Frequently Asked Questions
How do I set up an initial appointment?
What is Jungian psychotherapy or analysis?
Jungian psychotherapy/analysis is a way of working with life issues first developed by C. G. Jung. This approach stresses the importance of working with the unconscious and views symptoms not just as problems to be gotten rid of but as keys to understanding the process which will lead to resolution, transformation and individuation. Life patterns, relationships, dreams, body symptoms and synchronistic events are also part of the raw material of the process. There is no definitive distinction between psychotherapy and analysis but psychotherapy tends to be more problem focused and time limited, whereas analysis is more open ended, in-depth and inclusive. Sessions are typically once or twice a week but may be as infrequent as biweekly or more depending on the needs and process of the individual.
How do I choose a psychologist, psychotherapist or analyst?
Choosing a psychotherapist or analyst is an important life decision and should be treated with the same seriousness as selecting a physician. You will be sharing your most intimate and difficult problems, conflicts, hopes and fantasies with this person. Getting a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member who has worked with a therapist is a good place to begin. Physicians and clergy may also be able to direct you. Of course, you should make sure your therapist has the highest level of education and training and is properly licensed or certified in the state or jurisdiction in which they practice. Some states may still allow the unlicensed practice of psychotherapy and some individuals may provide counseling and psychotherapy under the rubric of another profession. These individuals may offer excellent services or may have little or no training or clinical experience — caveat emptor.
A therapist who has pursued advanced analytical training not only has expertise beyond the basic requirements needed for licensure but also has at least attempted to address their own psychological issues through the personal training analyses required in such programs. Whereas the public often believes (because it is an intuitively correct insight) that all therapists have gone through there own therapy, it is surprising how many practitioners today have never addressed their own shadow issues in the very process they deem so valuable for others.
You should “interview” your potential therapists initially over the telephone and your first session should be seen as one where the two of you are making an assessment of whether you are “right” for each other. Be wary of those who do not seem to have time for this process. Ask your therapist questions you may have about their training, experience, approach, and about other concerns you may around confidentiality, fees, etc. Questions of a personal nature, such as “Are you married?” or “Do you have children?” may not be directly answered by all therapists. More important is the way in which they are not answered. A therapist who shares considerable personal information is not likely to have as much training/experience as one who seems to share too little.
Your session time should be yours and not be interrupted by your therapist taking telephone calls or attending to other business. You should leave your first session feeling you have been deeply heard and the therapist has a good idea of your overall situation and your immediate concerns. Ultimately, what is most important is your personal feeling and assessment about your potential therapist/analyst.
What is the difference between a counselor, a psychotherapist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst and a Jungian Analyst?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about the mental health profession along with, "Do you prescribe medications?" Some of these categories do overlap which makes things even more confusing. First of all, a counselor or psychotherapist could also belong to any of the other categories because psychologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts do at times act as counselors and psychotherapists. Usually, however, a counselor or psychotherapist has training at a Master's; level and is most often licensed as a social worker, a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist (some states also allow registered nurse practitioners to practice psychotherapy). Psychologists have doctoral degrees and provide diagnostic assessment and psychological testing as well as psychotherapy and other forms of treatment. Psychiatrists hold medical degrees (M.D or D.O.) and have completed a residency in clinical psychiatry. Psychiatrists today are typically trained most extensively in the view that emotional issues are caused by brain and neurotransmitter dysfunction. Therefore they tend to specialize in medication therapy but may also provide counseling and psychotherapy. Psychologists in many states are working to attain prescription privileges. Psychoanalysts are individuals from any of the above fields who have completed a rigorous post professional training program, lasting some five to ten years, in the theory of psychodynamics and the art and science of psychotherapy/analysis. This training includes not only theoretical learning and case supervision but a deep individual analysis, which follows the dictum Dr. heal thyself. Counseling tends to connote the giving of expert advice or counsel, whereas psychotherapy connotes an attempt to address issues at a deeper level through various approaches which stress the individual finding their own answers.