In psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the patient is expected to freely verbalize thoughts and feelings to examine the present and re-examine the past. In the process, the patient is guided towards greater self-awareness and understanding, and his/her capacity to deal with painful psychic conflict is bolstered alongside. This insight oriented approach, though a relatively long process, results in the removal of symptoms and unlike other types of therapy, brings about a more lasting change. This method of psychotherapy, which people often confuse with other ‘talking cures’, is grounded in a rigorous theoretical and empirical understanding of the working of the psyche that is being further validated through recent breakthroughs in neurobiology and cognitive science. A shorter version, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy, is used when the focus is on a very specific problem that is the cause of psychological distress. This is most useful when the problem is related to recent stressful life circumstances allowing for a narrow focus and when the patient has the capacity to tolerate rapid engagement and confrontation, working through, and disengagement from the treatment process.
2. Psychoanalytic Play Therapy for Children
Children have difficulty in verbalizing and understanding their internal conflicts, and the emotional turbulence they are passing through gets expressed as inappropriate behaviour that gets labelled as psychopathology. But they can communicate internal material using the symbolic language of play and psychodynamic play therapy recognizes and understands this language. It is used to bring to the fore the internal conflicts of the child and the psychological problems are resolved through verbal and non-verbal interactions. More often than not, children with certain psychosomatic illnesses inadvertently get involved in the conflicts of their parents and families. Conflicts in the parental unit trigger stress and symptoms in the child, and a typical sequence of interactions recurs in the family. The child’s symptoms may then become the focus of concern for the parents diverting the attention from the root problems – thus the child’s symptoms are both a reaction and solution to stress. Since the child can only be fully helped by breaking this unhealthy pattern of interactions within the family, parental counselling sessions also become an integral part of child psychotherapy.
3. Family Therapy
The fundamental assumption of psychoanalytically oriented Family Therapy is that disturbed psychological functioning is not limited to a single individual – it reflects the disturbed interactions between persons who have significant relationships with each other. Psychological disturbance most likely originates during childhood as a result of participation in dysfunctional patterns of parent-parent and child-parent interactions. These dysfunctional patterns persist into adulthood through the continuing influence of the family of origin in the new relationships established. The patterns of interaction, if potentially destructive to the family unit, are the primary target within the therapeutic setting. The emphasis is on the here and now of the family pattern that currently acts to sustain the existing problem. The goal of family therapy is not to change the individual per se but to set right the system of relationships in which the individual is involved. Changing the interpersonal context can then also bring about individual change.
4. Couples and Marital Therapy
Couples or Marital Therapy is similar to family therapy except for the fact that it is confined to one generation of adults, whereas family therapy deals with two generations [parents and children] and sometimes three [including grandparents]. Couples therapy is quite effective in marital conflicts arising due to sexual dysfunction, infidelity, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Psychoanalytic orientation allows the therapist to look at the underlying dynamics and sexual dysfunction may only be one of several significant components of the disturbed interpersonal system. Similarly, in cases of alcohol and drug abuse, the spouse may inadvertently play a role that reinforces addictive behaviour and hence, involvement of the spouse becomes crucial for a successful outcome. Conventional methods of treatment of domestic violence focus on the victims of abuse and the perpetrators of violence are considered to be resistant to change. But Couples Therapy is successful in inducing individuals to enter treatment voluntarily and in bringing the violent interactions to an end. The therapist can help the couple unmask the complex dynamics of a seemingly simple dispute. Marital conflicts arise because the partners adopt polarized positions and become ensnared in a repetitive sequence of interactions that does not allow them to experience or choose alternative ways of responding. Couples Therapy helps the couple get out of this tedious and unhealthy pattern, and helps them recognize and explore together the immense potential, or its absence, in their relationship.
Family therapy and Couples therapy can also be successfully used to treat psychotic and affective illnesses that do not respond to traditional approaches since patients living in stressful family situations are prone to frequent relapses despite carefully monitored drug therapy. Involving the families of patients with schizophrenia frequently reduces the frequency of psychotic episodes and the need for re-hospitalization. It also increases treatment compliance in cases of serious and chronic medical illnesses.
