Abintra Psychological Associates, LLC

FAQ
What is "Abintra?"


Abintra is a Latin word that means "emanating from within."  We chose this word to name our practice because we believe that the changes people make during their participation in psychotherapy comes from within them.  While we serve as guides to help people become aware of their specific roadblocks to achieving good mental health, we believe that the people we serve ultimately do the hard work and make the changes necessary to improve their quality of life.


What is a Psychologist?


A psycholgoist is a licensed healthcare professional who has earned a doctoral degree in psychology.  A psychologist might hold a docotral degree of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Psychology (Psy.D.), or Education (Ed.D).  The focus of these degrees is different, with a Ph.D. focusing on "scientist-practitioner" training, a Psy.D. focusing on practice, and an Ed.D. focusing on the assessment and treatment of school-related difficulties.  Psychologists do not earn their doctoral degrees at medical school, like psychiatrists do, but train in university or professional school settings.  After earning a doctoral degree, psychologists then receive additional clinical training before becoming licensed.  In Wyoming, psychologists must also earn 30 additional hours of continuing education every two years.


What will our first meeting be like?


Before we begin, you will need to complete some intake forms.  You can download these from this website and fill them out before you come to our first meeting, or you an fill them out in person.  For patients seeking treatment, we will spend an hour or two asking lots of questions about your background, your current struggles, what you've done to cope so far, and what you hope to gain from treatment.  We will discuss some first impressions of the problem and what treatment, if any, is recommended.  If the treatment will be provided to a child, one hour is often spent with the parent/guardian to gather information, and an hour is spent with the child to grasp the child's perspective.  For patients seeking evaluations, we will spend an hour or so discussing the evaluation, your background, and your current struggles.  Your psychologist will then administer some psychological tests.  In some situations, the entire testing process can be completed in one session.  In others, you will need to return for additional testing.

How long will it take to "fix" my problems?


For many reasons, this is difficult to answer.  The length of any course of psychotherapy depends on the needs of the individual seeking treatment.  Some people enter treatment with a specific difficulty or problem to be solved.  Under these circumstances, specific goals are established and treatment is completed when the goals are met.  Often, in such situations, treatment can potentially end in eight (8) or ten (10) sessions.

Other individuals choose lengthier treatments either due to complexities in their life situations or due to a desire for more intensive self-exploration.  Longer treatments, in addition to greater strides in symptom alleviation, self-understanding, and increases in life satisfaction, also tend to result in the learning of a process of listening to and understanding oneself that can be applied on one's own and can lead to therapeutic gains even outside of psychotherapy.  Regardless of the circumstances under which an individual enters treatment, the decision about the length of psychotherapeutic treatment is made by the individual in treatment with the assistance of his or her psychologist.

Isn't psychodynamic psychotherapy an unscientific relic of the past?


The short answer is no.  Psychologists are trained as scientist-practitioners, and we rely on research and clinical data to inform our conclusions and decisions.  Although you may have heard more in the media about cognitive-behavioral therapy, there is actually a solid research base supporting psychodynamic therapy as an effective form of treatment.  For example, a recent article in the American Psychologist (the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychological Association) cited a number of methodologically-rigorous studies done between 1995 and 2009 that found psychodynamic therapy to be as effective, or more effective, than other forms of treatment.  The most interesting finding was that patients who received psychodynamic therapy not only maintained their treatment gains, they also continued to improve for years after treatment ended.

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