Compassionate, Professional Care
Board-Certified and Licensed Psychiatrist
There are many sources of hope in this world and the path to freedom, self-respect, inspiration, joy and loving relationships is a little different for everyone.
What is right for one person may be totally different from what works for someone else. For this reason, the therapy I offer is custom-tailored to fit the needs and goals of the individual.
Different schools of therapy have different methods and approaches. During my training, for example, I studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Motivational Interviewing, Exposure and Response Prevention, Interpersonal Therapy, among other tested and professionally approved techniques of psychotherapy. I also learned how to use psychiatric medications safely and prescribe medications when this is appropriate.
I have tremendous respect for each of these approaches, but I prefer not to practice solely within any one school of therapy because this would only limit the number of methods I have available for helping a person recover. Whenever possible, I prefer to draw upon techniques that have been scientifically studied and proven effective.
The general framework I use during therapy is called "TEAM" and was developed by Dr. David Burns. A brief description follows and you can read more about the specific methods, models and techniques used in TEAM therapy here.
T = Testing
Testing. Sometimes people know that they don't feel quite right, but they can't quite put their finger on what is bothering them. Testing can help clarify what the problem is. It may involve surveys that you can complete on your own in addition to questions that we can discuss together. This is especially important during our early sessions, when I am first getting to know you.
I offer this service in order to help improve a person's chances of having a successful therapy. It is much easier to overcome a problem when we have a very clear understanding of what that problem is and what causes it.
Empathy. Most people benefit from having a place to talk freely and openly, knowing that they can just be themselves and that they will be accepted, valued, understood and respected. I believe that the empathic connection is a vital ingredient for successful therapy. Sometimes this is the only thing a person needs to recover completely!
Many times, however, more advanced techniques are required. If you decide that you would like to use these more advanced techniques, empathy continues to be just as important, if not more important, than before.
Agenda Setting. If you think that you want more than empathic listening or if the goals you want to achieve in therapy require more advanced techniques, we will talk about the pros and cons of change and what is likely to be required from you in order to meet your goals.
Sometimes people realize that the problem they had also had a lot of benefits for them! Maybe anxiety is helping you avoid real danger. Maybe guilt is a reflection of a good value system. Maybe hopelessness is saving you a lot of disappointment and bother.
Regardless of the type of problem you have, it is likely that you will have at least some mixed feelings about the process of recovery. Agenda setting helps us determine what degree or extent of change would be most beneficial for you, whether the rewards are worth the cost.
Methods. The good news is that there are many extremely powerful mental exercises and therapy techniques that can help you with a variety of problems, including unwanted behaviors, negative mood states and relationship difficulties. The bad news is that predicting exactly which one will benefit any given person still involves a bit of trial and error.
Imagine that a person with depression is like a wealthy man who has accidentally locked all of his gold inside a solid locked chest. Each of the Methods, then, is like a single key on a large key-ring. We may try several 'keys', explore several types of therapy, before we discover the one that produces results for you!
The information provided on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Visiting this website does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information found on the internet cannot substitute for individualized evaluation and treatment by medical or mental health professionals. All written materials are the exclusive copyright of Dr. Matthew May, ©2018.