Your time is valuable, and Dr. Agree is invested in using it wisely. In order to provide you with the best possible experience, she has developed a therapeutic model that targets your immediate emotional state, integrates multiple approaches, and intensifies with your growing self-knowledge.
Targeting your emotional experience
Because your view of the world depends largely on how you feel about yourself, Dr. Agree emphasizes your own, unique, emotional experience and its relevance in every situation.
Integrating multiple research-based approaches
You are a complicated individual who must be viewed from many perspectives in order to be accurately understood and effectively treated. Dr. Agree integrates a powerful combination of treatment methods to deliver more of what you need when you need it.
a comprehensive understanding of you
With Dr. Agree’s help, you can discover aspects of yourself you may have never considered, such as your underlying motivations or fears that compound your stress and inhibit your growth.
Learn more about Dr. Agree’s therapeutic orientation and treatment methods below.
Human behavior is not random: We think, we want, we feel, we wish, and then we act. Mentalizing is a fancy word for interpreting behavior by considering the thoughts, feelings, wishes, and other mental states that underlie it. The capacity to mentalize is also called reflective functioning and is referred to as such in the context of parent-child interactions.
We mentalize in every human interaction – even with ourselves. It is how we make sense of people and the world. But sometimes we do it poorly.
Poor mentalizing leads to:
- Stubborn misunderstandings
- “Reading” negative thoughts into other people’s minds
- Blaming (self or other)
- Forecasting the future “I will always or never…
Good mentalizing leads to:
- More curiosity
- Less judgment/feeling judged
- Reduced fear and anger
- Greater optimism
Mentalization-Based Treatment teaches you how to mentalize more effectively.
Why is mentalizing so important?
Simply put, mentalizing protects you from feeling bad. It mitigates your defeatist self-talk and “unsticks” you from cycles of negative emotion. It makes people predictable, which makes the world feel safer.
As a parent, mentalizing/reflective function is critical to emotionally supporting your child. Read more
All overwhelming emotional distress, communication problems and mental disorders can be traced to a breakdown in mentalizing at times when it is most needed.
Mentalizing is the hallmark of every good relationship. A relationship without mentalizing is a constant and painful battle (including with yourself).
What exactly is MBT?
Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, but is an approach that enhances all therapeutic work. If you struggle with personality patterns or relationship dynamics that do not seem to change, learning to mentalize is essential to improving your life.
The MBT approach is also helpful if you feel reluctant about therapy or have been frustrated in previous treatment for various reasons, such as feeling misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or noticing insufficient progress.
The Power of the unconscious
Do you experience the same emotional patterns over and over again? Perhaps you notice that you:
- Choose the same type of partner in relationship after relationship
- Repeatedly sabotage yourself or your relationship(s)
- Engage in self-fulfilling prophecies
These behavior patterns are not coincidence. This is the unconscious mind at work.
It has been estimated that our unconscious dictates 90% of our behaviors and decisions. It impacts us in deep and immeasurable ways. If you desire to truly understand yourself, then exploring your unconscious in therapy will be of great value.
What is Psychodynamic therapy?
Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes the activity and impact of the unconscious mechanisms of the mind. It includes methods such as:
- Free-association (simply talking about whatever comes to mind)
- Dream analysis (not the kind in popular books)
- Identifying traces of past relationships within current experience
In the psychodynamic framework, we continually question why you may have done, expected, believed or felt what you did – but always with an attitude of curiosity and wonder – never judgment. Over time, you may come to recognize repetitive patterns in your life, and make sense of them. As therapy progresses:
- Feelings and experiences become more understandable and predictable.
- Chaos in emotions and relationships decreases.
- A sense of greater control and mastery sets in.
For more reading on psychodynamic therapy click here.
Do you often feel alone in the world? How trustworthy do you believe others are? When you feel worried or upset and in need of comfort, are you likely to:
- Reach out to someone immediately for comfort and security
- Hide your feelings and tell yourself you can handle it alone, as you so often do
- Consider your options and approach a trusted other when it feels right
- Feel too overwhelmed and chaotic to recognize a consistent pattern
Your answer to these questions generally reflects your attachment pattern.
What is an attachment pattern?
Your attachment pattern is like a “template” for relationships. It influences how you view people in general, respond to their emotions, and anticipate their response to your needs.
Attachment patterns are unconscious. Everyone has one. It is largely determined by your relationship with your parents or caregivers, and can often be traced all the way back to your earliest memories.
Click here to take an online survey to learn more about your own attachment pattern.
What does attachment look like?
Joe is a 35 year-old male who avoids sharing his feelings with his partner for fear of seeming weak and being rejected. Joe was raised in a stable home, performed well in school and achieved professional success. However, his fear of being vulnerable evidences an attachment issue: Joe did not receive the emotional comfort he needed when he experienced distress as a young child. This was a painful experience, which he managed by suppressing his vulnerable feelings.
Now, as an adult, Joe unconsciously associates needing emotional support with the risk of painful rejection. Although part of him wishes for intimacy, the fear of rejection overwhelms him, so he unknowingly finds ways to avoid the very closeness he desires.
This is a simplified example of how unmitigated early attachment patterns can impact adult relationships.
If you are suffering with attachment issues, Dr. Agree will help you understand how they affect you and how to change them to better yourself and your relationships.
Click here for more written information on attachment.
Dr. Agree believes in the extraordinary potential of all people, and views therapy as a means of realizing that potential. As a person-centered therapist, she sees you as an expert with respect to your own experience, and a wellspring of resources for change and growth. Importantly, she recognizes the healing power of trusting relationships, and the necessity of an empathic, meaningful connection between therapist and patient.
Click here for additional information on the humanistic therapist-client relationship.
Life is extraordinarily difficult. Existential therapy acknowledges the issues that make human existence so challenging and often painful. It addresses questions including:
- How you feel about aging and death
- How you experience freedom
- How you manage multiple choices
- Whether your life has meaning
reducing Existential Anxiety
These existential issues create anxiety in all of us. But many factors serve to magnify existential anxiety, such as depression, low self-esteem and an insecure attachment.
Dr. Agree can help you discover how existential anxiety affects you, and how to counteract it by increasing your psychological resilience. Exploring these issues in therapy can lead to:
- Relishing the freedom to choose your own path
- Harnessing your skills in ways that make life more meaningful
- Reducing fears over aging and mortality
Existential issues are least frightening to those who embrace responsibility, intentionally create meaning, and reflect on their choices. Dr. Agree is poised to help you accomplish these aims.
Click here for a more thorough explanation of existential anxiety.
Do you have questions about Dr. Agree’s treatment methods, or how she can help you achieve the changes you desire?
* Please note that the effectiveness of any therapy is contingent upon numerous factors, such as time, effort, ability, genetics, values, and type and severity of dysfunction, and can never be guaranteed.