I am not trained to work with children or people with current addiction problems, current eating disorders, or psychotic disorders, and typically refer patients with these issues to specialists in those areas.
I approach all of my clients with immediate concern for relieving their troubling symptoms and resolving their current life problems. Even though my approach is psychoanalytic, I belong to a new school of relational and interpersonal psychoanalysis that has blossomed over the past twenty years. Rather than focusing primarily on past events, I help my clients integrate their past with their present. Understanding the genetic and environmental forces that shaped the persons they are today helps provide valuable insight and perspective on their current problems. Clients often present problems in dealing with their emotions and are often seeking help in learning to understand, manage, and express their feelings more effectively.
I work to educate my clients about human nature, including the fact that we cannot control what we feel. This has recently been confirmed by neuroscience research, even though many people believe that they can control what they feel. What we can do is work to understand and accept our feelings, manage them better, and reduce their intensity if that is a problem. I tell my clients that even though they cannot control what they feel, most of the time they can control what they do.
So my approach blends greater self-awareness with knowledge of how the mind works to help my clients take responsibility for changing their lives. I am an active participant in this process and do not hesitate to give feedback if the person I am working with is seeking it.
I am a psychologist in private practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who is board certified in psychoanalysis by the American Board of Professional Psychology. In 2012 I was elected to Fellow status by the American Psychological Association for my contributions to psychology on a national level. I am also a Fellow of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. I have been in private practice for over 30 years and give lectures and workshops both nationally and internationally. I am the author of three books, several book chapters, and numerous journal articles and book reviews. I am passionate about the change process and have made it my life’s work to innovate psychodynamic techniques, making the process more interactive and collaborative.
My books and papers, as well as workshops and lectures, are devoted primarily to this subject and are aimed at helping therapists to become more engaged with their clients. Psychotherapy or psychoanalysis are not passive activities. Psychotherapy is most successful when the therapist and client are a good match, meaning they can speak easily to each other and feel comfortable with each other. Then they can collaboratively begin the process of addressing the patient’s issues, and the deep emotions that typically accompany them, and decide together on the goals of treatment.