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  Copyright © 2001, 2006, 2011 - 2017 Bennett Pologe, Ph.D.
 
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Welcome to About Psychotherapy (or "counseling" if you prefer). My goal in creating this site is to explain psychotherapy clearly, in accessible language, yet without oversimplifying or trivializing. You should leave the site understanding: What it is, how it works, why go, why stop (and when), what should and should not happen there. I'm trying to demystify the subject without trivializing it, following Albert Einstein's recommendation to "make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler".)

In the process we'll also cover the many problems that bring people into a shrink's office: Depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive problems, personality problems, attention problems, posttraumatic stress, even domestic violence — as victim or perpetrator — substance abuse, and all the myriad ways we humans fail to get along with each other, in close relationships and in society. You'll see that in fact most of those problems have a common central cause. I really mean that. And that psychotherapy in all its various forms is actually a single unified process — that is, therapies are much more alike than they seem. That goes for cognitive behavior therapy, psychoanalytic therapies, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness therapies, biofeedback and its newer descendants, and the over 250 others you may not have heard of. With very few exceptions, these therapies all work by the same basic mechanism.

Psychology, especially psychotherapy, does not translate well into sound bites. A little background is going to make all of the material much clearer. I urge you, therefore, to resist temptation: Don't jump straight to "Choosing a therapist", "When to stop", or whatever else catches your eye on the index page. Instead, try going in the order presented, at least through the first 10 or 12 headings.

Also please avail yourself of the many links to case examples and further discussions. Particularly if something seems simplistic, obvious, or vague, these links should be a big help. Some of the case examples are rather long as they illustrate more than one or two points. Don't feel you have to stay with the case from beginning to end. They will be referred to several times so you'll find your way back to them when they are relevant. I have of course changed the names and identifying information to protect patients' confidentiality.

Finally, take your time with the site. There is a lot of material and none of it is advertising. Psychotherapy is sometimes a difficult subject to absorb. You may not understand everything at first reading. But if you let yourself explore, you will find many of your questions answered. After reading the site, you will understand why depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, phobias, and the many problems and stresses that invade people's relationships, careers, sexual functioning, family life, parenting - in short many of the problems that come with being human - can be productively understood and eased by a single overriding feature of psychology and psychotherapy.

Of course, attention deficit, obsessive behavior, phobias, panic, depression, bipolar disorder, and even problems with anger in relationships may have physiological components as well. Sometimes medication helps. But psychotherapy can effect remarkable change, with or without medication as an adjunct, if you're lucky enough to work with someone good at it. The site will help you find that kind of therapist.

This web site will be updated periodically, as your comments and questions come in, so please come back from time to time. Feel free to email any thoughts or you leave me a confidential message at 212-774-9499. If you have a question, you can click on the "Ask a Question" link at the bottom of the index on the left, and follow the instructions. It should take less than a week for me to respond. I've also added a blog elaborating on the material presented in this website. There you can find additional session excerpts, vignettes, updates, and reflections, as they arise in sessions and in daily life.



About the Author

Bennett Pologe, Ph.D.
Bennett Pologe, Ph.D.

I am a clinical psychologist—have a look at
credentials to see just what that means and why it’s important—licensed in New York state. Over the years, I’ve managed to work with just about every kind of patient there is. I’ve worked in city, state, and private hospitals, in community mental health centers, foster care agencies, schools, nursing homes, special education for the neurologically impaired, group private practice, the VA system, nursing homes, and in Head Start programs. I also did a stint on cable television as a relationship consultant, and I’ve published some clinical research.

My office location:

330 West 58th street suite 601
New York, NY 10019

Tel: 212-774-9499 (all messages kept strictly confidential)
Mail.gif (4196 bytes)  bpologe@aol.com

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