Austin Psychologist and Psychotherapist: Matthew Y. Wong, Ph.D.

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Treatment Philosophy

As a therapist, my role is both to support and to challenge you. Everyone has her or his strengths and weaknesses. We will identify those aspects and develop them so that you become more adaptive to your circumstances. Based on your preferences, my professional judgment, and our mutual understanding, I will at times be directive and offer specific suggestions or advice. At other times, I will listen empathically and encourage open exploration. People are complex and there is no one right way to approach a problem or issue. In any case, I will work with you and adjust my methods to optimize therapeutic outcomes. It is my standard practice to solicit open and honest feedback from you regarding your experience of the treatment process, so that I can continually adapt methods to meet your therapeutic needs.

I was trained as a scientist-practitioner and am experienced in both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and phenomenological (experienced-based) approaches, including psychodynamic, interpersonal, existential, and humanistic psychotherapies. The most current model supported by the profession is the biopsychosocial-spiritual model. It encompasses all aspects of a person's experience, and it is a useful model to understand and treat the individual as a whole.

For me, psychotherapy is both an art and a science. I strive to use methods that have been supported by clinical research. I also realize the limits of science and appreciate the complexities of the human condition. As such, I attempt to integrate individual differences and situational factors as I develop relationships with my clients. Through a working alliance, we can maximize gains that are both objective (measurable) and subjective (experiential). I hope the therapeutic experience brings you many "ah-ha" moments.

Engaging in psychotherapy requires a considerable investment of emotional energy, time, and money. Seeking professional help and working through difficult problems are not easy tasks. However, speaking as a provider and consumer of therapeutic services, I believe the investment is worthwhile. I am sensitive to the sacrifices you make, and I will collaborate with you to help you achieve your goals. I do this for a living and I want to do a good job. Helping and seeing clients evolve and meeting their goals is very satisfying. It is this satisfaction that drives my work.

Therapy, like any story, has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. The length of therapy, however, is variable (from one session to several years, depending on many factors). The beginning of therapy usually includes an assessment of the problem, diagnosis, and orientation to the therapy process. The middle might involve active exploration of past patterns of feeling, thinking, and doing. The "meat" of therapy usually involves learning and trying new strategies of thoughts and behaviors with the support (or perhaps challenge) of the therapist. Through practice of new coping skills, the experience of new emotions and insights is possible. Addressing potential setbacks or resistance to change might also be involved in the therapeutic process. The end of therapy usually includes a reassessment of past and current functioning, and strategies to maintain and continue improvements. At the end of therapy, I hope that you walk away feeling more empowered, hopeful, and confident in your own abilities to prevent and resolve future difficulties.

So, are you ready?

 

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