Dr. Lynn Friedman
Washington DC Psychologist and PsychoanalystDr. Lynn Friedman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and executive coach (career counselor) in full-time private practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland, 1/2 block from Washington, DC, (Friendship Heights metro, red line). She provides evaluation, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. She works with individuals and couples. Her sub-specialties are in relationships, work-life concerns, anxiety & depression. Beyond this, she serves on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University.
Psychotherapy entails a relationship between a trained psychotherapist and a person who is interested in deepening their understanding of themselves, with the goal of resolving conflicts, overcoming obstacles or addressing unhappiness in their lives. There are many kinds of psychotherapy and each approach conceptualizes or views the individual in different ways…
People who find themselves thwarted in their work life often ask me, how do I know what sort of help I need? Should I seek career counseling or psychotherapy or psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a theory and a research method, and most importantly, a form of intensive psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis can help you to change your character or personality, in some deep and fundamental ways.
Psychologist Washington DC, Dr. Lynn Friedman
When people learn that I am a psychologist, they often ask me, many questions. These include:
- What is psychotherapy?
- What kind of psychotherapy do you practice?
- What sort of difficulties do psychotherapy and psychoanalysis address?
- How do I know whether I need psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalysis?
- How are clinical psychologists trained?
- How are psychiatrists trained?
- Do psychologists ever work “hand-in-hand” with psychiatrists?
- Are all psychoanalysts, psychologists?
- As a psychodynamic psychologist, do you ever collaborate with cognitive-behavior therapists?
- Where do you practice?
- In addition to your practice as a psychologist & psychoanalyst, what are your other professional involvements?
- Besides psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, do you apply psychoanalytic concepts in any other arenas?
- I live outside of the Washington DC area, how can I find a psychodynamic psychotherapist or a psychoanalyst?
Each will be addressed in turn:
1. What Is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy entails a relationship between a trained psychotherapist and a person who is interested in deepening their understanding of themselves in order to: achieve goals, resolve conflicts, overcome obstacles or address unhappiness in their lives. There are many kinds of psychotherapy and each approach conceptualizes or views the individual in different ways. Most methods of psychotherapy share in common the idea that:
- People come to therapy because they are sad, worried, troubled or frustrated about something in themselves and/or in their lives.
- Many difficulties can be understood, resolved through talking with a trained, outsider and gaining perspective.
- To be effective, therapy must take place in a safe, respectful & confidential setting.
2. What Kind of Psychotherapy Do You Practice?
As a clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst, I practice both psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. There are many ways that psychodynamic psychologists and psychoanalysts conceptualize the process of change. I have described both of these kinds of therapies, in more detail, elsewhere. But, one perspective that we share in common is that we believe in the “dynamic unconscious”. That, we believe that we are not entirely aware of all of the feelings and thoughts that drive our behavior. The link above provides much more information about this type of psychotherapy. But, below, I have provided a brief example. A young man who consistently chooses unavailable women. His friends can readily see that each woman closely resembles the previous one; they may anticipate that a break-up is inevitable. At a conscious level, the young man is not aware of what draws him into these disappointing relationships. However, something is going on outside of his conscious awareness that compels him to choose these unsatisfying partners. Likely, he has unconsciously avoiding a certain kind of experience and/or he may be repeating something painful from his past in an effort to master it. A goal of psychodynamic psychotherapy and of psychoanalysis is to help you to become more self-aware, to get in touch with your feelings and with your thoughts so that you can better understand yourself. This understanding, ideally, will ultimately lead you to make more gratifying choices.
3. What Sorts of Difficulties Does Psychotherapy and/or Psychoanalysis Address?
Psychotherapy helps people overcome a wide range of difficulties. People seek me out for help with an array of concerns, including:
- anxiety and depression
- relationship difficulties, (i.e. problems with intimacy, commitment, love relationships, marriage difficulties)
- self-esteem problems (including volatile self-esteem which skyrockets and plummets in reaction to the approval and disapproval of others)
- uncertainty about work and life goals
- workplace difficulties (career difficulties)
- trouble feeling trapped and or abandoned
- conflicts about success
- difficulties with competition
- difficulties with self-assertion
- family conflicts and separation difficulties
- problems of middle school, adolescence and young adulthood
- motivating the gifted teenager
- couple’s and marital difficulties (for couple’s therapy and marriage counseling)
- lawyers who are unhappy
- physician stress
- mental health professionals (e.g. psychiatrists, psychologist, counselors, social workers, etc.) who wish to deepen their self-awareness so that they can mastery their own difficulties
- other psychological concerns
4. How Do I Know Whether I Need Psychodynamic Psychotherapy or Psychoanalysis?
What sort of psychotherapy is best for me? There’s no formulaic answer to this question. However, a thoughtful evaluation spanning a few to several sessions usually yields a helpful recommendation. For some, once, twice or three times a week therapy may be optimal. Others may wish for, or require, the intensive work that a, four or five day a week, psychoanalysis allows. With this sort of treatment, they can explore their life history and its’ influence on the trials and tribulations in their current situation. Most importantly, they can establish a trusting, working relationship with their psychoanalyst which will allow them to deepen their understanding of themselves. This better self-understanding can culminate in a greater capacity to trust others and to form more intimate relationships with the significant people in their lives.
