People are Complex. Psychodynamic psychiatrists look through a lens that illuminates the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual factors that influence the person. The symptoms that brought the person to treatment—depression, anxiety, attention problems, personality disorders, grief, trauma, relationship conflict, losses, avoidance, anger, despair — cannot just be treated in isolation, but must be understood in the context of the person as a whole. We are embodied people, situated in our brains and physical bodies, as well as in our external familial, social and cultural experiences. We are also people who each have a unique composite of cognitive skills, emotional experiences, conscious and unconscious conflicts, dreams, wishes, hopes, and fears. Psychodynamic therapists and psychoanalysts are attuned to the ways that the unconscious wishes, fears, conflicts, and expectations that were generated by past relationships and childhood experiences color one’s everyday life.
Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are in-depth treatments in which the analyst and person seeking treatment engage together in a mutual, intimate, intellectual and emotional search to understand the truth about the person. It is a path that is simultaneously rooted in the past and looking towards the future. In treatment, one may explore past traumas and losses that affect present functioning, as well as the ways that one’s important attachment relationships in childhood have shaped expectations about people and relationships in the present. People who have difficulties in love relationships, frustrations at work, recurrent anxieties, and self-defeating patterns that replay over and over again may benefit. They may feel lost, stuck, unfulfilled, conflicted, empty, or alone. The goals are different for each person, and Dr. Crisp adapts the treatment approach to the patient, rather than doing a one-size-fits-all approach. Often in the course of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, people come to feel that they are more comfortable in their own skin, and more able to live freely and authentically in the way they would like to live.