ABOUT DR. BERLIN
I am a licensed Psychologist with more than 13 years of clinical experience. I received my Doctorate in Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. My training has consisted of classes mainly in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and technique, several years of personal analysis, and ongoing education and consultation.
Although I primarily work with my patients from an intersubjective perspective, I draw on various psychological approaches such as cognitive, psychodynamic, psycho-educational, emotionally focused therapy, and relational gestalt, in part, on what seems to be in the best interest of the patient.
I engender a collaborative alliance with a focus on understanding one’s past and current experiences and relationships. My active participation in a therapeutic relationship helps one to understand their patterns of relating. The feelings that arise in the therapeutic experience often lead to transformation.
Psychotherapy varies depending on the personalities of the therapist and patient, and the particular problems one brings forward. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. In addition, in helps one to better understand their needs and longings.
Therapy helps people connect to their feelings and gain insight into their issues or problems. The mature or rational self that functions more or less successfully in the real world is only a part of the total person. The more immature, irrational, or unconscious self functions silently in the background to produce various symptoms and maladaptive behaviors that often intrude into the person's social life, relationships, school or work activities, and physical health.
In part, our personalities are the result of passing through and solving relationship issues throughout our life. The way we have reacted to events in our lives may have caused us to feel stuck at a certain level of insight or problem solving. While we go ahead and mature in many ways, we may carry within us the parts that didn't have a chance to grow. We can have a mature exterior and be functioning more or less successfully, while internally we may feel vulnerable, confused, depressed, angry, afraid, and childlike. We may not feel able to bounce back from rejection, get past blocks, allow our real feelings to surface, or stay in touch with our desires. The quest for self-knowledge is one important aspect to changing attitudes and behavior.
Therapy helps one get in touch with their unconscious memories, feelings, and desires that are not readily available to the conscious mind. It is designed to help one understand how their unconscious feelings and thoughts affect the ways they act, react, think, feel, and relate. Specific problems are viewed in the context of the whole person. Each patient, by expressing their story in whatever ways possible to someone who can listen and assist one in finding meaning, has the opportunity to learn about themselves in a new way.
Therapy can provide a safe place for people to discover for themselves their own truths. It provides a unique opportunity to re-experience personal history in a new relationship, to see it in a new way, and to make connections between past and current conflicts that illuminate the way one relates to oneself and to others.
Therapy encourages patients to talk about thoughts and feelings that come up about therapy or about the therapist. These feelings are important because elements of one's earliest affections and hostilities toward parents and siblings often come up with the therapist and the process of therapy. This phenomenon offers a rich source of understanding, for it offers the possibility for people to re-experience and rework important feelings arising from the past with the maturity they now possess.
Therapy aims to help people experience life more deeply, enjoy more satisfying relationships, resolve painful conflicts, and better integrate all the parts of their personalities. Perhaps its greatest potential gift is the essential freedom to change and to continue to grow in relationships.
Areas of Expertise
Anxiety, panic, worry, and obsessional thinking
Depression, mood swings, and bipolar
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual expertise
Personality concerns: anger, reactivity, and emotional sensitivity
Addictive behaviors: food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc.
Abuse, trauma, loss and grief
Increasing self-confidence, self-esteem, and assertiveness
Relationships: intimacy, sexuality, and communication