What if therapy weren’t just about specific symptoms, but about developing the capacity to be loving? Writing in The New York Times, Steven Reisner (himself a psychoanalyst and couples therapist) describes his return to see his therapist, Martin Bergmann, after a hiatus of sixteen years.
It had been 16 years since I’d ended my analysis and there I was, back again. Not to return to analysis, but rather for a kind of tuneup. I felt that something wasn’t quite right with me.
…People think of classical Freudian analysts as neutral and nonjudgmental. But that was not Martin. He paid attention, not primarily to anxiety or symptoms, but to the capacity to be loving.
Like Martin Bergmann, I value having an open, warm, caring relationship with the people I work with.
And while my clinical work is, in large part, based on Freudian ideas, I also see myself as embodying a more contemporary version — actively engaged in an open dialogue with my clients; sharing my ideas and reactions with them, and not seeing myself as a therapist who “tells you what to do” or has all the answers.
In therapy, my approach is to work together with you. Collaboration enables you to gain an understanding of who you are and where you come from. Equipped with this understanding, you can create change within yourself and within your own life. Call or contact me today to find out more.
Click here to read the full piece in the New York Times.
If you heard about Martin Bergmann in his role in the Woody Allen movie Crimes And Misdemeanors, here is a clip: