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MY APPROACH TO THERAPY

Beginning with Freud, psychological theories have guided practice.  Of course it's necessary to have an underlying structural understanding, but theoretical models all have a serious flaw.  They generalize.  The problem arises with practitioners who adhere fixedly to one particular theoretical approach.  Even the most brilliant theorists have not been able to account for the faceted nature of the individual.  So, it is imperative that the psychotherapist be knowledgeable about many psychological theories, but married to none.

If you have come to me in pain or distress, I will see you – not merely the parts of you which conform to some system of psychological thinking.  If I overlay a pre-existing paradigm on your reality, you will not appear fully.  Therefore, I must use what I know in response to what you present.  Your truth should dominate any previous understanding I may have of how things work.  Of course, my knowledge can and must support our mutual journey into understanding and healing your problems.  But it can never supplant the inner knowledge that resides within each person.  My work is to compassionately collaborate with you to remove the obstacles which block your own natural clarity.

Underneath the hurt and damage in each of us is the natural self which was there at the beginning and which has survived in a defended state.  We have come to think of “being defensive” in negative terms.  These defenses are structures which were created to protect the mind and the self from painful environmental circumstances.  Therefore, the work is to discover their original uses, be compassionate about their reasons for continuing to exist, and learn new and better ways of self-protection, so these old, no longer useful ways can be discarded or transformed.

In order to accomplish this task, we must form a bond:  A real one, not an artificial one.  Therefore, I must be a real person, not just a therapist.  At the same time, I must be extremely aware of the job at hand – which is helping you.  So, while being as real and honest as possible, I will simultaneously edit out any agenda which doesn't serve the therapeutic purpose.  The therapy will never be about me or my issues – just you and yours.

I will become – for a while – the one who sees through to your lovable, capable self.  I will also be the place holder for hope, if you are hopeless.  Not in a forced or fake way, but because I can see into places where you perceive only darkness.  Gradually, as we form a trusting, working partnership, you will come to see yourself in a new light and you will be able to re-form your sense of who you really are, what you are capable of and what you deserve.  You will be able to distinguish between how you were taught to see yourself or how circumstances shaped your self-image, and what the truth about you really is.  The goal will be to uncover and recover your best, strongest, authentic self.  It's still there.
 
If you would like my help in this process, please call me or email me.

Karen Krett, LCSW,
212-932-2501
karenkrett@westsidemanhattantherapy.com