Home Frequently Asked Questions Education and Training
Professional Activities Services and Fees Location and Directions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is my orientation as a psychotherapist?
I work psychodynamically, meaning I hold that so much of why we do and feel as we do is unknown. Thus by focusing on emotions, I seek with my clients to uncover their particular meanings. This approach can lead to greater self awareness and opportunities for increased freedom and choice.

What is psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is an opportunity to work with clients more intensely, thus sessions are three or four times a week. Feelings and their meanings are explored and an understanding of how and why we act as we do becomes more clear. A greater sense of expansiveness, freedom and agency are possible outcomes. There are many theories of psychoanalysis. I follow a theory called Intersubjective Systems Theory (IST). It focuses on: the importance of understanding the client's subjective experience, on the importance of early attachments in one's life and the significance of the particular circumstances surrounding each experience.

How do I work with spirituality?
I believe in respecting my clients' perspective on spirituality, for it is a highly personal matter. For some clients, their spirituality is central to their lives and it becomes part of our dialogue rather easily. For others, spirituality does not emerge as a consideration. I would welcome addressing this area of my clients' lives but I leave it to them to invite such a discussion.

Are you affiliated with any HIV/AIDS organizations?
I have worked with individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In association with Aids Project Los Angeles(APLA), I have co-facilitated support groups and worked with individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS through its Pacific Center program. I am an advocate for HIV/AIDS issues. I am proud to report that with the help of the APLA's research division, I convinced a major organization to change its illegal policy to comply with the anti-discrimination laws regarding HIV/AIDS.

How is it you came to specialize in Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar disorders?
This came about in two ways. First of all, I had a family member who suffered from Schizophrenia, and I came to understand from the position of a relative how it can affect both the person with the disease and those connected to her. Secondly, I worked at Augustus Hawkins, the psychiatric division of Martin Luther King Hospital, for six years. My specific assignment was as a clinical social worker on a locked ward. The majority of the patients were diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Bi-Polar disorder. I loved the work. While it was easy to focus on their disruptive behavior, I also did not lose sight of the fact that each person, no matter what the illness, had a story to be understood, and was a person to be valued.
© Copyright 2009-2011 Sally Cassidy, All Rights Reserved For more information, please contact me