How to determine a candidate for successful in-office treatment
At the IIGP, we attempt to help patients change in fundamental ways by working with their underlying illnesses. The relationship between patient and therapist is critical; we have to get them involved with us — similar to their experience with their original caretakers. It isn’t just one “thinking brain” to another “thinking brain.”
The therapy must be able to stimulate all types of old feelings (fear, pain, sadness, love) that we experienced — and became recorded — in our “emotional” brains early in life. But it’s not enough to just trigger a lot of these old reactions because that would simply be like salt in the wound.
Something has to go beyond that. There must be a corrective emotional experience that occurs. When a person’s strong intense emotional reactions are juxtaposed with their knowledge of reality, the feelings start to lose their grip on a person’s life. This requires that a person be able to see the reality in the midst of strong feelings: “I feel scared, yet I know there is no danger here.” Then the person has to be willing to take a step forward in spite of the irrational fear.
Because the patient needs to commit to not acting out when the feelings get strong, there are certain disorders that are not conducive to in-office therapy. For example, people with psychotic disorders and sociopathic disorders, and people with poor impulse control would be hard to treat in the office.
In-office treatment can help with issues including anxiety disorders, panic disorders, depression, relationship problems and eating disorders, as long as the patient has enough health to not live impulsively and can develop a trusting relationship with their therapist.