depression therapy

Find a Therapist in New York at PPSC

Are you searching for an experienced, professional psychotherapist to help you through some difficulties in your life? Many people start here on the Web, Googling terms such as depression and anxiety, searching for the one vetted resource that might point them toward an effective course of therapy. At PPSC, we offer patients a broad array of credentialed therapists who specialize in a number of issues, including:

Look around this site and you’ll see why our commitment to a psychoanalytic approach is the best choice for deeper, lifelong problems: analytic therapy is the only form of therapy that seeks to uproot some of the most basic causes of your distress.

To find a therapist in New York who can help you with the issues that may be holding you back in life, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at PPSC today. We look forward to speaking with you.

Is Talk Therapy Effective for Depression?

This article has stirred up a lot of media interest, likely because it appeared in the august New York Times instead of a smaller venue. Its thrust is that a great number of studies measuring the effectiveness of talk therapy for depression never get published, leading publications to a biased sample that inflects toward successful outcomes. It’s not clear from the article whether the balance of studies were sufficiently negative to impact the “correct” success rate for talk therapy in depression, or even why many of the studies’ authors chose not to pursue publication. For instance, it is possible that poor design and execution left some of the unpublished papers lacking.

What cannot be denied is that this particular proportion of publication is hardly unique to this area of psychology:

Disappointing as those responses may be, they’re part of a larger systemic problem within many fields of science — a so-called “publication bias” where researchers feel compelled, often inadvertently, to only publish flashy, positive studies and shelve away less impressive findings. It’s a bias that can have some serious repercussions in the scientific world. "It's like flipping a bunch of coins and only keeping the ones that come up heads," Hollon said.

Until we can analyze everything that’s missing, it makes sense to bemoan the lack of completist tendencies in scientific circles. But to declare talk therapy ineffective for depression seems a bridge too far, as numerous other publications and individuals have found.

If you’d like to speak with a depression therapy expert in New York today, please contact PPSC.

Understanding Sliding Scale Therapy

We field a number of questions about sliding scale therapy in New York, and about what patients can expect when they come looking for some financial relief. Although each therapist and each individual case is different, there are some basic definitions that may help you in your search for an affordable option. This site includes a simple overview of low cost therapy, and includes this helpful passage that prescribes Step One in your search:

The first place to check is with your current therapist. Many, but not all, therapists offer a fee service schedule for cash-only clients that may “slide” – that is, the fee goes down based upon your income. If you’re making a middle-class salary, the discount offered by such sliding scales may not be much. But if you’re in the lower socio-economic class, this discounted fee schedule can cut a regular therapist’s fee in half or more.

We take pride in our commitment to community mental health, and that means searching tirelessly for ways to serve more people of different incomes and backgrounds whenever possible. Our sliding scale therapy options include experts across a number of fields, including LGBT therapy, depression therapy and many more.

If you’d like to apply for a round of therapy that falls within your means, please don’t hesitate to reach out to PPSC with any questions.

Making Sense of Psychotherapy

We talk a lot in this space about the benefits of psychotherapy and the various emotional difficulties which psychotherapy can help. One area we don’t cover quite as often is logistics: things like insurance, screening and plans. This recent article offers a nice primer to some of the nuts and bolts of psychotherapy, including what to can expect from insurers and first visits. It does a fine job of addressing one of the biggest concerns about therapy – confidentiality – and it provides a simple overview of what it feels like to begin this journey with your therapist:

Psychotherapy can seem daunting initially, however, many patients feel more comfortable once they have had their first session. You are there to be heard, assessed, provided feedback and treatment so that you can work on ways to help you feel healthier overall.

Psychotherapy is based on trust and on shared goals, and the surest way to find a good match is to speak with people who understand the issues that are most important to you. At PPSC, we specialize in psychotherapy for depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties and many more subjects. Contact us to learn more today.

A New Look at Relationship Therapy

At PPSC, we are proud to offer psychoanalytic services which focus on a number of issues, from depression therapy to anxiety therapy, to the subject of this post: relationship therapy. Not to be confused with the far more cerebral topic of relational therapy, relationship therapy is precisely what it sounds like: a form of analytic therapy which focuses on the relationships we build in our lives, and on the patterns which can sometimes keep us from finding true rewarding intimacy.

Although couples therapy is not a specific focus within our therapeutic ranks, we do also offer continuing courses that touch on some of the issues faced by couples. This spring we are offering two such courses:

“Couples and Money” Barbara Mitchell, LCSW

“Psychotherapy and Couples Counseling When Pornography is an Issue” Mary Klein, Ph.D

Making sense of common problems through the lens of a psychologically sophisticated worldview is one of the best ways to resolve relationship issues for good. We invite you to read further on these courses here, and feel free to contact the New York psychotherapists of PPSC if you’d like to talk to someone about the relationship issues in your life.

