How Dr. Bonn Helps Patients

How I Help Therapy Patients

I prefer for patients to arrive well before the time of the session, to take ample time in my quiet waiting room to reflect.

If a new patient is more comfortable beginning the session in the presence of a trusted companion, that is fine.

For people in immediate distress who may not have responded in the past to medication alone, or to talk therapy alone, I have long experience in coordinating talk therapy with medication for a variety of problems in living.

Often the first goal is to provide understanding and relief from the bi-directional mind-body upset that we routinely refer to as 'anxiety'. I do this through psycho-education, through the teaching of tools for self-regulation, and with focused medication.

Often, an early priority is the re-establishment of restorative nighttime sleep, early morning calm, and a structured doable daily routine. Improvement in one is dependent on improvement in the other and mental health and good functioning are almost impossible without them.

In crisis situations, I sometimes use medication for severe insomnia, for waking up to immediate fear, for agitation, panic and impulsivity.

I address troubled relational patterns by helping the replacement of self-defeating behaviors with effective new ways to manage the two-way street nature of relational interaction.

After the initial crisis is stabilized and sessions do not need to be as frequent, I try to maintain the focus of the therapy using audio-taping, visual aids, homework assignments or journaling. Once stabilization is achieved and long term medication support is indicated, routine monitoring of medication by primary physicians can be maintained with only rare contacts with me for decisions about medication change or in case of a flare up of distress.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the diverse needs of people with apprehensions, emotional pain, dysfunctional habits, or inhibitions. My experience has taught me to be flexible and resourceful. I am able to integrate several therapeutic methods ranging from empathetic listening to focused cognitive-behavioral techniques to psychodynamic psychotherapy for longstanding dysfunctional patterns of interaction. I avoid jargon. I know that plain language best conveys an understanding of human distress, and how to address it.

I recognize that for many the cost of therapy is difficult and I welcome the challenge to make every session count and to provide practical benefit.

I respect the fact that there may come a time when the patient may decide that continuing the therapy contact may not be necessary or worth the financial stress at that point. I am always open to considerations to switch to occasional as-needed sessions, to suspension of contact with an open door to continue in the future or to referral to less costly sources of help including other therapists in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia area. I hope that the patient is able to face these issues with me and I stand ready to help in making the changes that benefit them.