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My Approach

My approach to therapy is based on a careful, detailed and comprehensive assessment of you. I believe that you deserve a form of psychotherapy that is best suited to your specific needs.

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

Some people need a short-term therapy, which can last between 3 to 6 months. This kind of treatment is typically considered helpful for someone who is dealing with a temporary crisis, or an adjustment to a major life change. Short-term therapy also may be indicated to treat a specific type of phobia (e.g., fear of flying, fear of driving) that requires an intensive behavioral therapy, known as "exposure" therapy. Exposure therapy for specific phobias generally deals with the specific fear, rather than with other issues (e.g., relationship problems), and it tends to last between 8-16 sessions.

Other life problems, such as those relating to anxiety, depression, anger, or relationship conflicts, will likely require more time in therapy. The reason for this is that to most effectively help you, I need time to learn as much as I can about you so that I can best understand you and your current situation. Almost everyone would rather feel better sooner rather than later. My commitment to you is to do everything I can to help you feel better as soon as possible.

I have experience and I am fluent in many models of individual therapy, including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and behavior therapy. What does this mean? In the simplest terms, it means that I take into account the importance of your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings--those that you are aware of, and those that you may be unaware of.

In my many years of providing therapy, I feel that I have developed a refined sense for how to balance these approaches, based not on my needs, but on the needs of my patients.

My goal is to give you the best chance at making positive changes in your life, and to do this we need to be able to look into each of these areas of your outer and inner life. My approach involves giving you the space to discover solutions that make sense, while challenging you to try new ways of thinking, behaving and relating to others.

I give ongoing supportive feedback in an honest and constructive way, and I believe this personalized feedback can truly help you to make meaningful changes in your life and improve your relationships.

It's important to me that you feel your therapy is useful, so I will do my best to work with you to establish a clear direction that focuses on your progress as we go along. Whatever problems you're facing in your life, I am committed to supporting you to help you work through them.


COUPLES THERAPY (PRE-MARITAL, MARITAL)

My approach to working with couples is founded upon a highly effective model of therapy known as Structural Therapy. I also teach advanced courses and supervise doctoral and post-doctoral level students in this form of therapy.

Within this model, I work intensively with members of a couple to better understand and change maladaptive and dysfunctional patterns of communication. Very often, the way we communicate in our current relationships has been heavily influenced by how we learned to communicate when we were growing up. However, the therapy I engage in with couples does not dwell in the past. We discuss past patterns so they can help us understand what is going on today. Structural Therapy is not a therapy of blame, but it is one that helps each person understand and take responsibility for how things got to be the way they are (both the good and the bad), and to offer new ways of relating to offset negative patterns.

When couples make use of this form of therapy, they tend to feel less frustrated, resentful, and irritable. They more often report feeling that they can communicate their wants and needs more effectively in their relationship, which brings with it more satisfaction and happiness--emotionally and physically.

Whatever you are currently dealing with, it's important that we work together to decide upon the best course of action that suits you. My approach is not to tell you what to do, or to make important decisions for you. Rather, we will work together to establish a clear goal (or goals) for your therapy that make sense to you, which we can evaluate along the way to make sure that you're making progress.

If this approach makes sense to you, and if you decide you are ready to begin therapy, contact me at 718-579-5476 or at 212-410-9651 (ext.58) to arrange an initial appointment. During this session, I will ask you questions about yourself and your situation, and I will explain what you can expect from therapy with me. You will also have time to ask me questions. After our initial session, I will share with you my feedback, and together we will decide how we want to proceed.

Once we decide to begin therapy, we will agree upon a regular weekly appointment time that works for you. Early morning and evening appointment times are available.



Michael Fraser, PhD Therapist in New York Therapist

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