In psychodynamic psychotherapy, the therapist and the client create a relationship to relieve suffering, and to enhance the capacity for joy and authentic experiences.
We collaborate to identify and then address self-punishing and self-destructive thoughts and feelings. We examine the ways in which these patterns of mind lead to anxiety and isolation. Doing so allows the client to experience feelings that have often been pushed out of awareness for many years. Together, we discover the stories we tell ourselves, stories that may shield us from intimacy and in doing so keep joy at arm's length.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy encourages clients to weave new life-narratives. These new life-stories permit the client to embrace the wide array of emotions that are integral to any fully-lived life. When we let go of the fear of our own emotions, we can explore the world less hindered by our habitual processes that keep emotions and people at a distance.
Dr. Katzman has also been involved with improvisational theater and its applications in many formats, having studied this for over thirty years. Through improvisational theater, we develop our sense of spontaneity, access our imagination, and learn to collaborate in increasingly playful and productive ways.
Working with medical students, psychiatry residents, and experienced psychotherapists, he has learned how clinicians can use improvisation to unscript from their professional demeanor and bring authenticity to their role. At the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Jeff learned how improvisation can help scientists to deliver and explain the complex research they are doing. He and his team have replicated this work at the University of New Mexico. He has worked extensively with interdisciplinary leadership groups in hospital organizations, helping them to embrace the sense of spirit inherent in improvisational theater and to use that energy to solve complex problems in the workplace. Dr. Katzman has experienced—whether in an individual consultation setting or in retreat format—the delight of clients and patients considering and experiencing the process of improvisation as they moved beyond the traditional scripts that had come to define them since they were children.
Dr. Jeff Katzman has carried his investment in psychodynamic psychotherapy and applied improvisational theater into many interests, including parenthood, leadership and organization dynamics, as well as helping artists and writers to bring characters with psychological depth to life inside of robust fictional worlds. To learn more, listen to Jeff's writing partner, Dan O'Connor, explain Improvisational Theater and its Applications at this Ted Talk
Jeff's undergraduate degree is from Stanford; he earned his M.D. from the University of California at San Diego; he completed his Psychiatric Residency at UCLA. Currently he is a Professor and Vice Chair at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He has spent the past twenty years teaching psychiatry residents and medical students the importance of thinking from psychodynamic perspectives.