Xiang, a highly accomplished, workaholic psychiatrist, consults a psychoanalyst. He is a capable clinician with a robust DC-based practice. However, in the personal arena he’s had several disappointing relationships. Each of his girlfriends has broken up with him, asserting that he consistently prioritizes his work over their relationship.
He seeks out a psychoanalyst, saying, “my last girlfriend told me that ‘work was my other mistress’. I think that’s true. I know I need a more systematic, frequent, approach because I think that I use my work to avoid closeness”.
“For a few years, I was in twice a week therapy. I kept it pretty cerebral. But, eventually, I used work as an excuse to stop. I’m more serious now; I recognize that it isn’t the women; it’s about something inside of me. A colleague of mine with similar difficulties sought analysis. It really helped her but it was a ‘rough ride’; however, she fell in love and found her life mate. When she first told me she was entering psychoanalysis four or five days a week for several years, I thought she was crazy. That’s a really big commitment. But, now I see that it was worth it for her. I know that my journey will be difficult. I’ve walled off a lot of pain.”
“Also, some of my psychopharmacology patients, here in Washington DC, have found psychoanalysis to be really helpful. It seems like it is hard work and time-consuming. But, I think it might be worth the effort. I want to resolve these difficulties so that I can find a life partner and have a family. And when I use work to circumvent this treatment, I know I’m a workaholic psychiatrist and I hope you’ll call me on it.”
The analyst comments, “calling you on it – and, trying to understand what’s happening between us, maybe that’s a job we can share.”
“Yes, he agrees, Also, who knows, not only do I enjoy psychopharmacology, I like to doing psychodynamic psychotherapy at point maybe I will decide to pursue psychoanalytic training and even become a psychoanalyst at some point. Since you are a Training and Supervising Analyst, if I decide to enter training — I’ll already have a Training Analyst who has certification as a psychoanalyst.
This vignette, about a workaholic psychiatrist, is fictional but describes one of the kinds of patients who decide to enter psychoanalysis.
What are some examples of the kinds of people who benefit from psychoanalysis? In addition to workaholic psychiatrists, what other kinds of people seek psychoanalysis: Here are more vignettes. Please note: All of these vignettes are fictional but represent the kinds of people who seek psychoanalysis.
- Don, repeatedly chooses unavailable partners. Although he’s an accomplished, Washington, DC, based professional who purports to want a family.
- Paul, a very bright, lawyer, with an outstanding, academic pedigree, who is anxious and depressed.
- John, a junior partner, in a prestigious law firm who is suffering from “imposter syndrome”.
- Mariana, an Argentinian immigrant, and a newly tenured professor at a rigorous institution suffers. She suffers from “imposter syndrome“. Despite her major accomplishments she feels she did not deserve tenure.
- Tom, a successful executive who is very unhappy at his job despite significant promotions and good pay; he’s sought career counseling many times but has found it ineffective.
- Kim, a Vietnamese emigre, and professor, at a top Washington, DC, medical school, who is unhappy in her bi-cultural marriage. She attributes her marital difficulties to the “cultural divide”.
- Susan, a highly, successful doctoral student in a top-tier program who suffers from chronic anxiety and self-doubt.
Why do people seek psychoanalysis?
What kinds of people benefit from psychoanalysis?
Why seek psychoanalysis with a Training and Supervising Analyst?
If you are considering psychoanalysis with me, feel free to call, text or email me: 240.483.3530, drlynnfriedman(at)gmail.com. Please provide your name and contact information. Because of a concern about confidentiality please do not provide personal information via text or email. I look forward to hearing from you.