Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA - Boulder Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy in person, via skype, or by phone. Please email or call (303) 875-5046

Boulder Therapy Questions & Answers

Why does one feel emotional pain?

Whether one is feeling depressed, anxious or suffering from grief or loss, or whether there is a diagnosis of bi-polar, PTSD or psychosis, it takes take time to uncover the root causes of these symptoms. Also, there are times when it is necessary to accept the unacceptable.

Much emotional pain is due to not being seen, heard or understood. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness due to lack of connection with, or disconnection from others. The creation of defenses such as denial and avoidance protect one from feeling pain of some sort. Defenses can also block the ability to have other feelings - especially difficult ones like anger, envy or hate. Defense strategies typically develop at a very young age. As one grows older their use is oftentimes limited and limiting.

Suffering can occur when defenses are habitually used and when one blames or devalues oneself for the outcome of defenses that no longer work. Taking the time to talk so as to understand the underlying causes of one's suffering requires careful exploration ... like performing a delicate operation. 


What can be gained from a therapeutic relationship and why is talking strong medicine?

When one develops awareness through being in a relationship, there truly is hope. This is possible because in a therapeutic relationship a place is co-created to talk freely so as to feel seen and heard, safe and understood. And, with this as a base, trust inevitably grows. More and more, one feels free to have and accept all of one's feelings. This is how abiding change takes place.

Through a therapeutic relationship one can develop ways to identify and choose more consciously what it is that one wants. And when obstacles interfere with what one wants, they are worked through to deeper levels of understanding.


Why choose to work things out with another person?

"We can't smell our own noses!" is something philosopher Alan Watts liked to say. It can be hard to acknowledge that the valiant attempts one makes at coping can actually get in the way of ideas and dreams. It is best to talk with someone who is trained to accompany and assist - someone experienced in helping others to understand what motivates their choices and behaviors. The expectable effect of this undertaking is a significant reduction in pain and suffering.

Over time the psychotherapeutic process enables someone to find their way to determine for themselves what they deem most important for the full and meaningful life they deserve.


What are meant by the terms: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis?

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis have as their focus the relationship between oneself and "an other". This "other" can be a person, an object/thing or a situation. The aim of this kind of therapy is to explore and understand what motivates feelings, beliefs and reactions towards any person, object/thing or situation.

In addition, psychoanalysis concerns itself with the unconscious motivations or underlying, root causes, of one's feelings, dreams or fantasies. In talking with the therapist, one comes to understand how the unconscious may play a part in how one acts or interacts. Developing awareness and self inquiry leads to more freedom of choice. It must be emphasized that this exploration takes place in an environment of safety, confidentiality and acceptance. The therapeutic relationship is a process during which one learns to be emotionally honest.

Observing oneself in the client therapist relationship and being seen by the therapist leads to self knowledge and acceptance of ones strengths and limitations. From this place one is able to actually know who one is and what one wants so as to be able to clearly move towards getting what one wants.


American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work


Boulder Psychoanalysis | Therapy Q & A | Therapist Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis


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