TREATMENT FOR ADULTS, CHILDREN, AND ADOLESCENTS About Treatment
More about Dr Robert Baker's unique treatment
Many people are surprised when they hear of an analytically based treatment for stuttering and learning differences, because most of us think only of Freud with respect to psychoanalysis. I base my practice and treatment on British Object Relations analytic ideas, one of several other contemporary analytic approaches evolved well beyond Freud’s initial work, and which he would likely not recognize if he were here today.
I dedicate a large part of my practice to helping people who have thinking process disorders which shows in symptomatic form of stuttering, learning disabilities or differences, ADHD, or autism. You probably are asking yourself, "what is a thinking process disorder?" I like to use the example of a software package. Somehow, from birth or even prenatally, your unconscious software package may have had a bad beginning that was never corrected. Since the problem here is that the software package is totally unconscious, a treatment which repairs and transforms this software is needed.
I first inquired about psychoanalysis as a treatment for my own stuttering in the 1980’s, when I was a member of the American Arts Counsel of the L.A. County Museum. Back then, the members would have many events such as touring homes of people in and around Los Angeles, who had wonderful art collections. We also traveled around the United States visiting art museums. The members of the Counsel got to know everyone quite well. One of the members was a psychoanalyst from the Freudian school. He was a very close friend of another member who had asked me to join the counsel due to our close friendship, and he frequently witnessed my communication difficulties. On one occasion, I decided to brave a conversation with him, even though I was very embarrassed and reluctant to speak to most people. I asked him if he had any advice for me about how to treat my stuttering. His answer was that the Freudian community of psychoanalysts had little knowledge of stuttering except for a few comments by Freud (now regarded as incorrect) and suggested my best bet would be to consult a speech pathologist. Having been to speech pathologists from the age of 6 to twenty with no real success, I basically gave up and realized that I would probably stutter until I died.
This analyst did not mention any non-Freudian analytic ideas, and I would not learn about contemporary ideas until about a decade later. In 1993, for reasons unrelated to stuttering, I decided to take a few classes in psychology and psychoanalysis. I never intended to become an analyst at the time, but became very interested in why and how we think in relationship to our personalities. I came across a casual statement about the cause of stuttering in a textbook on Freudian psychoanalysis, and managed to get out enough words to ask the professor about it. He answered that those ideas are now known to be incorrect, and that because I "have lived the experience", he thought I could research whether or not some analytic treatment might be effective for stuttering for a PhD dissertation. This was the first time someone had given me any hope that I could be helped, and a rare instance when someone told me I was capable of such work. From the time I was a pre-schooler in the 1950's, I was told that I was not very smart, and that this was typical of stutterers. Of course, we now know this is simply not true.
One of the courses that I took was a course on Object Relations Theory, when I read works by psychoanalysts Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion, who became prominent in the field in Freud's later years. Klein’s new ideas focused on helping adults and children whose issues go back in their infancy, while Freud’s ideas applied to adults with issues arising from about age 3 through 5. Freud's daughter, Anna Freud, tried applying Freudian ideas to children, but did not have Klein's success. Personality and professional ideology conflict between the two caused a rift in the psychoanalytic community, which is still felt today, especially in the US.
Bion was taught and analyzed by Klein and built on her theories, and focused great effort on thinking process development and disorders. Bion brought the British Psychoanalytic theories with him, when he came to Los Angeles from London in the 1970’s, but the Freudian community was not interested in his theories, continuing the rift between Klein and Anna Freud. The Arts Council member's response to my inquiry was probably due to his never having learned about treatment based on Klein's and Bion's ideas. During the past two decades, there has been more interest in Bion's and Klein's ideas, and a few of us have continued to develop them as treatment techniques. However, most psychoanalysts in the US still confine their knowledge and treatment to Freudian techniques.
After I completed a PhD in psychology in 1997, I decided to become a psychoanalyst and attended an eight year intensive training program which included classes and clinical work. I obtained a PsyD (psychology doctorate) in psychoanalysis, specializing in treatment of thought process disorders. I have treated children in the Los Angeles Unified School District included using treatment for thought process disorders to eliminate or reduce symptoms of stuttering, communication problems, learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and behavior problems. Some of these children, including those who had symptoms of autism, were moved from Special Education classes to classes for gifted children.
I want to take just a moment to debunk another old idea, which has prevented further study and treatment of thinking process disorders underlying these symptoms. In fact, it caused non-Freudian treatment to be discounted, even though it referred to Freudian psychoanalysis, rather than contemporary psychoanalysis. In the 1950's and 1960's, a prominent Freudian psychoanalyst erroneously stated that these symptoms were due to a mother who was cold emotionally, cruelly calling the phenomenon "refrigerator mother". Even though this is NOT true, the idea continues to live on in myth. Parents I have known with children who have these symptoms are far from cold, and they work lovingly and tirelessly to find and give help to their children.
Call 310-746-6191 or email Dr Baker to determine if this treatment might help your or your child.
Copyright Robert Baker, PhD, PsyD 2016 All Rights Reserved. Web Hosting by iPage