Finally, the Truth About Psychoanalysis

There are few disciplines more shrouded in mystery and misinformation than psychoanalysis. Because the process is by definition discreet, many people suspect that what goes on behind the closed doors of a therapist’s office must be in some way disreputable, or even bogus. But psychoanalytic therapy is an established discipline and an effective treatment for many deep-seated emotional problems including anxiety, depression and relationship difficulties.

Yet as this article describes, the myths of psychoanalysis continue to propagate unchecked. Among the most common are “psychoanalysis is only for rich people,” “psychoanalysis is all about sex,” and “psychoanalysis only focuses on the past.” The one we field the most questions about is this one:

Myth 2: Psychoanalysis never ends.

Although it is true that psychoanalysis takes longer than most psychotherapy approaches, termination and ending is an important part of the psychoanalytic process and often, the most enriching part. The reason why psychoanalysis requires time is because it aims at a deep understanding of oneself and a significant change in healing, which can only be achieved over time in a safe, trusting and honest relationship to oneself in the presence of another.

All therapies terminate; indeed, that’s goal. But the journey to get there can take long because the issues are complex, and so are the patients.

If you’d like to learn more about psychoanalytic therapy in New York, contact us today.

New Findings on the Origins of Depression

As New York City’s premiere source for analytic depression therapy, we hear and read a lot of research about the causes of clinical depression. Recently a pair of stories caught our eye: two studies that have each found a link between the struggles of childhood and depression in adulthood. The one article addresses a strong connection between feelings of excessive guilt in childhood, and depression in later life:

Some scientists now believe that extreme feelings of guilt in children, such as the ones Thomas felt, can be a strong warning sign for mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and bipolar disorder later on in life . . . The question is whether guilt causes later life mental disorders or if a biological predisposition to mental disorders causes early symptoms of excessive guilt.

That is indeed the question. The study focused on a particular part of the brain, the anterior insula, whose development may influence emotional health in both stages of life. But the jury is still out on whether biology precedes psychology in this case, or whether it works the other way around. Ultimately the question is moot; what matters is how therapists can treat depression armed with this new knowledge:

Luby says that they are in the early stages of looking at how psychotherapy affects child behavior and how it affects brain function. "We are still in the first year, but my clinical impression is that these kids are getting a lot better," Luby said.

Similar findings have appeared in a second study linking childhood trauma to depression in adulthood. This study perhaps states the obvious, but the accompanying article makes a few valuable points about how patients respond to medical versus talk therapy:

These new studies also have implications with regard to the treatment of depression. Psychiatry, viewing depression for the most part as a chemical imbalance, treats it with chemicals (medications), or in severe cases with electroshock therapy. However, psychotherapists focus on the traumas of childhood and try to bring about change by helping clients to talk through those traumas. Psychotherapy has proven to be effective with all but the most severe cases.

To learn more about how you can find a good depression therapist in New York, including low cost therapy, contact PPSC today.

Talk Therapy Can Prevent Suicide

An interesting study caught our eye this week: researchers in Denmark followed many thousands of patients suffering with depression, and found that a number of good outcomes were associated with talk therapy:

For up to two decades, the new study followed people who’d attempted suicide once, and found their risk of future suicide declined by more than 25% if they’d received just six to 10 sessions of psychotherapy. Considering that people who have attempted suicide once are significantly more likely to contemplate it again, talk therapy – especially over an extended period of time – may hold a lot of promise for those in the most extreme form of mental pain.

It is an encouraging result which echoes a number of similar studies showing that talk therapy may be just as good as, and in some senses even more effective than, medication alone in the treatment of depression.

Interestingly, the effect was significant enough to persist even after several years:

The participants who’d taken part in talk therapy were 27% less likely to commit suicide again in the first year than people who didn’t have therapy—they were also 38% less likely to die of any cause. The difference was still the same after five years of follow-up, and even remained after 10.

Depression therapy, or psychotherapy aimed at alleviating the symptoms of depression, can take many forms, from cognitive behavioral techniques to more in-depth analytic therapy. Whether you are looking for standard or low-cost therapy, we invite you to contact the experts at PPSC today for a lasting solution to depressive feelings.

