Dr. Regina Petterson is a psychologist in LA specializing in psychodynamic psychotherapy on an affordable sliding scale.

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About Therapy

When you begin psychotherapy, it is not unusual to feel both hope and dread. There is a sense of hopefulness that your current of way of being and relating in the world will be transformed. In other words, you have a developmental longing to repair what was traumatically broken in childhood, finally getting what you have been missing. However, with the anticipation of revisiting the past, you might be worried that your hope will be shattered, causing you to feel retraumatized as if the original childhood wound is happening all over again.


Traumatic experiences throughout life, especially those in childhood, shape and define the nature of your unconscious emotional expectations of others. They cause you to make assumptions that are based in pain, fear, and deep wounding. For example, a woman came to therapy complaining of feeling lonely and unable to get along with others. She said that she withdrew in social situations whenever she felt the slightest bit of tension. Through the therapeutic process, she recognized that when her mother criticized and rejected her exuberant behavior, she believed that this meant that her feelings were too much for others to handle. In adulthood, she preserved ties to her critical mother through a reenactment in which she often quietly, but resentfully went along with others, too afraid to have a voice of her own. Psychotherapy illuminated the woman’s previously unknown beliefs, helping her articulate and make sense of her emotional experience. This allowed her to trascend old wounds and be able to have a new and expanded view of herself and the world. Just as psychotherapy enabled this woman to relate differently to others and risk being more open to intimate connection, it will help you have greater capacity to connect to others and show more flexibility in relationships. You will begin to feel like a much better version of yourself.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy creates an atmosphere of safety, consistency, and containment. In this environment, the unfolding and reworking of your unconscious beliefs take place. These beliefs or ways of organizing reality begin to form in your early childhood as your experience emerges in relation to others and the world around you. You may be in a lot of pain because of the way you think and feel about yourself. As a result, you may be unable to achieve your desired goals and suffer low self-esteem.  You may also feel out of control and disregulated, unable to tolerate your feelings.  Psychologist in LA, Psychotherapy Los Angeles, Therapist in los angeles, Psychologist in LA, Psychotherapy Los Angeles, Therapist in

Alleviating the fear of starting therapy occurs when you feel safe and begin to trust your therapist. When this happens, your deep seated beliefs about yourself and the world start to become known to you. They are verbalized and understood from the historical context in which they originated.  Your therapist’s influence in disconfirming these emotional convictions is what allows the emergence of new personal meanings in the interactive, relational field. This is the art of psychotherapy. In effect, seeing yourself and the world from an expanded perspective allows you to reorganize and enrich your subjective experience, allowing you to feel more effective in the world, and have a greater sense of self and purpose in life.

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