“Psychoanalysis is not of this world.”
These were words spoken to me by my supervisor, Dr. Hedda Bolgar , founder of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute some twenty five years ago. Dr. Bolgar received her PH.D in Psychology from the University of Vienna in 1934, and attended Sigmund Freud’s lectures. I last visited her on her birthday, at one-hundred and one years of age. After founding the Institute, some of the Analysts who also fled the rise of the Third Reich, joined the Institute. These were educators who carried with them “Old World” sensibilities, and who recognized the importance of tradition, language, and discourse in the study of Psychoanalysis. For example, the somewhat radical notion of understanding oneself where nothing is hidden and nothing is good or bad, just meaningful. In doing so, psychoanalysis encourages patients to follow their thoughts and feelings and find meaning through a trail of free association. The learning environment of the Institute reflected these theories. Our Institute classes were small in number and many were held in the home of the instructor. Of the four supervisions that were required, I met with the analyst in his or her home office to discuss my patients.
I believe in hind sight that Dr. Bolgar was referring to what she had witnessed since attending Freud’s lectures. We have seen the rise of “pop Psychology”, whose instructional prescriptions of self-help have filled the shelves of Corporate owned book sellers. Insurance Companies control the length of treatment by dictating the number of visits that a subscriber can have access to, and drug therapy is now the treatment of choice by most Psychiatrists. Social media and electronic forms of communication have largely replaced spoken conversation. And while it serves to connect, it also serves to distance one from the other, limiting the possibility of thoughtful introspection necessary for the resolution of personal problems. In contrast, spoken language is the medium in which Psychoanalysis takes place.
In my practice, I begin with the premise that each of us has a story to tell about our history of relationships that have shaped our thinking, feeling, and behaving; it is through the telling of these stories, including those that appear in dreams, that we come to understand ourselves, allowing us to deal more effectively with internal conflicts. I assist in helping to expand the meaning of these stories to a deeper level, exposing the hidden conflicts that prevent us from moving forward. Simply stated, clients often are convinced that consciously “this is what I want”, when at a deeper hidden level, the opposite holds them back. I have witnessed this over 30 years of practice treating individuals and couples requesting help with trauma, anxiety, depression, grieving and relationship problems, many of whom have failed at other forms of therapy. I provide a clinical environment of calm, non-confronting, non-directive reflection. And I believe the “talking cure”, Freud’s invention at the beginning of the Twentieth century, is even more relevant in the Twenty First. It is the spoken word that creates the pathways of language deep within us. It serves us to remember that we come into the world and into ourselves through the spoken music of the maternal voice.
I earned a doctorate in Psychoanalysis from the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, and have been recognized as qualified for the practice of Psychoanalysis by the American and International Psychoanalytic Associations. I am a co-founder of the Arizona Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, and as a faculty member have functioned as a teaching, supervising and training analyst.
I greatly enjoy providing supervision to psychotherapists interested in learning the theory and technique of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, and have had considerable experience doing so. Supervision can be arranged on an individual or group basis wherein case material is discussed in a confidential manner. The Supervisee learns to formulate case material within a meta-psychological, theoretical framework that includes the four distinct Psychoanalytic Psychologies of Drive, Object Relations, Ego and Self, as well as the points of view and basic assumptions of Psychoanalytic theory. Group supervision may include visiting Psychoanalysts, a review of European Psychoanalytic thought including feminist contributions, and applied Psychoanalysis in literature, film and popular culture. It is designed to assist therapists in adding Psychoanalytic knowledge to briefer, more in-depth Psychotherapy, complimenting other forms of theoretical psychologies that therapists are currently using.
Forms of the Sacred; The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis 1997; Psychoanalytic Theory in Counseling and Psychotherapy, Theories and Interventions, Ch. 4, Prentice-Hall Inc. 1999
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