Dr. Lichtman begins with a thorough patient assessment to identify the possible underlying causes of emotional, psychological, relationship and physical distress, including diet, drug and alcohol, exercise, and sleep habits. He recognizes the importance of taking the time to see each person as a unique individual and uses empathic listening to better understand a patient’s perspective, while looking for strengths and a capacity for resilience. Dr. Lichtman knows that each patient is more than a collection of symptoms and always considers the whole person when taking on a new patient. Dr. Lichtman provides prescriptions only in the context of psychotherapy and does not prescribe medications for individuals outside of his practice.
Dr. Lichtman’s main focus is on jointly developing an understanding of unconscious influences on behaviors at odds with the patient’s best interests, and on untangling destructive relationship patterns and the negative consequences that typically arise as a result. His approach to psychotherapy is primarily psychodynamic, which is based on the idea that people are predominately motivated by unrecognized wishes, dreams, fantasies, ideas and desires which exist subconsciously.
Therapy runs the gamut from a one-time consultation to weekly psychotherapy and up to five times per week psychoanalysis. The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual is a conceptual framework for Dr. Lichtman’s practice; it provides extensive information on mental functioning, personality development, and the subjective experience of symptoms. This additional perspective augments the symptom focused American Psychiatry Association framework described in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V).
“…we offer a diagnostic framework that characterizes an individual’s full range of functioning — the depth as well as the surface of emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, and social patterns. …(highlighting) the importance of considering who one is rather than what one has.”
Introduction to the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, Second Edition
Many patients have found working with Dr. Lichtman to be life changing and well worth the investment and the commitment required. Patients are often surprised to discover noticeable improvements in self-esteem, work performance, career development, as well as in their intimate relationships, that come with greater self-awareness and mindfulness.