Many people think they should be self-sufficient and feel afraid or ashamed about depending on others. One may give up their needs or act in compulsive ways to hold on to a sense of self or to preserve a relationship. This can be harmful to the self. 

One may have unconsciously buried or walled-off parts of themselves, for good reason at one time. In therapy, these parts can be rediscovered or discovered for the first time. A therapeutic relationship provides an opportunity to self-reflect in the presence of a supportive listener. This allows one to take emotional risks in relationships and the prospect for relating in a new way. It often leads to a more authentic self, and the possibility of a better life.

Having seen a range of humanity, including; the end of a relationship, death of a loved one, oppressive situations, crushing anxiety, shame over a secret, or the terror that long-ago trauma can still bring to the present, sitting with people creates an environment where one can access their feeling hidden or present, relieve suffering, and create a world with hope. 

Life circumstances and expectations of one's self and others can interfere with self-acceptance. One gets blocked; the blocks get expressed as anxiety, stress, depression, and relationship or work issues. Therapy may lead to short-term relief to make one's days more manageable, and or long-term resolution. The therapeutic process often creates a richer world with more calm, joy, and meaning. 

Treatment areas include: anxiety, stress, and panic; compulsions (alcohol, drugs, sex, porn, food...); creative arts and expression; depression and mood swings; gender concerns; grief and bereavement; obsessive thinking, relationship issues, self-esteem and self-worth; sexual concerns and intimacy; sexual orientation concerns; trauma and abuse

Where is the evidence for “evidence-based” therapy? [pdf] 2017 by J. Shedler

  • The term evidence-based therapy has become a de facto code word for manualized therapy—most often brief, highly scripted forms of cognitive behavior therapy. 
  • It is widely asserted that “evidence-based” therapies are scientifically proven and superior to other forms of psychotherapy. Empirical research does not support these claims.
  • Empirical research shows that “evidence-based” therapies are weak treatments. Their benefits are trivial, few patients get well, and even the trivial benefits do not last.
  • Troubling research practices paint a misleading picture of the actual benefits of “evidence-based” therapies, including sham control groups, cherry-picked patient samples, and suppression of negative findings. 

The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy [pdf] 2010 by J. Shedler, Ph.D. 

"Hailed as a contemporary classic and studied in clinical training programs around the world, this is the paper that firmly established psychodynamic therapy as an evidence-based treatment" (American Psychologist, American Psychological Association) 

  • Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. 
  • Patients who receive psychodynamic therapy maintain therapeutic gains and appear to continue to improve after treatment ends.
  • The perception that psychodynamic approaches lack empirical support does not accord with available scientific evidence and may reflect selective dissemination of research.