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About

I am a former NASA scientist with advanced degrees in theoretical physics and clinical psychology. Over the last 15 years, I have found a way to bring mathematical logic and precision to psychotherapy while maintaining warmth, empathy, and a personal touch.

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Q&A

I love my job.
Imagine: a client comes to my office with a universe in his hands, plops it on the floor, unlocks the little door, and asks me to have a look because something doesn’t seem right and can you please help me figure it out? And my travels begin.
I have always loved to travel, but not for the sightseeing, architecture, or museums. What excites me most is realizing how different people’s lives can be: their ideas of what is normal and what is not, their expectations, their reactions, the amazing variety of the ways they feel, think, and interact. The more different worlds I see the richer I become, the more understanding, creative, and liberated I am.
I love my job because now I can travel without leaving my office.
How can I make sense of those inner personal universes? Which laws govern the worlds that reside under the cranium? What to compare them with? Which terminology to use? I need to be able to answer these questions if I want to help.
My daughter Adina wrote this little essay about a real event that happened years ago. I still consider it one of my best therapeutic interventions.

Jellyfish

I jealously watch my brother playing in the waves of the ocean. I am a ten year old at the beach, but my bathing suit is dry.
When I was little, I was afraid of everything. I had horrifying nightmares every night. I was afraid of the dark, and being alone, and spiders. And jellyfish.
At this particular beach, there were jellyfish everywhere. They were floating in the waves and getting washed up on the shore and flying above me in the sky in swarms, blocking out the sun.
My dad picked up one of the jellyfish from the shore and held it up to me, urging me to touch it. My arms remained firmly crossed over my dry bathing suit.
“What are you so afraid of?”
My dad thought for a moment.
“Maybe in your universe, they are scary beasts, thirsting for your blood?”
I nodded emphatically.
“But in my universe,” he continued, “ they are just tiny, squishy, pretty friends. Look how she’s gleaming in the sun. Isn’t it beautiful?”
He extended his non-jellyfishy hand to me.
“Come and live in my universe for a bit. Maybe you’ll like it.”

CUT TO: Young me, frolicking on the shore with the washed up creatures.
CUT TO: Young me, fawning over the alien beauty of the jellyfish in my palm.
CUT TO: Young me, joining my brother in the ocean.

That day, I learned that visiting other people’s universes helps put things into perspective. I haven’t had a nightmare since.
That day, I had stumbled upon the idea that would later make for the basis of my own understanding of how we think, feel, and understand each other. I have developed my intuitive insights into a theory and a method. Since then, I managed to help numerous people to understand and improve their lives in situations where every other approach failed.

Most of contemporary methodologies in psychotherapy lie on the line connecting Psychodynamic views introduced by Dr. Freud and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy originated from research of Dr. Beck. Psychodynamic therapy concerns itself with finding the cause of the specific underlying forces behind behaviour in the individual’s past and relies on . CBT, on the other side of the spectrum, focuses on concerns itself more with changing the outward behaviour and rational thinking and relies on through standardized training procedures, and practitioners of it typically do not attempt to figure out the underlying causes. It can be said that psychodynamics looks at the past, and the CBT is concerned solely with the present.

My approach to therapy, based on the theory I developed and tested over last decade called message-based psychology, falls outside of this spectrum. The goal of message based psychology puts the onus on communication that is of ultimate importance for such highly social beings as we are. Its focus is to figure out the purpose of the behaviour rather than the cause of it: instead of asking “Why?” we ask “What for?” Causes lie in the past that cannot be changed, and behavior lies in the present, whereas the goal of communication is to change the future.

The focus on communication, both verbal and emotion-based nonverbal, powerfully switches the paradigm, resulting in an effective and targeted form of therapy. It does not replace other forms of therapy that each have their areas of applicability, but it provides a new powerful tool with its own wide range of situations in which it is superior to other methods. We are the best working on relationships, including the one you have with yourself, as well as impulse control and emotional dysregulations such as uncontrolled anger and excessive guilt.