Home PageAbout Jim CarpenterMy PracticeClinical PsychologyPsychotherapyFrequently Asked Questions

General Approach

I have an eclectic approach to treatment in that I bring together a very broad array of experience, theories, and techniques to try to find the most useful approach I can to a given situation.  If asked to pick a single characterization of my approach, I usually say that I am an Existential Psychotherapist.  By that I mean that I think of each person as unique and whole, and in his or her essence, healthy, sane and valuable.  Diagnostic categories are not particularly meaningful to me, although I can speak that language if the situation requires it.  It seems to me that someone consulting a psychologist is bringing in a predicament that has resulted from particular ways of living in particular situations, not really some psychiatric disease (although each of us does certainly inherit a temperament).  He or she has often been hurt in some important ways in the past, and the ways in which these injuries were coped with have led to later problems.  What is needed is an appreciation of the predicament, a deep understanding of the ways of living, and helpful new thoughts about the situations.  The good therapist should orchestrate a wide array of theories and techniques in trying to develop a helpful relationship, and that is what I try to do.