My approach to psychotherapy has been heavily influenced by the following theoretical orientations: cognitive behavioral theory and analytic/psychodynamic theories. These theories conceptualize the origins of and recommended treatments for emotional distress quite differently. However, these approaches can complement each other very powerfully when applied to therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) emphasizes treatment of immediate distress and more surface symptoms that are causing pain. CBT provides concrete strategies for changing thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors, which then result in relief of distress. CBT tools can be quite effective in helping treat the more immediate symptoms of depression, various forms of anxiety (including obsessive-compulsive disorder), phobias, and other common conditions. Analytic and psychodynamic approaches focus on identifying deep underlying processes that are generally outside of people’s immediate awareness. These processes affect how people cope with life stress, how people view themselves, and how they relate to other people in their lives. When underlying issues are brought to light, people become more aware of what motivates their behaviors and then are more able to change them. People experience relief from distress and increased sense of freedom in their choices and behaviors once underlying feelings and conflicts are uncovered and resolved. There are appropriate times to focus more on immediate relief of distress as well as times to focus more on underlying factors that drive recurrent relationship patterns, distressing behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Often it is helpful to combine both elements in treatment.