Dr. Mamta Shah, Ph.D.(email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Areas: Psychoanalytical psychotherapy, psychoanalysis for adults-couples-adolescents-children, psychological testing for children
Dr Mamta Shah, Ph.D., received her doctorate at the Maharaja Sayajirao University (Baroda, Gujarat) in Clinical Psychology with graduate training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and additional qualifications in psychological and psychometric testing, the treatment of autism and learning disability. She worked with the Harrow Learning Disability Team in London for two years providing clinical, training and research services. She works at Antarnad Foundation as faculty at the Institute of Psychotherapy. She has a particular interest in the unconscious dynamics of individual and organisational systems. She has experience with adult, adolescent and child work for the past 16 years. She practices psychoanalytic psychotherapy, play therapy, couples and family therapy. She has also been staff/consultant at group relations conferences (working conference) held by Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad. A global citizen, she has lived in Malaysia, Singapore, USA, UK and North India, but never in the Southern Indian subcontinent and the South American continent for which she makes up by pursuing her interests in Bharatnatyam and Salsa.
Natasha Weir(email: email@example.com)
Areas: Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy for adults, children and adolescents and Special Educator
Natasha's exposure to people and places, during her growing years, as an Air Force daughter have contributed greatly to her perspective on the world today. It was this, combined with a strong sense of empathy that initially drew her to study Psychology. Today, she uses this unique skill set together with her own life experiences, to assist others in creating a healthy psychological framework to help them navigate through the complexities of modern day life.
Natasha is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, Psychologist and Special Educator (SLD). As an alumni of Antarnad Foundation she has gone through rigorous in-house training as well as supervised sessions by Psychoanalysts from around the country. She went on to practice Individual Therapy with adults and adolescents and Play Therapy with children. During the course of her 7 year career she has also conducted Parents Counselling workshops/ sessions with a view to create awareness and openness about mental health.
Purvi Kamdar(email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Purvi is a certified Integrated Clinical Hypnotherapist and has also done MA in Psychology. She is a Therapist and Counselor and has been practicing Clinical Hypnotherapy and alternative healing through which she empowers people in various areas of their life by clearing emotional, mental and physical blocks, and guiding them in their spiritual growth. She also does Inner Child Healing and Emotional Freedom Technique Healing. She is a Tarot – Angel Card Reader and Reiki healer also. She has also done various certificate courses in ‘Perspective in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy’, ‘Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy’, ‘Psychoanalytic Case Formulation’ and is also pursuing the 3 year graduate course of ‘Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy’ from Antarnad Foundation. She is a certified facilitator for ‘Foundation Level of Integrated Clinical Hypnotherapy’ and conducts various workshops. She had done her M.com and Chartered Accountancy and in the past she was involved in her Family's Automobile business for almost 7 years after which she turned to the world of Healing and Counseling where her true passion lies. She enjoys reading, painting, dancing, fitness activities, listening to music, mindfulness meditation, healing activities, etc.
Dr. Shyamsundar Kotagal, M.B.A., Psy. D.(email: email@example.com)
Areas: Psychoanalytical psychotherapy with adults, clinical supervision for students/therapists.
Dr. Shyamsundar has extensive experience as a Clinician-Administrator in the US and as Human Resources professional (Training and OD) in India. He got his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from the California Institute of Integral Studies (http://www.ciis.edu/academics/graduate-programs/clinical-psychology) in San Francisco, USA and completed his pre-doctoral training at the prestigious, APA accredited, National Asian American Psychology Training Center (http://ramsinc.org/naaptc.html) well known for its psychodynamic/psychoanalytic training and emphasis on cultural competency in working with diverse patient populations. He completed his post-doctoral training at the CAAP Counseling & Pre-vocational Services program (http://ramsinc.org/caap.html). He later became a Clinical Supervisor and the Program Director of the same clinic till his recent relocation to India. He is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of California (USA) since 2009.
Shyam's specialty is working with difficult-to-engage patients with multiple diagnoses including complex trauma and substance use disorders, personality disorders, and the LGBTQ population. He has also supervised and trained a wide range of clinical staff like - peer counselors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, outreach workers / case managers and master's & doctoral level clinicians.
Shyam speaks Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati and a little bit of Marathi and Tamil, as well.
To make an appointment for psychiatric and psychotherapeutic consultation, please contact:
Dr. Shyamsundar Kotagal
Dean of training(Academic and Clinical)