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Michigan Psychotherapy is a multidisciplinary Mental Health organization providing Psychotherapy for Individuals, Couples and Families using Relational, Psychoanalytic, Cognitive and Medication modalities, as appropriate.
Michigan Psychotherapy is a multidisciplinary Mental Health organization providing Psychotherapy for Individuals, Couples and Families using Relational, Psychoanalytic, Cognitive and Medication modalities, as appropriate. Freudian psychotherapy is dynamic psychotherapy. Relational psychotherapy was developed from the work at the Stone Center of Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA). Relational psychotherapy focuses on the importance of relationships in the development of personality and mental health (good or bad). The psychotherapy of relationships has seldom beeen seen as important in the development of personality. Classical dynamic psychology says that the relationship is established by the personalities of the people involved. Relational psychology says that the personality is developed in response to the relationships the person has. Relational psychology starts with a belief in the unconscious (per Freud) and then moves on to look at the effect on the personality (conscious and unconscious) of the developmental relationships. Abraham Maslow developed the theory of Hierarchy of Needs . The Hierarchy of Needs was incorporated into Relational psychology as all small children depend on relationships with caregivers to have their needs met. Psychiatrists may have very little training in doing psychotherapy. Be sure to ask. Most psychiatrists spend their time writing prescriptions, not in doing psychotherapy.
Therapeutic Approach Let us begin with an infant. That little person has very great needs, is very dependent on others, and has limited ways of making her/his needs known and getting them satisfied. If the parents/caretakers do a “good enough” (as in, it does NOT have to be perfect, but has to be pretty good) job in attuning to the child and meeting those needs, then things get off to a good start.
In order to begin to remedy that, the therapist has to be in relationship with the patient in the role of “good enough parent.” That means we throw out the “blank screen/New York analyst” way of dealing with patients, and deliberately set out to do our best to create an environment where a good enough relationship can begin to develop. For the patients who have come from the worst childhoods, it can take a number of years before the goodness and constancy of the relationship begins to seep into the patient enough so that relationship constancy begins to grow. For this reason (and because for a long time no one knew how to treat these people, and even after they did, the treatment is so arduous for both the patient and the therapist that most therapists don’t want to mess with it), these are the people who are often deemed to be untreatable by the psychotherapist establishment.