It is a privilege to work with people in their effort to address challenges they are facing, grow emotionally, and enrich their lives. I am an interpersonal-relational (not classical) psychoanalytic psychotherapist, treating individuals and couples. I see people through all stages of the life cycle, including teenagers and those in early adulthood, mid-life, as well as people in their sixties, seventies, and eighties. I have been a clinician for 28 years, and in full-time private practice for 22 years.
I have a specialty in working with high achieving individuals and couples with extensive and specialized corporate responsibilities, as well as those with demanding lives in the Arts. My areas of expertise include treatment of anxiety and depression, panic, sleep and eating difficulties, career challenges and decisions, bereavement, relationship crises around communication, infidelity, break-up, separation and divorce, as well as gay and lesbian issues.
The essence of my approach can be characterized by what I have termed as “The Five C’s.” The five C’s are intrinsically linked to how I help people face choices, decisions and goals.
Curiosity is essential to cultivate in the therapy process so as to overcome the more common reactions of defensiveness, shame, and blame. In my work with both individuals and couples, I view the development of curiosity about one’s inner life as critical for fostering growth and new ways of relating.
Creative Collaboration: I am committed to help my patients understand the nuances of their emotional experiences through honest, non-shame-based reflection. Through an alliance of trust and curiosity, we examine how feelings and emotional patterns impact important relationships and choices.
My style combines respect, humor, pragmatism, and a strong effort to establish a safe therapeutic environment in which frank discussion can occur. With a focus on the unique vulnerabilities and gifts of each person, we examine how the demands of family, career, and relationships interrelate with the particular issues that brought about the need for therapy.
Culture: I am committed to learning how my patients’ social and religious values and beliefs shape their sense of loyalty, morality and purpose in life.
Compassion is often much easier for the therapist to feel towards the patient, than it is for the patient to feel towards him or herself, and at times towards important others in his or her life. While growing up, many people have had to figure out the world without wise, loving parental guidance and support. Patients who have achieved much success in life may now wish to take the opportunity to more closely examine their expectations towards themselves and others. These expectations, which originally fostered a high level of achievement, may have become unintentionally rigid.
Communication: The pressing need to be heard and understood may create feelings of despair and resentment, thereby undermining productive communication. My therapeutic aim is to help develop understanding and respect for another person’s emotional experience, while being clear about one’s own. This is of particular focus when different feelings and perspectives are held by each member of a couple and family.
People usually seek treatment during a time of crisis in their lives. When the crisis subsides, and problems stemming from the crisis are largely resolved, some feel that they have completed the work they came to do. Others, continue the journey to better understand the underlying issues which brought them to the crisis moment. This exploration can be a moving experience, opening up fundamental aspects of the self which have not been fully known or processed before. A deeper therapeutic journey often leads to living with less turmoil and greater happiness.
At times, my consultative role is to help people understand more clearly what they truly want and need. Some people have seen many therapists without success. Others have had an experience in therapy that was positive until their therapist became disapproving and reluctant to end the treatment, even after much had been accomplished. Others have been raised to believe that one should be able to solve their own problems without the assistance of a therapist, and feel self-critical for pursuing professional help. In these instances, more than one consultation may be necessary to help people get a better understanding of my view of the therapeutic process, to see if it is right for them, and to clarify what they are comfortable working on.
While I tend to work on a long term basis, I do short term work, as well. I see people once a week and sometimes more frequently, when we both agree that this could be beneficial to the therapy.
Consultation provides a safe space to assess and formulate goals, and to determine that we are a good match to pursue the therapeutic work. When this has been established, we can then go forward. I welcome the opportunity to collaborate.
© Copyright 2011, Naomi Judith Davidson