The process of psychotherapy varies depending on the personalities of the therapist and client, and the particular problems you bring forward. There are many different methods I may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address, but the primary approaches to therapy that I use are psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on exploration of feelings, wishes, fears, and beliefs about yourself and other people that you may not be consciously aware of before starting therapy. These unconscious processes develop early in childhood through your interactions with important people in your life, and may conflict with each other or with family, cultural, or societal values, leading to unhappiness or unhealthy behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on the thoughts (including beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, attributions, interpretations, etc.) and behaviors (including sleep habits, eating habits, substance use, procrastination, communication style, etc.) that may contribute to your emotional difficulties or symptoms.
In addition to these therapy approaches, I pay careful attention to cultural context. Social identities such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, and ability status (to name just a few) affect how each of us experiences the world and how we understand ourselves. We all have multiple social identities that grant us greater or lesser power and privilege in various contexts. I try to understand your life history and your current experiences in the context of your multiple social identities, and to be aware of the values and biases that I bring to my work from my own social identities.
Valerie Rosen, Ph.D.
255 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: (267) 634-1719