Faith Szalay, Psy.D

Approach to treatment

What is Therapy?

Therapy is a collaborative process in which we co-create an environment in which ways of being in the world can be revisited.  It affords us a space in which we can safely reevaluate which dynamics are working in our lives.  While we sometimes know what might intellectually help us, it can be difficult to face different parts of ourselves, or change our patterns.  I help people gain insight into their lives.  In addition, I also provide a space and environment in which we can experience new options.  Together, we will identify old coping mechanisms which may no longer be working.  For example, perhaps being shy or retiring once served a purpose, but now it leaves you isolated and lonely.  We get to explore how this coping helped you, as well as how it is impinging upon your life.  Then, we can also consciously begin to shift old patterns of behavior to uncover the possibility of new and healthier choices.

How does it work?

My approach to therapy emphasizes a collaborative exploration of the client's past and present issues and relationships, yielding insight, empowerment, and the promise of a more fulfilling life.  I believe that therapy is most powerful when insights arise from within, driven by a quest for understanding guided by an experienced, caring, and perceptive therapist.  In an atmosphere of empathy, respect, compassion and a strong belief in the human ability for healing, we can, with safety, revisit and understand significant events from your past from a new perspective.  Together we begin to recognize, address and move beyond the sometimes destructive templates created by past experiences.  Through this approach and the relationship established in psychotherapy, healthier solutions may be realized and lead to real life changes. 

What is the difference between a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, MFT and LCSW?

There are important differences between psychologists, psychiatrists, MFTs and LCSWs.  Psychologists usually undergo four to seven years of graduate training, and obtain a doctorate in their field.  Psychologists are trained to understand human behavior in a multi-faceted and integrated way.  We sometimes perform psychological testing; we are trained in the scientific evalutaion of clinical data.  Psychologists with a doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D's) focus on psychotherapy, the therapist-client relationship and the clinical experience.  This is my specialty.  Psychologists with a doctorate in psychology (Ph.D's) may also have a clinical practice and their educational background might have emphasized research.

I chose to pursue a Psy.D because my focus has always been on having a clinical practice and helping people overcome issues that hold them back.  Accordingly, in addition to thousands of hours with clients, I received hundreds of hours of intensive training and guidance from experienced clinical psychologists before obtaining my license to become a therapist.

Other mental health care professionals include psychiatrists, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT's) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW's).  Psychiatrists go to medical school and then receive additional training in the treatment of mental disorders.  Many psychiatrists use the medical model to understand human behavior.  Their fees tend to be higher than those of psychologists.  MFT's and LCSW's usually have about two years of post-graduate training and receive a master's degree.



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