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Article from "To Your Health Magazine"
A New Approach for Quick Progress
by Dr. Jeffrey S. Shaw, Ph.D
A new approach to Psychotherapy, which is currently becoming more and
more popular, is known as Dynamic Psychotherapy. Dynamic Psychotherapy
utilizes some techniques of traditional psychotherapies; however, the
therapist is supportive and may provide advice as opposed to being detached
and not giving advice, as in many traditional psychotherapies. Dynamic
Psychotherapy also focuses much more specifically on present problems
rather than delving into the past and re-examining past conflicts. Because
of its orientation, Dynamic Psychotherapy has provided substantial improvement
to most patients in a relatively short period of time, such as months,
and even weeks. This quick progress is also in contrast to many traditional
psychotherapies, which may go on for years with little or no progress.
In addition, Dynamic Psychotherapy has often been successful for persons
who had been in therapy before but had not received help from these other
treatments. Dynamic Psychotherapy also appeals to those who wish to go
into therapy but are reluctant because of their fear of investing large
amounts of money on their therapy or their being in therapy for a very
long time before seeing progress.
Dynamic Psychotherapy has been very successful in treating a number
of common problems, including anxiety, relationship problems, work and
school difficulties, career decisions, and lack of self-esteem and other
identity problems. To illustrate how some situations are handled in Dynamic
Psychotherapy as opposed to traditional psychotherapies, we can look at
In the first example, a woman in therapy had been considering returning
to school but had doubts about her ability to concentrate and handle the
course material. In fact, other therapists told her she would not be able
to be successful in the Master’s program she chose. I asked her
whether the program permitted a student to attend on a part-time basis.
The woman said that part-time study was permitted, so I advised her to
take one or two courses the first semester and see how she felt with this
limited course work before determining whether she wished to attend full-time.
The woman took two courses the first semester, three courses the second
semester, and completed her Master’s degree in two years.
Of course, it is important when giving guidance or advice that the Dynamic
Psychotherapist be clearly focused on the goals and needs of the person
in treatment rather than imposing the values of the therapist. As opposed
to Dynamic Psychotherapy, in traditional psychotherapies, this situation
would likely have been handled quite differently by the therapist. The
therapist likely would have thrown the ball back into the court of the
person in therapy and asked him or her to explore in some detail their
feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy with respect to returning to school.
This may be helpful in the long run but may also take many sessions, cost
a lot of money, and may not even be necessary.
A second example is the case of a man who came to Dynamic Psychotherapy
after having been in traditional psychotherapy for a few years. On of
the problems he had been struggling with was masculinity and "being
a man" . The Dynamic Psychotherapist said, in their first discussion
of this topic, "A man is a person of the male gender with all of
his feelings, and, also, a woman is a person of the female gender with
all of her feelings."
After this explanation, the man in treatment never felt the need to
discuss this topic again in therapy; it was a resolved issue. In addition,
this man stopped treatment after he was in Dynamic Psychotherapy for approximately
six months (on a once a week basis) because he felt so much better and
that he no longer needed the therapy. Previously, he had been in traditional
psychotherapy for approximately three years on a twice a week basis, plus
group. He said he had improved only slightly from all of that traditional
psychotherapy. In this example, Dynamic Psychotherapy and most traditional
psychotherapies share the belief that a person should have "all of
his or her feelings." However, that this belief would emerge from
the therapist in response to the question of what it is to be a man is
probably much more likely to have occurred in Dynamic rather than traditional
psychotherapy. In Dynamic Psychotherapy, the willingness of the therapist
to readily express viewpoints and opinions can often substantially speed
up the treatment process.
Dynamic Psychotherapy sessions are usually held on a once a week basis,
as this is all that is usually necessary to bring about quick progress.
Sometimes sessions are even held less frequently. Dynamic Psychotherapy
has been successful in treating many problems including anxiety, relationship
difficulties, lack of self-esteem, and work and school problems.
Dr. Jeffrey Shaw has extensive experience as a Dynamic Psychotherapist,
and is a licensed Ph.D. Psychologist, eligible for insurance coverage.
If you wish to find out more about Dynamic Psychotherapy, you may call
Dr. Shaw on (212) 986-5571.