Every patient who comes for psychotherapy “brings along” the most significant people in his or her life. Certainly some relationships contribute to a person’s strengths as adults while others, particularly those from early childhood, may become manifest in present conflicts.
We often recapitulate early patterns of connection in our current relationships even when those patterns are troubling. Focused Dynamic Therapy™ is a systems theory approach to understanding the influences affecting a person’s thinking, feeling, and behavior, especially if those influences perpetuate distress.
Recognizing these patterns facilitates resolving present day conflicts and gives each person a broader perspective and understanding that those conflicts frequently have multi-generational roots. Because we tend to seek out the familiar in our relationships, we look for significant others who, knowingly or not, collude in perpetuating that familiarity, even when undesirable.
We can learn a great deal about ourselves from our interactions with our intimate partners. I therefore often recommend conjoint (couples) therapy when it is appropriate and acceptable.
I certainly do individual psychotherapy, but working with couples is of special interest as it may accelerate the therapeutic process. In either individual or conjoint therapy, helping each person establish his or her relationship predicated on the present and not the perpetuation of an emotionally conflicted past is my goal.