Welcome to my new webpage/blog. You can also find me at http://www.facebook.com/drfradenburg and on Google.
Why is psychoanalysis (and psychoanalytic psychotherapy) good for you? There are lots of reasons, and I will be discussing them as I go. But first, these days, many people want scientific answers to questions about treatments for mental distress. Fortunately, some very good answers are to be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkxoExMB9Mw&feature=youtu.be. In this program, a physician who trains residents in psychoanalysis gives us the news that neither medication alone nor cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) do better than psychoanalysis in outcome studies. Psychoanalysis has been shown to be the best approach for people who want or need to make long-lasting changes in their behavior and feelings about themselves and the worlds they inhabit. (I am not against medication, by the way; it can be very helpful. But it doesn’t work for everyone–far from it. Same with CBT. I employ elements of it in my practice and my patients find that it helps them think more clearly about their feelings, in the moment, so that they can make better decisions about whether and how they want to express them.)
The most basic reason psychoanalysis is so effective is because it does the most thorough job, over time, of transforming neuronal maps in the brain and integrating our newer cognitive structures with the old “limbic system” (emotions) we share with all mammals. A great introductory book on the subject of neuroplasticity and psychoanalysis is Norman Doidge, M.D.’s The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (Penguin Books, 2009). I especially recommend Chapter 9, “Turning Ghosts into Ancestors,” for a discussion of how the psychoanalytic process works.
Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=doidge%20the%20brain%20that%20changes%20itself&sprefix=Doidge%2Cstripbooks%2C305&rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3Adoidge%20the%20brain%20that%20changes%20itself.