ABOUT PSYCHOTHERAPY

Most people who seek psychotherapy (or counseling as it's sometimes called) are feeling emotionally distressed. Whether based on relationship problems, their job, their family, or financial difficulties, they feel down, worried, overwhelmed, or just not themselves. Therapy provides an objective, nonjudgmental venue to vent feelings and sort through the underlying reasons for dissatisfaction or discomfort. The goal is to diminish symptoms and improve the overall functioning level of the patient.

Working with a trained therapist, the patient learns to identify triggers for negative feelings and develops better coping skills to address stressful life situations. There are a number of methods that therapists use, depending upon the presenting problem and the therapist's training. Staff members at The Fifth Avenue Center use primarily three treatment modalities:

Psychodynamic psychotherapy explores the emotional history of the patient and focuses on the individual's internal emotional life. The therapist assists the patient in making connections between behavior and unconscious feelings. Interactions in the therapist-patient relationship frequently mirror events of the patient's life and help in understanding feelings and actions.

Cognitive Behavioral psychotherapy emphasizes identification of negative self-thought and reworking negative behaviors into more productive and more positive ones. Through a goal-oriented, systematic approach, patients focus on the here and now and concentrate on alleviating active symptoms.

Systems therapy is most often employed when working with a family. It investigates the ways in which each of the relationships in the family unit interrelates and overlaps, and therefore determines a way to alleviate conflict.