Psychotherapy & Personal Growth
Dave Cooperberg, MFT12549, CGP
                                                  HOW I WORK

    By PSYCHOTHERAPY I mean that we focus on you in a way that not only aims to alleviate your immediate struggles or suffering, but to better understand how these came about. Learning how we got stuck, can help us learn to avoid getting stuck in similar ways in the future.

   By PERSONAL GROWTH I mean aspects of our work that are not focused on a particular problem or diagnosis. Dissatisfaction can come not only from something going wrong in your life, but from wanting something more or different. Learn to become more who and how you want to be.

    SPIRITUALITY is a word that means different things to different people. For simplicity, in terms of our work, I use it to refer to the aspects of life that lend meaning to our lives that go beyond our immediate, self oriented needs and wishes. It seems to naturally arises from becoming more open, conscious, and appreciative of our existence and the world and people around us. Most of our work tends to lead here, whether or not it becomes addressed as such, and whether or not there is any religious aspects to it.


    I offer individual, couples and group work. Currently I am not offering any groups. In the past I have also led theme driven workshops on topics such as Relationships (separately for individuals & couples), Self-Hypnosis and Dream work. I am also available to consult with groups.


    Mostly the media represents psychotherapy for entertainments sake; it is designed to elicit humor and/ or drama. While real sessions can be quite lively, dramatic and at times humorous, they can also feel heavy and stuck. Like most things in life, the pace and intensity varies. Even the silence in sessions can be quite powerful if worked well.
     Psychotherapy used to be called 'the talking cure.' That still remains the heart of it. There is a safety created by agreeing to verbalize what feelings and thoughts are coming up, instead of acting them out. Learning to express anger, fear, lust and love is easier (and safer) with the understanding that there won't be any violence or inappropriate actions.

     Most of the time we just talk. Really. Of course this isn't just a random conversation; it is a guided, focused discussion. Our words may have a strong emotional charge, or be soft and quiet, or even silly and playful. At other times, with guidance, you may do a role play, having dialogs with significant others in your life or even conflicting aspects of yourself. We may do guided imagery or hypnotic work where you relax in a special way in order to access difficult memories or work to change difficult habits. 
     The sessions evolve from our interactions without a preset formula. You are free to bring up whatever concerns you. Sometimes I will initiate discussions. It is also important to talk about any feelings that come up between us.

     In couples work, your relationship is the primary client. Therefore the major focus is on how the couple relates to one another, how you do and don't communicate. While working through whatever issues bring you in, we will also learn and practice communications skills.
     Disagreements are inevitable in all relationships. Learn how to negotiate them so everyone gets heard and the needs of each partner are taken into account. With professional guidance you get the opportunity to practice and improve your communication skills around difficult issues.
     Affirmation is also important in relationships. In long-term relationships people too often forget to tell their partners what they appreciate about them. Sometimes you need to learn how to do so in a way that your partner can hear. Couples work is not only about fixing what seems wrong, but also developing what feels right for your relationship.

     Group work incorporates elements of both individual and relationship work. Like individual work, members explore how they feel about themselves and the issues that make them feel stuck.
Understanding ourselves better, we become better at saying 'no,' 'yes,' and 'I care,' to others. As in relationship work, we also explore how we hear and don't hear one another when we try to communicate.
     So, while we discuss 'issues,' we also focus on how we understand each another in the group itself. We learn to become more authentic with one another. We get to hear and see how others perceive us. When what we think we are saying and what others are hearing differs, we have a valuable (if sometimes difficult!) learning opportunity. We can take the time to correct impressions and apologize if needed.
through improving how we communicate in the group, we learn how to do it better elsewhere in our lives. After all much of our lives is spent living and communicating in a variety of group settings.


Dave Cooperberg, MA, CGP, MFT12549

(415) 431-3220

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