Psychotherapy 101

Making Decisions: Living With Loss and Compromise

Making a decision means planting a flag on one of your options but it also means accepting the loss of all your other options. How are decisions made? It isn’t clear anyone has the definitive answer to this question. Some therapeutic approaches, such as motivational interviewing, can help facilitate a change process. Therapies such as […]

Three Different Accounts of Anxiety

There are many different accounts for what causes anxiety. This post provides accounts for three distinct kinds of anxiety: realistic / objective anxiety; moral anxiety; and neurotic anxiety. The subjective experience of anxiety that we sometimes feel – nervousness, worrying, physical signs such as sweating, shaking, speaking quickly or stuttering – can come from several […]

What is the Difference between Loneliness and Solitude? An Account by Winnicott

One way of thinking about the difference between loneliness and solitude is to think of loneliness as an experience of being without a positive definite self and the experience of solitude as an experience of being with a positive definite self.The notion of “capacity to be alone” is a phrase coined by Winnicott, a pediatrician […]

How Do People Form Attachments? An Account by Bowlby

Freud found that people were motivated by two basic needs: hunger and libido (i.e. desires / aggression). Bowlby added a third basic need to this list: the need to attach to others. Bowlby based this discovery on his research and on evidence from the fields of biology and the study of animals. One of Freud’s […]

What Are the Infant’s Phases of Separation From the Parent? An Account by Margaret Mahler

In her seminal research on the mother-child relationship, Margaret Mahler observed the baby develop from a state of “symbiotic” dependence on the mother to a state of exploration and progressive separation.  In the 1950s, Margaret Mahler founded a child studies center in NYC where she and her team observed, recorded and analyzed the interactions of […]

What Are The Phases of Psychological Development? Accounts by Freud and Erikson

Freud and Erikson put forward distinct accounts of how people’s psyches develop. They agreed on the time frame for the phases of psychological development but their accounts of what happened during each such phase differed. Read on to learn in what ways. One of Freud’s important contributions to the field of psychology was to posit […]

Tips For Finding A Psychologist In NYC

To find the therapist that best fits your needs at this time, identify the attributes that are important to you now in a therapist, and then narrow the number of possibilities down to the group of therapists with those attributes. There are many well trained and experienced mental health clinicians in New York City – […]

Why Does Psychotherapy Revisit the Past?

Psychotherapists ask about patients’ past because the past informs the present. Each person has a history of unique past experiences, and each person learns unique “lessons” from those experiences. These lessons lead to perceptions about the self and about others which carry on into a person’s present. These perceptions can become such an integral part […]

What Does Psychotherapy Do?

What psychotherapy does depends in large part on the patient’s reasons for seeking treatment. Psychotherapy can help with symptom reduction, but psychotherapy can also help patients develop more effective coping skills; gain a more solid sense of self; and learn to connect with others more meaningfully. The treatment approach depends in large part on the […]