Dr Patricia Hunter is a psychologist and psychoanalyst.
She can help you feel more alive, more connected, and less alone with yourself and your feelings. She treats anxiety, depression, and relationship issues in her private practice on zoom and in Manhattan. She thinks that most survivors of trauma of one kind or another, have learned to stifle their feelings, to go along to get along. Anxiety, panic, and despair are also common side effects. She knows that some survivors of tough times growing up, even brag about building walls, as if that's a good thing, as if they feel strong and defended, protected. She gets it, protection is good, but she also thinks it's tragic, because over time they can actually lose the ability to feel, and become numb. This is where alcohol, overwork, netflix, video games, imitating others, and other distractions come in as substitutes. These activities provide an illusion, they aren't real. They let us hide from who we truly are and what we really want.
You could also feel overwhelmed or flooded by your feelings.Do you panic at odd things, run from intimacy, ruminate about each mistake, put yourself down for not measuring up? Feeling too little or too much, is YOUR opportunity. It means you are still alive, and in need of learning better ways to take care of yourself. Great therapy can help you jumpstart the process of feeling, in a deeper, and more balanced and life sustaining way. It can help you become more confident, maybe even charismatic, steadier. You can finally rely on your own inner compass, rather than searching outside yourself for someone or something to follow. Wouldn't it be great to trust your own judgment, your own instincts, MORE of the time? Emotional habits developed in childhood don't have to last forever. Numbing feelings, hiding from ourselves, and feeling flooded, can eventually lead to emotional burnout or overwhelm, even psychic deadness. Don't let that happen to you. Life is too short and precious to waste.
Dr Hunter is also interested in working with people concerned about their aging process. She feels strongly that aging is not a disease, but instead an accomplishment. Feeling all our feelings about becoming older, while holding an image of who we want to be now, in the present, is a way to stay vital, youthful, fun and beautiful.
Dr Hunter originally trained with Dr Albert Eillis in CBT. Their book about finances: WHY AM I ALWAYS BROKE: HOW TO BE SANE ABOUT MONEY was published in several languages. She then earned a certificate in psychoanalysis, and a postdoc in Family and Couples Therapy at the NYU Postdoctoral Institute in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She currently teaches Object Relations to the brilliant psychoanalytic candidates at the Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis. Highly skilled in IFS (Internal Family Systems) as well as EMDR, Dr Hunter believes this combination of experiences has prepared her for her mission of helping people make their dreams come true.
Speaking of dreams, Dr Hunter believes that what we dream when we are sleeping is important information too, She encourages her patients to remember their dreams, and to talk about them in session. She believes that dreams tell us about hidden parts of ourselves that operate beyond our awareness, so that we can know ourselves better, appreciate how incredibly complex we are, and have more compassion for ourselves. It goes without saying that this helps us, ideally, to have more compassion for the people around us as well. She truly believes 'we are all connected.'
Dr Hunter believes that therapy is team work. She will ask you how you feel about the sessions, what seems to be working, what might be turning you off, what can be done to improve the process, what you might want more of, or less of, and always, what is just right? She will encourage you to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments. Therapy is not only about pain and suffering, although that is often what motivates people to go to therapy in the first place. Therapy is also about growth and development, and ways of accelerating both. Time heals all, eventually, but on the other hand, do you really want to keep waiting, when you might be able to speed up the process a little? Self discovery can be a real thrill; learning to be more creative in life can become a habit.
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“While many of us work hard to earn the right to be comfortable and avoid challenge in later adulthood, this strategy runs the risk of sending our brains the message that they no longer need to keep growing this is the worst message you can give to an organ of adaptation.”
People can get down on themselves as they age, and develop bad habits that become ingrained. Self-statements like "I am no longer attractive" - "I have no memory anymore" - "It's hell to get old."- "I am no longer sexy"- "I have nothing to look forward to but death." can start out a little bit at a time and build on themselves until you become them! And this is unnecessary in this day and age of modern medical miracles. These statements can be modified by speaking with someone who 'gets' you, and eventually helps you, to understand yourself. Dream work and EMDR can awaken your mind, and your unconscious can begin to dream new dreams and become more supple, more creative, more energized. Yes it's true that we slow down a little as we age, and I am not suggesting we stop the process, but rather grow and flourish through it. How we think about ourselves make a gigantic difference in how we conduct our lives. Let's help you to develop new ways of thinking, and behaving, that empower you and help you master your environment, rather than letting the negative prejudices undermine your attitude. In doing so you can transform your present and future, whether it involves days, years, or decades.