For people with cancer and other life-threatening illness and those wanting a fuller, more zestful and healthful Life
Given by Ruth Bolletino, Ph.D. with consultation from Larry LeShan, Ph.D.
For more than twelve years we have worked with cancer patients and others using a new model of individual psychotherapy: a brief intensive "marathon." marathon typically involves three hours of psychotherapeutic work a day for five or six days. The exact number of days, hours and daily time schedules can be arranged.
Marathons were designed for people who want to work with our psychotherapy approach, but live outside New York City or outside the United States. Since we began this brief, intensive work, people have come for marathons from various parts of the U.S. as well as from Canada, the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Spain, Australia and Israel.
People who choose this way of working in psychotherapy come to New York City for approximately a week. Throughout the week, Bolletino and LeShan work closely together discussing the progess of the sessions. When possible, LeShan is present at the first or final session. Based on the results, the "marathon" format appears to be a valid and useful one.
When possible, the marathons begin with a one-hour session with LeShan.
Intensive Psychotherapy with Ruth Bolletino.
Starting later that same day or the next day, clients spend five or six days with Bolletino in intensive therapy. During this time, the two therapists confer often.
The time schedule varies each day, depending on the clients' preferences, their best pacing and their fatigue levels, and the available hours. When possible, sessions are scheduled so that clients can plan for other activities for the afternoon and evening. The total time each day varies from two to four hours. For some days, two sessions (morning and afternoon, for example) might be planned.
Most clients come to the city alone. Some bring family members who may be included in some sessions. In either case, what clients choose to do with their free time is as important as what they do in therapy.
For the duration of the marathon, you are away from your everyday routines and responsibilities, with no one to please or take care of except yourself. New York City offers innumerable options. Your time in the city is for you alone; it is a gift that you can give yourself to increase your enjoyment of and participation in your own life. Because the time you are not in therapy is also a learning time, clients are also urged to spend time alone in introspection and reflection.
Because each client is different, with unique issues and different needs, each marathon is different. The therapeutic methods used depend on the client and the moment. Methods include work with drawings, Gestalt work, "inner child" work, and psychodynamic therapy, all within the framework of LeShan's psychotherapeutic approach.
Whatever the issues worked on and whatever the methods used, the focus is on the following agenda:
- to identify what excites and vitalizes you;
- to identify what can be changed or added in your life within the possibilities of reality, so that your life can be the most fulfilling possible; and to begin moving in that direction;
- to identify the psychological blocks stopping you from living such a life, and to work in various ways at removing them;
- to plan a course of concrete action most likely to lead to a life that reflects who you truly are.
To be effective, the plan must address the whole person. It must involve your unique physical, psychological and spiritual needs, as well as your own individual way of living. Inner changes as well as changes in life style need to be made, for they reinforce each other.
You may choose to have follow-up phone or Skype sessions with Bolletino, on a regular or "as needed" basis.
With marathon therapy, significant psychological changes and changes in life style can be made in a surprisingly short time, and these changes are usually lasting.
Far deeper, more effective work can be accomplished than in the same number of hours of regularly scheduled therapy. One reason is that clients can open up emotionally without fearing that within an hour, they will have to "close down" to return to the outside world. Also, the work can build, hour after hour, day after day, with few interruptions.
For more information, or to schedule a marathon, contact Ruth Bolletino, currently the only psychotherapist offering marathons:
(212) 496-9136, or email Ruth Bolletino at email@example.com.
“I have worked closely with Dr. Ruth Bolletino for more than twenty years at all levels, from supervisor to colleague. She represents the finest tradition of psychotherapy, from her skills and expertise to her deep, caring approach with everyone with whom she works. I have known very many of the people she has worked with. At the least, the quality of their lives during a very difficult period improved markedly. Very often there was also a startling improvement in their health and consequent increase in life span.”
Lawrence LeShan, Ph.D.
“As a psychotherapist, I do not work with ‘cases’ or, for that matter, with diagnoses, collections of symptoms, medical facts or findings, malignancies or ‘patients.’ I work only with whole human beings, each one complex, each one unique.”
Ruth Bolletino, “The Patient is a Person,”
in Integrative Cancer Therapies
Vol. 3, No. 2, June 2004