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Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)

I am a practitioner of ISTDP ( Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy). This method of work developed by Dr. Habib Davanloo is a scientifically validated approach which addresses core psychological problems through intensive active engagement and close obserervation in the moment. Unlike many types of therapy, ISTDP does not feature a “talk it out” approach but instead offers a precise observation of minute to minute interactions and internal experiences. Through this method we are able to rapidly come to a deep understanding of your patterns of relating to yourself and your feelings. Sometimes my clients are surprised by how radically different my style is from other forms of therapy.

ISTDP  considers broken or disrupted early attachment bonds, the painful feelings attendant to these breaks and the methods we employ to avoid facing these feelings as the underlying cause of adult psychoneuroses. The work involves paying close attention to the ways feelings are avoided and interrupting the habitual cycle so that buried emotions can be experienced in session and integrated in a healthier manner.

We develop coping mechanisms when we are young. In time, the ways we found to protect ourselves in childhood often become like an outgrown overcoat–more of a hindrance than a protection in our present reality. Because these mechanisms are unconscious, we need to investigate to clarify how they operate and to assess if they have become outmoded and no longer useful.

Once it is clear that mechanisms have been outgrown and are getting in the way, they are often spontaneously discarded like an old coat that is taking up space but not keeping us warm any more. What a relief! The result is a sense of freedom and vitality that allows for healthy engagement with life freed from crippling defenses and anxiety.

This method requires that you and I both put 100% effort toward achieving your goals. Therapy is hard work and requires willingness and courage. I have the energy, compassion and skills to assist you to overcome blocks to becoming the person you can be. I can help to mobilize the healthy part of you toward liberation from the tyranny of your self punitive mechanisms. Together we can make a difference in your life.  Life is short and I endeavor to work as swiftly as possible toward your goals.



About Margo
I provide effective therapy to DC and Maryland that delivers meaningful results. I’ve worked with individuals and groups for over 30 years. My style is direct and collaborative, energetic and engaging. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to help you to understand and overcome your difficulties.
Dynamic Psychotherapy
I practice ISTDP ( Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy), an accelerated form of dynamic therapy. My style is highly engaged and focused on close moment to moment observation in session. Together we will determine the nature of your difficulties and work collaboratively to address their roots.
Are you struggling with:
  • Trauma or abuse
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Anxiety and panic or
  • Loss and grief
  • Physical signs of stress
  • Anger Management