Why This Site
Far too often do new patients tell me one of the following:
1) They were in psychotherapy before, saw little improvement, yet stayed sometimes for years with the same therapist. Worse, they hated a lot of the sessions, felt pressured to behave one way or another, felt the therapist wasnt interested; a few patients have even told me of therapists falling asleep during sessions! 2) "Therapy is nonsense. I cant believe Im here."
Out in the world, one hears these same two extreme positions. Psychotherapists are seen as wizards or charlatans, and infrequently as what we really aresomething in between. Understandably, then, psychotherapy retains its negative stigma: If you see a shrink you must be weak or crazy or lonely or gullible or whatever. And, yes, there are many incompetent therapists doing business and that doesnt help things.
Amid all that, how are you supposed to make informed decisions about psychotherapy for yourself or someone close to you? Where can you find answers to questions: Should I go? Should my child go? Should I and my current companion go? Can it help? Is it worth the expense? Just what is psychotherapy anyway? What does it do and whats it good for? Who should I see? How do I choose among therapists and therapies? How long will it take? What will happen in sessions? Why cant I get the help I need from a book or a friend? If you are already in treatment, you may have other questions: How do I know if its working? How can I tell if my therapist knows what hes doing? When should I stop going?
The purpose of this site is to provide some clear and accessible information. Bookstores seem to stock little on the subject. There are large psychology and self-help sections, but not much clear explanation of psychotherapy itself. Consumers have become informed and empowered in many areas, and the same should be true of this important subject. Instead, there remains a rather pronounced lack of understanding of what psychotherapy is, how it works, what it can do. The result is continued suffering, and more wasted time and money.
At its best, psychotherapy is a rewarding, productive, and exciting experience. I hope this site can help you find that kind of psychotherapy, should you choose to seek it out.
(One disclaimer: In an effort to keep the writing is clear as possible I have used the masculine case for indeterminate therapists and patients throughout this website. It seems needlessly confusing, even if politically correct, to alternate genders when no specific person is being described. The material in this website is complex enough and clarity has been my primary goal in the writing. I hope my persistent use of "him", "his", and "he" will be taken in that light.)