For those willing to engage in a process of therapy, below is a summary of what Judith Felman offers.
Psychotherapy gives attention to aspects of the personality such as conflicts, beliefs and fantasies the individual is normally unaware of but that have an impact on the way one feels or acts. The psychotherapist is especially trained to understand these unconscious characteristics which may contribute to the repetition of unhelpful patterns of relating, be it at the workplace or in personal life. For this reason psychotherapy cannot be conducted by oneself, say through reading a self-help book, but needs to take place within the context of a setting where trust and a therapeutic relationship can be fostered. It is by working on the kind of relationships and experiences from the past that get relived in the present – including in the relationship with the therapist, that change can take place.
Psychotherapy takes place on a weekly or more frequent basis, and can be open ended, which means without a pre-determined end date, or brief, where a set number of sessions are agreed at the outset.
Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (D.I.T.) is a brief, 16 sessions therapy model developed in recent years by a team of renowned psychoanalysts at the Anna Freud Centre and the Tavistock Clinic. The approach is aimed at helping people who suffer from mild to moderate anxiety and depression. It encourages exploration of current and past relationships within a structured setting.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for depression state that brief psychodynamic therapy is one option that can be considered for depressed patients.
Judith Felman is an accredited D.I.T. therapist, supervisor and trainer and an Associate to the Psychological Therapies Development Unit at the Tavistock Clinic.
Suitability for this approach of therapy is considered at the assessment stage.
Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalytic therapy and psychoanalysis share the same theoretical background – that of addressing aspects of the personality the patient is unaware of, which however, may have a big impact on the way the person feels, behaves and engages in relationships. What makes psychoanalysis distinct is the intensity of the treatment which allows for a level of depth not possible to be achieved in a less intensive therapy. Patient and analyst meet four to five times a week for fifty minutes each day. The patient lies on a couch and is encouraged to speak freely. The analytic setting facilitates the development of an intimate relationship with the analyst that allows for deep seated elements in the patient’s mind such as conflicts, fantasies, patterns, etc to re-emerge in the relationship with the analyst. It is through working on these aspects – now very live in the present – for a prolonged time, that change in the individual occurs.
This modality of treatment is currently offered in North London only.
Special interest: For many years now Judith has developed a special interest in the transition to parenthood. Her M.A. research thesis was on the impact of sex role identification and self-esteem on becoming a mother. Judith has a great deal of experience treating pregnant women, new mothers, women going through the process of adopting a child as well as fertility treatment.
The process of becoming a parent affects men and women alike. It is a time when significant relationships, in particular with one’s own parents, get stirred up, revisited. There is an increased anxiety that ‘the apple will not fall far away from the tree’. Many people find themselves in need of therapeutic input at this time in their lives.