The Significance of Freud

Those of us who work in analytic therapy owe a great deal to Sigmund Freud, whose ideas brought grounding and energy to the discipline of modern psychology. Although many critics have rightly taken issue with some elements of Freud’s theories which no longer comport with enlightened gender politics, the balance of his foundational ideas remains as useful as ever. Now a new book has been published that explores this story in full: “Becoming Freud,” by Adam Phillips. This excellent NYT review uses the publication as a touchstone for a ranging conversation about the nature of mind. Our favorite quote follows. It’s long, but worth it:

The discovery of and exploration of the unconscious was the central drama of Freud’s life, the one thing he kept passionate faith with throughout private and professional vicissitudes. It was through attention to the unconscious that he made his major discoveries, the most important being that from birth to death we are, every last one of us, divided against ourselves. We both want to grow up and don’t want to grow up; hunger for sexual pleasure, dread sexual pleasure; hate our own aggressions — our anger, our cruelty, our humiliations — yet these are derived from the grievances we are least willing to part with. The hope of achieving an integrated self is a vain one as we are equally divided about our own suffering; we do in fact love it and want — nay, intend — never to relinquish it. What Freud found most difficult to cure in his patients, Phillips tells us, “was their (mostly unconscious) wish not to be cured.” There’s not an analysand in the world who will not recognize the bitter if profound truth of these words. As a historian of analysis once said, the best one can hope for in analysis is reconciliation, not cure. But oh! that reconciliation. What a gift it is.

Reconciliation and discovery remain hallmarks of psychotherapy, and we are proud to continue building on some of the most effective breakthroughs in our understanding of ourselves.

If you’d like to learn more about depression therapy, anxiety therapy, or low cost therapy in New York, please contact PPSC today.

Can Depression Therapy Prevent a Heart Attack?

The connection between mind and body is a mysterious one, hardly better understood today than it was in the age of Pericles. Clinicians are well aware that such a connection exists, of course; we have a surfeit of evidence to suggest that the power of belief can transform meditations into medications. But just how far does it go? A new study has concluded that treating depression with drugs and psychotherapy may significantly reduce the chance of a cardiovascular event later in life:

Patients who had no evidence of heart disease at the study start who received antidepressants and therapy for their depression almost halved their risk of a heart attack or stroke during the eight years of the study, compared with the standard care group, the researchers found.

This is provocative data because it seems to resolve one of the great questions about depression and poor health: which precedes which? Is depression a causal factor in developing heart disease, or its inevitable byproduct? Reducing the chance of heart attack by treating depression seems to illuminate which way cause and effect flows here: first comes depression, and then, the deluge.

Here at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center, we offer a strong foundation in depression therapy through analytic techniques. If you’d like to improve your quality of health, and possibly stave off future health difficulties in the bargain, we urge you to contact our New York psychotherapists here.


So Funny, It’s Psychotic

It’s not often that researchers take the world of stand up comedy especially seriously. Which makes one recent study all the more remarkable: Researchers in the British Journal of Psychiatry have discovered that comics score significantly higher than control groups for so-called psychotic personality traits. Some of this study is perhaps self-evident. The findings that comics tend to be somewhat disorganized, and that they chafe at conformist pressure, qualify as something close to conventional wisdom. But of the four traits associated with psychosis, one in particular stood out to us: “‘introvertive anhedonia’ – reduced ability to feel social and physical pleasure.”

This is yet more confirmation of the deep link between depression and comedy, a phenomenon which has been described in many places over many years. Theories abound about what lies behind this association – is the comedy simply a coping mechanism to leaven the misery, or do both qualities spring from a similar emotional place? Whatever the explanation, it seems likely that no two people ever arrive at a humorous worldview in precisely the same way.

Depression therapy can be a great relief to people whose talents are undermined by periods of deep despair. If you’d like to find a therapist in New York who can help unpack your own feelings of “introvertive anhedonia,” please contact the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center here today.

A Hunger for Analytic Therapy in More Places

The benefits of talk therapy have long been known, but innovation continues to touch the world of psychotherapy. Concepts such as mindfulness and specialties such as LGBT therapy are constantly adding ferment to the field, for instance, and the advent of the Internet has added many new topics worthy of study. Recently much of the “talk” in therapeutic innovation has centered around the possibility of Web-based psychotherapy. The idea involves a version of Skype, where patient and therapist meet somewhere in cyberspace and conduct a conversation over an encrypted video connection. As a recent article in Wired described one website peddling such technology, “Patient and practitioner connect via TalkSession’s video platform—no couch required.”

Is Teletherapy Real?

There are some inherent advantages to this approach, including improved accessibility for remote patients, enhanced convenience for both patients and therapists, and freedom from the sigma of mental health appointments in communities where such prejudices remain.

