessness… They needed immediate results, and I was only allowed 10 sessions with them.
It was clear that I needed to do things differently if I was to help my patients in this new setting. One of the changes came from a training in cognitive therapy, which I find can usefully be combined with the psychoanalytic method. I have since broadened the repertoire further, to include hypnosis. I made other changes as well.
I am prepared to be directive when necessary – telling you what to do. Psychoanalysts would say you shouldn’t ever do this.
I won’t expect you to work everything out for yourself. Ideally you would achieve insight on your own, and you will, but it might take months, which you don’t have. I’ll point things out to you where appropriate to speed the process.
I won’t wait for you to run into resistance or other problems and work through it slowly on your own. I’ll see what’s coming and help you avoid it.
The overall approach is one which gives priority to necessary change in the short term, without forgetting that the root causes of most psychological problems lie deep in the past, and that taking time to deal with them can be very valuable.
Most patients experience an increase of clarity and confidence within two or three sessions, and resolve the difficulty which brought them to therapy within 12 to 15 sessions. You then have an interesting choice.
You can end therapy with the presenting problem resolved. Or you can continue with a deeper exploration of yourself which can transform your life. In therapy with me patients have started and completed degrees, met partners and started families or completely changed careers. Their initial problem became the starting point for profound change, to finding their true path in life. But the choice is yours.
To take the first step and book a clarity session, look at the available times below.