Peter M Gaffney M.D.
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Analytic Psychotherapy
Sacramento, California
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My Work in Psychotherapy

In doing psychotherapy with my patients, my first concern is to learn from the patient how I can provide an environment where they can feel safe enough to do the necessary work of healing. Many people speak of "change" in psychotherapy, and talk about changing or analyzing patients. However, my own concern is primarily with the suffering of the people who come to see me, and I am not so much concerned with changing them as with decreasing the amount of unnecessary suffering in their lives and in helping to heal that suffering where it is possible.

Using that focus, my approaches vary according to the individual person's needs and I am not rigidly locked into any particular technique or school of therapy. At various times, I may use analytic techniques, wherein we look into the unconscious to see how it is contributing to the problem and revisit childhood events to see what might have gone wrong there; I may draw on insight-oriented methods to help the patient inquire deeply into their own preconceptions and assumptions; I may use supportive therapy to help patients through difficult parts of their current lives; or I may find that what is needed at times is teaching in social or intrapersonal skills, or in better understanding of relationships. In all of this, as said earlier, my main goal is to help to decrease patients' suffering and to contribute to their ability to heal themselves.