The Whole Picture

MY UNIQUE APPROACH:
A one-stop shop for life changes

“Psychotherapy doesn’t work.”

After several of my clients returned to work on the same issues that seemed resolved years ago (or their kids were sent to me for the same things!), I knew had to make changes; I was failing to help people become permanently self-reliant, to get themselves out of their struggles and into a life of their own making.

The old school therapy model of “Got a few years? This is going to take a while”, or the modern one of “Uncomfortable? We have a pill for that” are setups for failure—suffering can’t wait and medicine merely dulls—not cures—pain; I wondered:  Is therapy unintentionally creating lifelong dependencies on therapy?* I had to make my “medicine” faster, more comprehensive and permanent.

So I overhauled my entire model:

Whole-Picture Therapy: A Comparison

Old way
results
new way
results
Definition of problem and solutions

OLD WAY

Generic Psychiatric lens
(DSM Diagnosis)

RESULTS

Symptoms treated as "sickness"

NEW WAY

Life Context Lens
(problem defined in life context)

RESULTS

Symptoms treated as faulty but fixable patterns of interaction

Type of goals pursued

OLD WAY

Vague, open-ended conceptual:
(e.g. "Be Less Depressed")

RESULTS

Symptoms temporarily reduced

NEW WAY

Specific and practical:
(e.g. "learn to confront without guilt")

RESULTS

Hope and skills improve at the same time

treatment approach used

OLD WAY

  • Talking and Insight
  • Support

RESULTS

  • Self-worth
  • Dependency on Therapy

NEW WAY

  • Learn.
  • Practice.
  • Master

RESULTS

  • Self-worth.
  • Self-reliance.
  • Skillsets.
pARTIES involved

OLD WAY

One Client: One therapist

RESULTS

  • Excludes clients' significant others
  • Slow progress/resolutions

NEW WAY

  1. Initiating Client
  2. Significant "Others"
  3. Primary Therapist
  4. Supportive Helpers

RESULTS

  • Prioritizes and strengthens marital/family bonds
  • Expands support network
focus

OLD WAY

Examine impact of past on present

RESULTS

  • Narrow Viewpoint
  • Incomplete treatment destabilizes marital/family unit

NEW WAY

Address the whole and it's parts at the same time

RESULTS

Healthy relationships, patterns created, improving overall functioning for all

driver of process

OLD WAY

Therapist

RESULTS

Endless therapy increases fatigue or dependency

NEW WAY

Phase 1: therapist stabilizes family unit

Phase 2: client drives/therapist guides

RESULTS

Clients regain control over life direction

pace

OLD WAY

Lengthy study of past until hypothesis reached

RESULTS

Significant change takes months/years

NEW WAY

4 session assessment yields precise hypothesis and charts clear path forward

RESULTS

Immediate clarity and steady forward progress

The results were profound:  the kids whose worrisome behaviors disappeared when their parents’ marriage strengthened; the once therapy-resistant husbands who now embraced couple and individual therapies; the couples on the brink of divorce who replaced their destructive patterns with the skills to create lifelong intimacy.

I became a one-stop shop for fast and comprehensive life changes.

These achievements were supercharged by the addition of 2 additional ingredients to my formula:

  • My creation and use of the “Relational Venn Diagram” (RVD), a tool that graphically maps the sources of a couple or family’s trouble spots and the ways out of them, to ensure that continuous progress occurs both in and outside of the therapy room.
  • Freeing myself from the intrusion and restriction of insurance companies; without it, my clients and I could ourselves design the most comprehensive and flexible plans to fit each person’s unique treatment needs.

Creating a method that is more “teach to fish” than “give a fish” allows me to fulfill my promise—to help people build a permanent internal foundation from which they can direct their livesattaining true self-reliance. Moreover, each day I get to use all my skills, talents and interests--wrangling and taming crises, using my “x-ray vision” to discover what each person wants and unlocking the ways to get it, discerning when to lead and when to follow, connecting, teaching and learning--with these rare, brave badasses whose resilience and humanity inspire and move me each day.

*I am NOT referring to treatment for people suffering from serious mental illnesses, those who require higher and longer levels of psychiatric care to remain safe.

"There is a short path that is long, and a long path that is short."

- The Talmud