Therapeutic Philosophy and Treatment Approaches

Dr. Kleindorfer specializes in the trauma-based model of psychotherapy for anxiety, panic, depression, self-esteem and relationship issues. The trauma- based model assumes that most issues that cause difficulties in peoples’ lives and bring them to seek consultation and therapy stem from some traumatic event or events, either recent or in the past, including childhood and family of origin hurts.

Some very focused problems can be addressed in a goal-oriented, short-term (usually 10 sessions) problem-solving therapy. However, with many clients Dr. Kleindorfer finds that a longer-term therapy is necessary to work through chronic dissatisfactions with one’s quality of life. Her approach is psychodynamic, which means that the therapeutic relationship is central, and that the client actively participates in exploring his or her past in relationship to his or her current issues. Dr. Kleindorfer uses a ‘toolbox’ of modalities tailored to her evaluation of her clients’ personalities and needs. These include hypnosis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, ego state psychology, and a range of supportive-expressive therapies.

Dr. Kleindorfer has also worked extensively with creative individuals in visual arts, performance arts, and literary arts. She has also specialized in working with people who are engaged in the process of reinventing themselves, usually as a result of a traumatic event such as a divorce, mid-life crisis, or relocation---chosen or not. In these situations she relies on many of the techniques of ‘positive psychology’ to enhance creativity, performance, and the exploration of ‘future selves’.

As both a cultural anthropologist and clinical psychologist, together with her personal and professional international experience, she has successfully worked with people of many nationalities and native languages. She has found that many distressing issues can be solved through a brief therapy that addresses differences in cultural norms and educational information on the normal stages of acculturation----excitement, frustration, hope, grief, and so forth.

Finally, from birth we exist in relationship with others: family, friends, co-workers, and so forth. While these relationships can help us when we are going through difficult times, the therapeutic relationship is unique in that it is focused on you, not on an equal ‘friendship’ with the therapist and not on the mutual sharing of confidences. Because of this, in therapy, you have the opportunity to explore and make new decisions about your self. Dr. Kleindorfer and others often use the term ‘bearing witness’ which means that during your sessions with her you will be able to express your old selves and try out your new selves without judgment, in a completely confidential setting, and without the bother of the expectations that significant others in your life may hold towards you.


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The content of this website reflects the perspectives of Stephanie O. Kleindorfer, PysD, and is not to be regarded as psychological or medical advice, nor as a substitution for professional consultation and treatment.