Eric Spiegel Ph.D.
Therapy is all about staying present in ‘the spaces in between’ and making connections which lead to growth and meaning.
My experience has taught me the importance of staying attuned to what’s happening in the room. Sometimes that means paying close attention to the content of what my client is telling me – trying to highlight themes or make observations or interpretations that cultivate reflection and insight. But even more importantly this might mean paying attention to our process: noticing a subtle non-verbal reaction in my client that could lead to a cathartic and transformative emotion; or becoming aware of a fleeting but significant gut reaction I’m having which might help me tune into a feeling or experience that my client is having difficulty connecting with. Therapy is all about staying present in ‘the spaces in between’ and making connections which lead to growth and meaning.
My treatment philosophy is influenced by attachment theory, relational psychodynamic approaches such as self psychology, and mentalization-based treatment. However, I try to avoid labels as I believe they limit the richness of this special work that we do. When I explain my approach to clients and colleagues, I emphasize the importance of the therapeutic relationship in facilitating curiosity and insight, which in turn fosters greater reflective functioning and affect regulation.
A great metaphor for the work is the focusing process of a microscope. Some people are disconnected and out of focus; they need help tuning into what it is like to “be” with themselves. Others are too zoomed in and hypervigilant; these people need help learning how to step back and take perspective, e.g. ‘see the big picture’ more effectively. Through my own nonverbal and verbal attunement to your experience, I will help you learn how to more effectively self-direct your attention and be with yourself in a healthier way. Our interpersonal process of attunement leads to internalization and self-mastery.
I believe that effective therapy is balanced between exploration of past developmental experiences to understand patterns and templates of being in the world and present experiences, both in the here-and-now therapy encounter and day-to-day contexts. Last, but certainly not least, I believe strongly in the value of experiential techniques such as clinical hypnosis and mindfulness meditation to further the therapeutic process that I have just described. Clinical hypnosis has tremendous value in providing a state of focused attention in which personally tailored hypnotic language and imagery can be effectively utilized to further clients’ therapeutic goals. Hypnosis is inherently a tool of therapy rather than a stand-alone treatment.
My clinical specialties and interests include working with anxiety and mood disorders, health psychology and psychosomatic disorders, relationship issues, and trauma. I value a scholar-practitioner approach, and enjoy teaching and writing. I am a co-author of the 2013 book Attachment in Group Psychotherapy, and have taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Drexel University, James Madison University, Lafayette College, and the University of Maryland. I have also published and presented to professional audiences throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.
Dr. Spiegel book on attachment and group therapy:
“This is the first well-informed and scientifically rigorous extension of attachment theory to group psychotherapy. It is a wonderfully constructed and imaginative text that is sure to become a clinically invaluable tool for all those who work with groups and an excellent introduction to students learning the art of psychological treatment.”
Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, and Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University College London, England
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“Dr. Marmarosh, Dr. Markin, and Dr. Spiegel offer an elegant, integrated approach supported by current research to demonstrate that, indeed, attachment theory is a worthwhile conceptualization that will help group therapists work with particularly difficult group members—those with insecure attachment patterns…Given the broad perspective, this book will interest group psychotherapists and organizational consultants as well as therapists who want a deeper understanding of how to think about and apply attachment-based interventions.”
From book review by PsycCRITIQUES
- Attachment and relationship concerns
- Identity development
- Grief and Loss
- Psychosomatic Disorders & Health Psychology
- Pain Management
- Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland
- M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland
- B.A., Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Maryland
- Past President, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
- Fellow, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
- Member, American Psychological Association
- Member, Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
- Member, Greater Philadelphia Society of Clinical Hypnosis
- Member, Philadelphia Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
- William Kroger Award for Best Paper on Hypnosis, Health, and Behavioral Medicine for ‘Attachment-Focused Psychotherapy and the Wounded Self’, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 2016
- Early Career Achievement Award, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 2013