5. How Are Clinical Psychologists Trained?
Clinical psychologists are either Ph.D.’s or Psy.D.’s. Those with Ph.D.’s earn a doctorate in Philosophy with a specialization in Clinical Psychology. Psy.D.’s earn a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. In earning a Ph.D., psychologists-in-the-making are required to design and conduct their own original clinical research. In contrast, though not always, Psy.D. research requirements are less rigorous. Clinical psychologists take coursework in psychopathology, ethics, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), neuroscience, research methods, statistics, cognitive psychology or learning theory, developmental psychology, and importantly, psychological testing as well as in other areas. Also, psychology graduate students do clinical externships where they care for patients or clients under the close supervision of an experienced psychologist. In order to graduate, psychology doctoral students must complete a one year clinical internship where they are supervised by psychologists. In these externships and internships, psychologist-supervisors place a great deal of emphasis on creating a safe, respectful, ethical, atmosphere in which psychotherapy can take place. In addition to taking coursework and learning how to conduct psychotherapy and psychological testing, they must complete a dissertation in which they make a unique contribution to the clinical research literature. Also, most Ph.D. programs require that the doctoral student teach at the university level. Doctoral training typically takes place over a period of 5 – 8 years, sometimes longer. Ph.D. programs, and some, Psy.D. programs, are very competitive. To gain admission, applicants must have high GRE’s, high QPA’s and extensive clinical research experience.
6. How Are Psychiatrists Trained?
Psychiatrists attend medical school for four years. Typically, the first two years are devoted to extensive coursework in the sciences. During the second two years, medical students complete a series of 6 week, rotations, including surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, internal medicine and others. Those pursuing psychiatry complete in internship, usually in general medicine, and 3 years of a psychiatric residency program. Most, though not all, residencies focus is on treating psychiatric inpatients and on learning psychopharmacology. Increasingly, the teaching of psychotherapy has been given short shrift in residency programs. Instead, the emphasis is placed on inpatient psychiatry and medication. For this reason, many psychiatrists work collaboratively with psychologists and other mental health professionals; the psychiatrist performs psychiatric evaluations and provides medication and the psychologist provides psychotherapy.
7. What if I Want (or need) Medication, Do Psychologists Ever Work “Hand-In-Hand” With Psychiatrists?
Yes. In my own practice, I have a cadre of psychiatrists who I know, like and trust. I work collaboratively with a psychiatrist if I think that an evaluation for medication could be helpful, and/or, if the patient requests it.
8. Are All Psychoanalysts, Psychologists?
No. Not all psychoanalysts are psychologists. Licensed mental health professionals typically enter psychoanalytic training AFTER they have completed their graduate or medical degree. Psychoanalysts come from an array of disciplines; they are psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and social workers. Also, many psychoanalytic training programs admit a small number of academicians whose scholarly work dovetails with psychoanalytic theory. For example, some have a background in English literature, art history, philosophy, law or an array of other disciplines. Although these candidates do not participate in clinical practice, they add an exciting and stimulating dimension to classes.
9. As a Psychodynamic Psychologist, Do You Ever Collaborate With Cognitive-Behavior Therapists?
Yes. I think that both kinds of treatment can be helpful for different kinds of difficulties. My doctoral training emphasized family systems therapy, humanistic therapy (Rogerian) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a bit of psychodynamic therapy. I found that patients, or clients, derived a great deal of benefits from each of these interventions. However, I found the depth of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approaches to be useful. Therefore, about twenty years ago, I began psychoanalytic training. As is probably apparent, I have a healthy respect for all of these therapies. Each is useful under different circumstances. And, I’m not shy about collaborating with clinicians who practice these kinds of therapy when I feel it will be helpful to my patients. Here’s an example: A patient enters psychoanalysis because of an intense fear of intimacy. She is overweight and unhappy about it. As she begins to learn about herself she realizes that she uses her weight to keep a distance between herself and others. Now, she is ready to lose weight but uncertain how to proceed. As an adjuvant to her psychoanalysis, her psychologist refers her to a cognitive behavior therapist who uses behavior modification to help address her eating difficulties.
10. Where Do You Practice?
I practice full-time, in Washington DC (actually, technically, Chevy Chase, MD), one block from the Friendship Heights metro.
11. In Addition to Your Practice, As a Psychologist, What Are Your Other Professional Involvements In Washington, DC?
I am involved in the psychoanalytic and mental health communities in many ways. These include:
- I am a Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. That is, I supervise psychoanalysts-in-training. Also, I supervise within the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute’s, Psychoanalytic Studies Program (PSP)
- Also, I supervise other licensed, mental health professionals.
- I teach at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.
- I teach psychodynamic psychotherapy as well as other courses at Johns Hopkins University.
- I participate in ongoing study groups to refine my craft.
Outside of the Washington, DC, area, I present, at various psychoanalytic meetings.
12. Besides Psychodynamic (aka Psychoanalytic) Psychotherapy, Do You Apply Analytic Concepts In Any Other Arena?
Yes. I have been involved in applying psychoanalytic concepts to career counseling for many years. I’ve written on Understanding the role of the unconscious in career counseling and on Understanding the role of transference in career counseling. Also, I have been involved in consulting to independent school leaders on building healthy schools and organizational dynamics; I’ve published, and presented, extensively on this topic. I serve on the board of the McLean School of Maryland, a terrific school for both conventional learners and kids with learning differences.
13. I Live Outside of The Washington DC Area, How Can I Find a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist or a Psychoanalyst?
Here’s a list of psychoanalytic institutes in the United States. Call them and ask for their guidance. If you need a sliding scale, ask if they can help you find someone who works in this way.
Feel Free To Call For a Consultation
If you are interested in a consultation, feel free to call me at: 301.656.9650. Please streamline this process by making it easy for me to reach you. Leave your day and evening numbers and the time that it’s best to reach you. I welcome your call.
Psychologist Washington DC, Dr. Lynn Friedman
Dr. Lynn Friedman
5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
(1/2 block from the Red Line, Friendship Heights Metro)