Over three decades in psychoanalysis, I’ve worked with countless adults of all ages, including seniors who are approaching the end of their lives.
Many adults have a history of failed relationships and disappointments with their jobs, their careers, or their families. I help them to identify their areas of conflict and finds ways to address those conflicts in a more productive way.
Adults tend to come to me because of lifelong problems with relationships and with themselves, including self-destructive behaviors that they’ve seen play out over and over again. I help them to identify the cycle and stop going down old pathways that lead nowhere.
Some adults who are greatly dissatisfied with their spouse, careers, or children find comfort in substance abuse. As issues come up in treatment, we analyze and deal with them.
It’s not unusual for older adults to look back over their lives and question chains of events, dots they can’t connect, even the purpose of their lives. Through the exploratory work of psychoanalysis, I help seniors come to terms with their life situations and what they have to face in the future, in terms of health and family transitions.
I also help older adults deal with end-of-life issues and decisions.
Seniors have to face fears of growing older; the reality of friends, family members and spouses dying; and the gradual loss of strength and good health. Older adults also need to be able to reconcile themselves with the lives they have lived. Through psychoanalysis, we work through all of these issues.
In one case, a man sought my help because he was dissatisfied with his family, his job – his entire life. I was able to help him identify and understand a trend that had been pervasive from his childhood to that very moment. And then I was able to help him find ways to gain satisfaction and lessen his current difficulties.
In another case, a man came in guilty, sheepish and ashamed. It took him four months to admit that he was having affair with a coworker. Then, as he was going off on vacation, he came over and shook my hand; he had realized he had issues with separation.
In our conversation, we got into his childhood. He came to see that he was always on the hunt – and that he always thought his wife was going to leave him. He realized he was always dissatisfied; that people always disappoint him. Why? Because his mother was chronically dissatisfied with him.
People don’t fall in love with their therapists. People fall in hate with us because we’re the objective person who helps them confront their unrealistic fantasies.
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