Berkeley Psychotherapy Services

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Berkeley, CA

What is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

berkeley psychotherapy red leavesAt the Berkeley Institute for Behavioral Health and Psychological Services we practice what is broadly called, psychodynamic psychotherapy. This form of psychotherapy has been shown by a very substantial body of research to be the most effective form of therapy for the broad range of human problems we at the Berkeley Institute are here to help with. For some time there has been an increasing focus on what have been called “evidence based” psychotherapies such as “cognitive behavioral therapy”. Simply put this means that the approach has been studied using the scientific methods widely accepted as sound for determining the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Much of the research showing effectiveness has been based on relatively narrow therapeutic approaches. Psychodynamic psychotherapy embraces an integration of various approaches shown to be of value in solving the human problems within ourselves and between ourselves and others. In doing this work we seek to understand and increase our consciousness of the causes and effects of the problems that bring a person to psychotherapy. We look for and recognize those problematic beliefs and feelings that are more or less unconscious and bring them into the realm of choice.

Psychotherapy in Berkeley – Who Can Benefit

Many of the problems we face in life are due to patterns of thought and behavior that originate in our earliest relationships and these patterns continue on an ongoing basis. Psychodynamic therapy includes coming to an understanding of ourselves through the integration of these early formed patterns, our current life circumstances and how this all gets expressed in the “here and now”. Most people who seek psychotherapy are intact and functioning individuals who want to change something about their lives. They may want to deal with a troubling situation or relationship that has become chronic, or a pattern of living or “lifestyle” that is harming them or those they care about. Some people seek help in negotiating a problematic situation that is unique in their life.

Principles and Context In Doing Psychotherapy

It is in the context of a very human though special relationship that this therapy takes place. What is special about it is the therapist’s professional and personal commitment to providing a safe and private space for the work to take place; to be fully aware of our own motivations; to engage a mutual curiosity rather than judgment in seeking clarity where there is confusion, an ethical concern for the welfare of others, and to have obtained a body of knowledge and experience directed towards the fulfillment of this commitment. Psychotherapy is a partnership between patient and therapist in which they search together for an understanding of the person as a unique and valuable individual.

Berkeley Psychotherapy in Theory and Practice

It has been well established that regardless of the theoretical orientation claimed by therapists, by far the most important factor in what therapists actually do is how long they have been in practice. The longer people have been in practice what they actually do becomes more alike. If it works we integrate it with all the other things our experience has proven to work.

Areas The Berkeley Institute Provides Psychotherapy Services To:

The Berkeley Institute provides psychotherapy services to Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Piedmont, Emeryville, Orinda, Alameda, San Leandro, Hayward, Walnut Creek, Richmond, El Sobrante, San Pablo, LaFayette, San Rafael, San Francisco, Tiburon, Sausalito and surrounding areas.   We also provide services to people via electronic media.   Skype seems to be best but phone and IM’ing can also be effective.  It is  best to have had contact in person at the beginning of services and where possible a mixture of in person and face to face treatment via modern communication technology.  We can work effectively with many individuals anywhere that people are served by the internet.  Such services are supported by a growing number of studies.


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