Dawn Farber: Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist and Consultant
I am a long-established therapist, who has studied and worked within a wide range of orientations, before coming to psychoanalysis 25 years ago, and finding my home in it. In the 1970’s I became a therapist, after a two-year postgraduate program run by a Laingian Existential Analyst, and a Jungian therapist. I remained in Existential Analysis until moving to Northern California in 1982. I was simultaneously studying Gestalt therapy, both the focusing/meditative and the expressive forms, and was the Community Gestalt Therapist at Esalen Institute, 1978-79. I undertook a Jungian analysis for 7 years, and ultimately, around 1990, I discovered Psychoanalysis, and have never looked back.
All of these trainings and personal work I have done have been valuable, and all are part of the fabric of who I am, and therefore impact my psychoanalytic work, however subtly. My conscious orientation is multi-perspectival, and I am conversant with a wide array of contemporary models.
As an analyst, I strive to establish a unique, personal relationship with each and every patient, so that together we can achieve your goals. Far from “applying” another cookie-cutter technique, or one-size-fits-all method, we collaboratively create a very significant relationship that differs from all other intimate relationships in that the goal is to help you develop, so that you are able to end our work much better prepared to live your life than when you came in. We will both work to have the most truthful, interesting and growth-promoting conversations. Emotions are the source of all of our feeling and thinking, and emotions are the beacon of your personal truth; so some of our work will involve identifying them and exploring how they are influencing your thinking, for better and for worse. At times you may choose to bring in dreams, or artwork in any medium, or objects that carry significance for you, and we may use these to cue your deep analytic work.
Another strong thread in my fabric is my lifelong interest in Buddhism, which I have studied and practiced intermittently since adolescence, and whose values and ways of thinking about the universals of suffering and mortality remain invaluable to me. I am first and foremost a psychoanalyst, focused on our everyday emotions and relationships. But I am sensitive to the complementary work of psychotherapy and of (non-fundamentalist) forms of spiritual practice; and have worked successfully with the dangers of “spiritual bypass” with both students and teachers in several traditions.
I also have a personal interest in the political and social justice dimensions of the world in which we live; and this renders me quite attuned and sensitive when this is a feature of my patients’ preoccupations. Psychotherapy is not a venue for political activism per se, but our full humanity often includes the need to process our feelings and thoughts about this context in which we live, work, and create relationships.