Yet sites such as TalkSession cannot readily substitute for the real thing -- yet. There is a shared experience that takes place in the room which cannot easily be duplicated. (Witness the confusion that arises when your partner on Skype begin reacting to things you can’t see.) And of course there remains a formidable series of regulatory hurdles to surpass, including a byzantine national licensing system that makes out-of-state therapy a legal minefield.

Still, there is no question that teletherapy will arrive someday. What this news demonstrates most clearly to us is that vital specialties such as depression therapy, anxiety therapy and relationship therapy are still needed throughout the country. If you’d like to find a therapist here in New York City, please contact the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center today.

A Rare Candid Conversation on Depression and Therapy

It is rare, albeit less so all the time, for celebrities to open up about their personal battles with clinical depression. Older stars in particular tend to maintain a culture in which all mental health issues came with stigmas attached. Which is why it was unusual this week to see two stars of a more senior generation, Dick Cavett and Stephen Fry, openly discussing their struggles with depression on the Huffington Post. Mr. Fry offered an illuminating assessment of what makes depression unique, namely that its agony, while invisible, may still lead to suicide, even in busy people:

Fry emphasized how seemingly-contradictory the messages we send about depression can be. "Okay, you've got this problem, it doesn't stop you from being a high-functioning individual," he said, and yet on the other hand, it can cause death. It's not to be taken too lightly, he said, and at the same time, it's not to be taken as a death sentence.

Of course this is the point: depression doesn’t have to paralyze you to impair your life in significant ways. The classic image of the depressive who can’t get out of bed in the morning is simply one face this problem wears; other symptoms may include quiet moments of despair, chronic sleeplessness, broken relationships and diminished productivity.

Depression can be caused by genetics, chemistry or psychology. The only way to know for sure is to try analytic therapy and explore whether your issues may are emotionally based, or simply biological in nature.

To find a therapist in New York who specializes in depression therapy, please contact PPSC here.

Welcome to the Revamped New York Psychoanalysis Blog!

Finding a therapist in New York City can be a confusing and fraught experience. You want to find the right therapist, with the right approach, and the right background. And you want to accomplish all these things on a budget that makes sense, and within a timeline that’s actually useful to you. At the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center, we are constantly exploring what makes a good therapist, and how people are best served by the therapeutic process. We read the latest studies, surface cutting edge research of our own, and train some of the finest candidates for psychoanalysis in the nation.

Our intention with this blog is to create an online touchstone for some of the most important questions, ideas and news in the field of psychoanalysis. We’ll be posting regularly on a number of subjects that continue to generate interest among our faculty, including LGBT therapy, relationship therapy, and therapies focusing on OCD, depression, anxiety and other psychological symptoms. We’ll also address some of the most common questions about psychoanalysis, from readers and patients alike.

We are truly excited to relaunch this blog and share compelling new material with you each week. Please bookmark this site and check back often. Welcome aboard!

The Limits of Psychiatric Diagnosis

 “Back to Normal,” by Enrico Gnaulati

This thoughtful piece in the New Yorker On-line has gotten some attention in recent weeks. It discusses this recent book by Enrico Gnaulati and its take on the difficulties of diagnosis, focusing particularly on what to do when fairly normal behavior becomes “pathologized” in the popular imagination.

The question of overdiagnosis is an ongoing conversation within New York psychology and psychoanalysis circles. Although many people fall into one camp or another – either believing wholeheartedly in the gospel of the DSM, or rejecting any checklist-like approach altogether – the truth is often far more nuanced.

There is no question that some disorders of the mind are likewise disorders of the brain – witness the chemical storms of schizophrenia and psychosis. Other symptoms may be more hybrid in nature – for example, Depression or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, both of which can exist either as wholly chemical, or as wholly psychological maladies. And then there are those issues which are clearly emotional in origin – such as loneliness and relationship difficulties. At least for this last category, some labels do little to illuminate or alleviate the problems.

As the author notes, the principal limitation with the book is that it paints Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders with the same reductive brush:

Psychiatric labels in kids have large consequences, and overdiagnosis carries risks: unnecessary pharmaceutical treatment, self-image questions, and the potential for long-term stigma. Yet underdiagnosis does, too, because early intervention can greatly improve outcomes for children, especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The surest way to discover what is causing your emotional symptoms and distress is to talk about with an expert in analytic therapy. PPSC is comprised of several psychotherapists who specialize in particular subspecialties of talk therapy such as LGBT therapy or depression therapy. You can begin your search here today.