What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy In Los Angeles

What Is Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is an interpersonal invitation offered by the psychotherapist to aid people in reaching their full potential or to cope better with the problems of life. It encourages the verbalization of all the person’s thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst formulates the nature of the unconscious conflicts which are causing the person’s symptoms and character problems. Psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology, whose primary focus is to reveal the unconscious content of a person’s mind in an effort to alleviate emotional distress. Although its roots are in psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy tends to be briefer and less intensive than traditional psychoanalysis.

The analyst’s focus is to uncover the source of maximum anxiety during the initial sessions. Attempts are made to formulate the causes of this anxiety, relate it to a principal underlying unconscious conflict, and demonstrate how a greater understanding of this conflict alleviates suffering. The course of the therapy involves a deepening understanding of this conflict and it’s origins.

Attempts are made to find the origins of this conflict in childhood. Typically the conflict arose from the person’s relationship with his/her parents. People have a tendency to fear the analyst, similar to his/her parent. This is called transference since the person transfers the attitude from the parent onto the analyst. Helping the person realize that his/her fears are based on misperceptions diminishes tendencies to misperceive people in general. Since the analyst is seen as a representative of the larger community, tendencies to misperceive people in his/her life are diminished.

Psychotherapy often includes techniques to increase awareness and the capacity for self-observation, changes in behavior and the way one thinks about things, and developing insight and empathy. Desired results may be to enable other choices of thought, feeling, or action, to increase the sense of well-being and to better manage subjective discomfort or distress. Perception of reality is improved.

         Dr. Daniel Paul is a Los Angeles psychotherapist treating residents in the LA and Beverly Hills areas. Call today for a consultation, at 310-908-9708.