Hello, fellow hitchhiker in the galaxy of life! Welcome to my new blog about psychoanalysis. Let me tell you about myself—your headshrinker-guide—and what I have in mind for my blog.
I am a 40-something clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, working in private practice in southern California. I love my work and find a lot of satisfaction in helping a small group of people make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives. These folks come to see me one, two, three, four, or five times a week for many years. Some sit in a comfortable chair in my living-room-like office, some lie down on the couch just like in Freud's day. I encourage them to say whatever comes to their minds, and we try to understand the day-to-day happenings of their lives, as well as their childhoods and their deeply held convictions about themselves and the world.
Together, we try to understand what makes them tick. And slowly over time, bit by bit, they change. Depression lifts, capacities for dealing with life strengthen. Destructive patterns are relinquished, relationships are mended. Anger, fear, love, gratitude, revenge, grievances, and hope all have their place. It is rich and rewarding work for both therapist and patient. For me, there is no professional life I would rather live.
But there is a limitation. Because of the in-depth, long-term nature of the work, psychoanalysts can only reach a relatively small number of people over the course of their careers. I have had a gnawing feeling of dissatisfaction with this reality as the years have gone by. So I try to reach out beyond my office walls and talk about the wisdom of psychoanalysis with anyone who will listen—colleagues, students, friends, family, church members, and people I come across on life's path. I have tried to develop my knack for describing these complex ideas in simple, accessible ways. I try to speak like a regular Jane to regular Joes, and it is a delight to see the light turn on in someone's eye as they come to understand themselves just a little bit more.
And so a blog is born.
This is where you, my readers, come in. I invite you to stop, listen, and reflect, as I share with you some of the lessons I have learned about life through the wisdom of psychoanalysis. You will learn about Sigmund Freud, the father of all psychology and a true pioneer. And you will learn about the ideas of psychoanalysts that you have never even heard of. At least that is my hope. I want to introduce you to a whole world of insights about life that are the best kept secrets I know.
In particular, I will share with you the insights of Melanie Klein, a psychoanalyst who started a revolution in London in the 1940's. She took Freud's brilliant insights even further, bringing emotional life to his rather mechanical view of the human mind. She spoke of life and death, love and hate, envy and jealousy, creativity and work, gratitude and inner harmony. She spoke of matters of the heart in ways that gave psychoanalysis a much-needed facelift, bringing much-needed wisdom into our century with a real splash!
It is my hope that, in my blog, you will find new understandings about yourself in ways that will help you grow and make real changes in your life. So relax, kick off your shoes, and learn something new.
Free couch time? Believe it. It's for real!