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Emily Garrod, Ph.D.

Why Psychotherapy?

New York City and Beacon, NY

One of the great mysteries of human nature is why we so often repeat patterns that are obviously, even to ourselves, not beneficial. We cling to the familiar, even if it feels bad. A friend of mine used to call this "riding the broken bicycle." Even if you have to twist yourself in ways that hurt, and impede your progress, you keep trying to ride the bicycle to which you've become accustomed.

Interpersonal psychoanalysis would explain this by saying that all experience is rooted, inextricably, in both the mind and the body. We are conditioned, from early in life, to avoid anxiety by pleasing the significant others in our lives on whom we depend. In this way, who they are, and what makes them happy, anxious or angry, plays a large part in determining who we become.

Symptoms of anxiety disorder (e.g., excessive worry, sleeplessness, racing or repetitive thoughts, physical discomfort and restlessness), panic (e.g., dizziness, numbness, tightening in the chest or a feeling of difficulty breathing, fear that one will imminently die or "go crazy") and depression (e.g., lack of interest, energy or pleasure, too much or too little sleep, overeating or lack of appetite, excessive sadness, hopelessness and regret, harsh self-criticism, chronic feelings of rejection or abandonment) can be the psyche's way of letting us know that something about the patterns we have developed isn't working and needs to be changed.

Anxiety and depression, while uncomfortable, can give us useful emotional information. Counseling can help use this information to identify the source of the problem and to outline goals and steps toward change.

An Integrative Approach: I utilize a blend of psychodynamic, cognitive and behavioral therapy approaches, along with eastern body-mind awareness and relaxation training, to help patients identify and change patterns that impede happiness, intimacy, achievement and creative expression.

Interpersonal psychoanalysis provides a framework from which to help you more deeply understand how specific distortions in the way you see yourself and others inhibit trust, serenity, happiness and achievement.

All of us, through adapting to childhood experience, develop limiting fears and preconceptions about ourselves and others. Through talking to me, in detail, about day to day interactions in your life, you can begin to see into your own specific pattern of distortions, and how this pattern impacts personal and professional relationships.

Distortions can be thought of as conditioning. That is, they are characterisitics of perception and behavior that have developed over many years, often from early childhood, and been reinforced over many, many repetitions. Often, they initially came about because they helped us to avoid feeling anxiety with a parent, or other significant person, early in life.

I use cognitive techniques and behavioral therapy, including occasional "homework assignments," to target the behaviors underlying distorted patterns, and to encourage you to practice and reward new, more effective behaviors.

new york psychologist & interpersonal psychoanalyst
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Emily Garrod, Ph.D.
New York City Office
303 Fifth Avenue, Suite 606
New York, NY 10016

(212) 774-7475
Beacon, NY Office
10 Herbert Street
Beacon, NY 12508

(212) 774-7475