I am fortunate to have come from a rich medical and psychoanalytic tradition. My medical school was named after Ignac Semmelweis - a XIX century doctor who saved the lives of millions of mothers by discovering that proper hand washing protects them from pathogens. He came to this discovery by carefully considering the symptoms and the prevailing medical practices. This was well before the discovery of antibiotics or even knowing much about bacteria. My professors taught me that a good history = half the cure. We learned to listen to our patients, and do thorough physical examinations, putting our findings together, before ordering tests. This sounds "so last century!" Well, it was but the lessons learned are becoming more and more valid today.
I was very interested in psychiatry - in fact that is why I went to medical school to begin with. In the Hungary of the seventies, mainstream psychiatry was strictly biological and psychoanalysis (my original interest) was not even mentioned during my education. Interestingly, there were some pioneers who worked hard to integrate psychology and medicine but they worked in relative isolation. By the same token, there were excellent psychoanalysts, working in even more isolation. This is because of the very long history of psychoanalysis in Hungary, dating back to Sandor Ferenczy who was one of Freud's first disciples and contributors to the field. Another, Michael Balint, who had emigrated to the UK, developed a model for treating mind and body by establishing groups where internists and analysts discussed complicated cases.
All these influences shaped the way I work: striving to understand the whole person and his/her environment, and taking the time necessary.
We are fortunate to live in an era when we know a lot about cognitive neuroscience and the brain and have several effective psychotherapeutic modalities as well as effective medications available. We also know more and more about the limitations of psychopharmacology. At the same time the treatment most patients can avail themselves to is fragmented, putting band-aid to deep wounds. As someone said "Psychiatry lost its mind". Well, I did not lose mine. This is why I chose to develop a relatively small practice that allows me to be intimately familiar with all of my patients. In those cases when the patient sees another therapist, I maintain an open communication with other members of the treatment team. I only work with therapists who I fully trust and if the method that would work best for you (CBT for instance) I refer you to professionals who have expertise in those methods.