Jan Goddard-finegold, MD


Coming Up for Air

December 01, 2010

As I lie in my hospital bed, attempting to breathe through my trach tube at a normal rate, waiting for my morning medication, and hoping to hear good, or at least manageable, results from my doctors when they come to me on rounds, my mind wanders. Despite the precariousness of my situation, I can’t help but smile as I think of my now monthly psychotherapy sessions.

Boundaries and Benefits of Psychotherapy

February 06, 2010

In this essay I give my views on the boundaries of individual psychotherapy-their necessity and the process of learning them, accepting them, then gaining from and leaving the therapy process. For me, the learning process was long, and I realize now how I had to internalize a number of new concepts for the therapy to succeed. After much thought and work, therapy was beneficial and rewarding for me. I now know that because I took the process of psychotherapy seriously, it made my life more fulfilling and my relationships more meaningful. For me, psychotherapy was especially helpful in reinforcing my ability to deal with a chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening illness. It helped me make each day a gift, accept my imperfections, and live with uncertainty, frustration, and anger with more dignity and greater understanding.

A Physician’s Personal Experience-The Gift of Depression

May 27, 2009

Depression is an insidious, ugly beast, creeping into the mind over time until one is engulfed and powerless, feeling only a sense of futility and heaviness. In my case it came some months after I had had to retire from a fruitful and enjoyable academic neurodevelopmental pediatrics practice, because of onset of a degenerative neuromuscular disease. My depression was manifested mainly by weight loss, poor affect, anger and irritability, fitful sleep, and thoughts of suicide. Luckily, my primary physician recognized the signs immediately and recommended both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. For both therapies and for this physician, I am extremely grateful. However, in this essay, I will speak of the ways I experienced psychodynamic psychotherapy and its ramifications into many parts of my life.