Message from Dr. Helfgott

“Nothing risked, nothing gained.”

“Only once you give up trying to get what is unattainable can you finally begin to be happy with what you have.

I believe both of these statements to be truisms about life- simultaneously. Oftentimes, we are stuck following a pattern of life that is not getting us where we want to be. We feel stressed, depressed, hopeless, and lonely. We end up doing things we know are “stupid” and probably hurt us more. But we just can’t stop it!

Many people may even know why they are going through a tough time. However, they can’t figure out how to get themselves out of the rut. Our work together will aim to figure out what exactly is going on in your life, understand why these things are happening to you at this time, and learn how to gain a better sense of control over them.

Whether you’ve recently been snapping at your family and friends for no reason, or you had that bizarre panic attack before the meeting, you have been depressed ever since you got laid off and can’t get into the job search, or you have troubling thoughts or nightmares every night; or maybe you find yourself lonely despite being married, or you are taking care of a difficult parent or child and are frightened by what you almost did the other day, or maybe you were just diagnosed with a chronic or even terminal illness and don’t know what to make of your life anymore, or maybe you have outlived your friends or loved ones and don’t know what to do now… I can help.

For those of you whose doctor has already prescribed antidepressant medication, such as Lexapro or Zoloft, or maybe Xanax for out of control panic, you must realize that the medication will hopefully take the edge off your anxiety, or dull the pain and crippling effects of your despair. However, medication only addresses the biological component to your illness; it will not repair the relationships that have fallen apart while you were “going through a rough patch,” and it will not teach you how to avoid slipping back into the problematic behavior that got you into the problems in the first place. Unfortunately, an SSRI cannot dig deep enough to rebuild your sunken self-esteem and help you forgive yourself. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, aims to do just that.

In the safety and privacy of my office, you will have my unwavering attention, devoted to helping you untangle the mess that exists in your life. I urge you to take this relationship very seriously. Notwithstanding all the things that keep you busy and running around during the week, some rearrangement of your time might be necessary in order to fully participate in a course of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. However, you must look at therapy as a personal investment in a truly unique relationship that has no analogues anywhere else in life, one that can provide you with the possibility of achieving tremendous personal growth. You do make the special, almost “sanctified” allotment of time each week to focus on YOU and YOUR LIFE. This is not a selfish indulgence comparable to downing a bucket of ice cream or drowning yourself in vodka. This is a healthy and unflinchingly honest assessment and discussion of who you are, who you’ve been and who you want to be. When you look at the cost over the course of the year and consider the usually everlasting and lifelong changes that you make in yourself and in your relationships with others, you may begin to wonder why such an endeavor costs so little.

Consider the costs of many of the cosmetic, elective surgeries performed by the thousands everyday in the US. For less than half their costs, a treatment period of psychoanalytic psychotherapy can produce REAL, lifelong changes to your inner character, your sense of self and contentment, rather than how you look externally for merely the next handful of years. Would you rather have perfect sight through laser eye surgery, but be
just as miserable? Or would you rather be satisfied and experience a sense of personal pride and even happiness with obtaining true insight?

I provide a comfortable, relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere where, together, we will help you change what you thought was unchangeable but also accept what you thought you could never accept. Most real world problems don’t have easy solutions. In our work together, we can create a path, an understanding of you and your life which can give you the direction and strength you need.

I invite you to call me at 908.228.2740 and ask any questions you may have about therapy to see if you can benefit from it.

– Dr. David A. Helfgott