At The DiMele Center for Psychotherapy we
look for the most effective treatment modality for each specific disorder.
Intense-Feeling Psychotherapy (IFP) is a dynamic treatment process that
is effective for relieving most forms of depression.
Most conventional psychotherapy is based on an analytical model of interpretation, support, and acceptance. This has value, however it is a passive process, and it tends to rely on conversations about, rather than the experience of, the painful emotions that are masked by depression. In addition, psychotherapy often has, as its goal, greater control over one’s emotions, however controlling emotions, is often what created the depression in the first place. The client learned, as a child, that his or her emotions were not acceptable to those in charge therefore adapting a strategy of repression and depression in order to survive.
Intellectual insight is rarely sufficient
for real change, because it depends on a thinking, rather than a feeling, process.
In order to reverse depressive strategies, a person must learn to feel emotions
rather than just engage in thinking about them. Depressed people tend
to be obsessive thinkers already, since that very thinking is how they control
feelings. For them, the more effective route is a form of psychotherapy that
focuses on the actual experience of repressed emotions.
The Intense-Feeling psychotherapist is skilled at evoking the full range and depth of the emotional spectrum. The client is gently guided through a series of dynamic processes that bring him or her directly in contact with his or her blocked emotions.. Feelings that are buried behind the mask of depression are encouraged to manifest during the therapeutic session. This alone brings great relief. Feeling these emotions also becomes a gateway to memories associated with earlier emotional pain and repression. The purpose of the process is to purge the unconscious of all fear related to the natural flow of emotions. This effectively eliminates the need for depression.
Sometimes the emergence of repressed feelings is very intense. This is because there are specific painful memories associated with the original shutting off of the feelings. This intensity must be allowed full expression if a true healing is to take place. Within a short time, the overload that comes from years of repression, diminishes. Feelings are experienced fluidly and run their natural course without any need for overreaction or repression.
The therapist's primary role is
to give the clients the tools to do the process themselves. This eliminates
dependency on the therapist and shortens the process significantly. The
therapist also provides a safe environment that encourages the client to go
to the deepest recesses of their mind and challenge any felt sense of avoidance
or resistance. To the Intense-Feeling therapist, no emotion is frightening
ABOUT THE THERAPIST AND THE SETTING
In order to deal with this intensity the therapist must have explored her or his own emotions in depth. Otherwise there is an unconscious tendency to stop the client's exploration because the intensity tends to trigger the therapist's own repressed feelings. Most therapists tend to limit their client's emotional exploration. In conventional psychotherapy, this is done by encouraging discussions about, rather than encouraging the experience of, deeper emotions. This is further reinforced by the fact that most therapists do not have adequately sound-proofed offices. The client’s expression of emotion is limited to what is an acceptable noise level to the neighbors.
Offices for psychotherapy should
be constructed with the aid of sound studio engineers to insure the client the
freedom to explore at whatever sound level is necessary, and at the same time
to protect the client’s privacy. Practicing psychotherapy from a therapist's
apartment/residence, where neighbors have to be considered, seems alien to a
true growth process. A person needs safety to delve into the pain of the past.
ROOTS & ORIGINS
The Intense-Feeling process,
as practiced at The DiMele Center is a synthesis of Bioenergetics, Gestalt and
Primal therapy and the work and research of Armand DiMele, Dr. Peter Hogan and
the mental health professionals who were part of The Institute for the
Study of the Dynamic/Affective Psychotherapies. There are four IFP therapists,
each with a minimum of ten years experience, at The DiMele Center. The therapists
who use other disciplines are also familiar with the tools of IFP and frequently
incorporate them in their own approach.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Conventional psychotherapy usually takes an average of seven years to yield improvement. IFP is dynamic, fast and immediately rewarding. Ideally a client is seen twice each week for the first six weeks and then once each week after that. The average length of treatment is thirteen months. Within six sessions, however, a person will be able to determine the benefits of this treatment. The criterion is simply that the client feels better, freer, more alive and spontaneous.
In a relatively short time, the
Intense-Feeling Process retrains the system to permit feelings to run their
natural course. It is an active rather than a passive process of psychotherapy.
Client’s are taught how to gain freer access to their feelings and encouraged
to practice what they learn in everyday life. As painful as it might be to explore
past trauma, the client is highly motivated by felt and noticeable changes.
Life becomes filled with color rather than grayness, joy rather than dullness.
“This is a great tool for growth...not for everyone. It takes courage and dedication but when it works, it’s amazing! I've seen the positive results with hundreds of people and it's a true pleasure to watch their natural beauty unfold .....in some instances for the very first time.”