Christopher S. M. Grimes, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Missouri Licensed Psychologist

Individual Therapy

With What Can Psychotherapy Help Me?

Individuals seek psychotherapy for many different reasons, and Dr. Grimes has experience in helping people with a variety of concerns.  Often an individual enters therapy because of one or two troubling symptoms. Perhaps they are depressed and their lack of energy is affecting their occupational functioning or family life. Maybe the individual experiences intense anxiety in social interactions. Sometimes individuals seek therapy because they are having a difficult time getting along with their spouse, family members, or friends. Therapy is helpful for people who wish to break a pattern of addictive behavior. It also can be helpful when individuals experience symptoms which are not explained by physical causes such as changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, or muscle pain and tension. Other times individuals seek psychotherapy to help them understand and deal more effectively with life's challenges and transitions such a job changes, illness, family transitions, or the grief of losing someone dear to them.

Are You Living Life Well?

Dr. Grimes practices from an existential psychotherapy orientation. Existential psychotherapy is a form of depth-psychotherapy which places an emphesis on helping individuals achieve authenicity in living. (See the link below to Dr. Hoffman's article for more information on existential psychotherapy). A primary goal of all depth-psychotherapy is helping the individual gain insight and understanding. This includes guiding the individual to look deep within themselves (thus the use of the term depth) to examine their underlying thoughts and emotions related to themselves and others. While depth-psychotherapy is often longer term and requires a greater commitment from the client and therapist, it is also often, as Dr. James Bugental describes, "Life-Changing Psychotherapy". According to Bugental, life-changing psychotherapy challenges the individual to examine his/her answer to the basic questions life presents us: “Who and what am I?” and “What is this world in which I live?” While these are often not the topic of discussion around the water cooler at work, or the dinner table at home, these are questions we all ask and answer with our lives. Which leads to another basic question, “Am I living life well?” This question calls us to consider how satisfying the lifestyle and relationships we are maintaining truly are, and how they correspond to, among other things, our spiritual beliefs. Dissatisfaction with one’s life or lifestyle often leads to symptoms of depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties.

You Can Find Greater Satisfaction and Fulfillment

Depth-psychotherapy can help the individual explore and discover answers to these basic life questions through leading the individual to greater awareness of their underlying, and even sometimes unconscious, thoughts and feelings, which motivate their behavior. The goal of depth-psychotherapy is not just symptom reduction, the goal is creating life changing experiences as the individual gains understanding into their previous patterns of behavior and are able to make changes leading to a more authentic and more fulfilling life.

Depth-psychotherapy generally has a longer course of treatment than the "solution-focused" approaches. A depth-psychotherapy client may attend weekly or even bi-weekly therapy sessions for six months to one year or longer. Individuals need to weigh this and other factors before beginning a course of depth-psychotherapy. It is neither fair nor accurate for any type of therapy to claim to be “the best method,” but depth-psychotherapy is one method that many individuals have found helpful in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and/or relationship discord while helping them live a more authentic, fulfilling, and satisfying life.


More information

Dr. Louis Hoffman, a collegue of Dr. Grimes and fellow existential therapist, has written an excellent summary of existential psychotherapy. Take time to read his article: Existential Therapy: An Overview for Consumers

For more information on Depth-Psychotherapy visit: www.depth-psychotherapy-network.com

Always feel free to call and ask questions of Dr. Grimes. He is happy to speak with you, answer your questions, and provide you with futher resources.

Reference

Bugental, J. F. T. (1987). The art of the psychotherapist. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company.