Anxiety Therapy in Philadelphia

One of the primary goals of my job as a Philadelphia psychotherapist is to help patients search for the causes of their distress. Psychodynamic therapy is especially well suited to this task, because it is principally concerned with rooting out the unique personal experiences that may have given rise to the patterns and behaviors which hold us back in the present day.

Recently a controlled study attempted to determine the value of psychodynamic therapy in treating panic attacks, or paralyzing episodes of anxiety whose terrifying power can level otherwise productive and healthy individuals. The results were clear. Psychodynamic therapy proved an effective treatment:

“All treatments showed improvements in patients with panic disorder, but it was noteworthy that psychodynamic psychotherapy showed promise in treating this disorder,” lead investigator Barbara Milrod, MD, professor, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, told Medscape Medical News.

It isn’t hard to imagine why analytic therapy could have shown strong results. Human anxiety doesn’t arise in a vacuum; often it is the consequence of the emotionally resonant experiences that have shaped our lives. Surfacing and exploring these stories head-on can go a long way toward resolving the anxieties they feed. My experience is that while cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide essential tools to alleviate the immediate physical symptoms of panic attacks, psychodynamic therapy is necessary to reduce the prevalence and power of these attacks in the long-term. As a result, I am a firm believer in employing both approaches in tandem.

I am proud to offer experienced and compassionate psychotherapy for patients who struggle with the symptoms of anxiety. To begin a course of therapy with an experienced Philadelphia psychotherapist today, please contact me.

Depression Therapy: Is There an App for That?

Depression and anxiety hold us back, diminish our horizons, and in extreme cases, can end our lives. Since these are two of the most common issues in our culture, patients are constantly on the lookout for better ways to manage the overwhelming feelings they precipitate.

Conventional therapy remains the best-known treatment for depression and anxiety, of course, but now technology has begun to make some inroads. Consider MoodGYM, an online cognitive behavioral therapy program that seeks to help people manage some of the destructive thoughts associated with both disorders:

[S]tudies have found that online C.B.T. works as well as conventional face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy – as long as there is occasional human support.

Of course that part about human support is crucial, not least because there are many dimensions of psychology that computers cannot address. Although the simplest, most standardized parts of CBT may easily be offloaded to software, the conversations that surround this work are essential for true healing.  Therapists typically supplement CBT with deeper inquiry about the emotional components of depression and anxiety – where the symptoms come from, and what underlying factors may be fueling their power.

In addition, the relationship itself between the patient and the therapist can be one of the most transformative elements of therapy, leading to lasting improvement and going beyond workbook therapy to resolve some of the deepest issues we face. Working with a warm, compassionate therapist who is trained to truly hear and understand you, in a nuanced way that an app cannot do, can help you learn to relate more effectively and authentically with the people in your life.

To learn more about how you can find relief through depression therapy and anxiety therapy, please contact a Philadelphia therapist who integrates cognitive-behavior therapy and insight-oriented therapy today.