Robin Ohringer is a psychotherapist who has operated her own Cambridge, Massachusetts-based office for nearly 45 years. To augment and inform her professional activities, Robin Ohringer holds active membership in multiple clinical organizations including the Massachusetts Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (MAPP).
Founded three decades ago, MAPP currently supports approximately 250 members who strive to further psychoanalytic psychology education within the state of Massachusetts. As part of these efforts, the organization sponsors regular public workshops such as Moments of Truth in Psychoanalytic Treatment.
This 2018 workshop took place at the Cambridge Hospital Learning Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Workshop leader Jonathan H. Slavin, PhD, ABPP, developed this event to examine the ways in which some traditional psychoanalytic assumptions are out of step with modern scientific findings about the physiological construction and operational processes of the brain. Moments of Truth in Psychoanalytic Treatment also addressed the mistaken notion among historical psychoanalysts that pathological mental symptoms occur only in the mind and are little affected by real life events or human interactions.
Dr. Robin Ohringer has spent more than four decades as a psychotherapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over the course of her career she has treated a wide range of patients living with a variety of psychological disorders. However, Dr. Robin Ohringer primarily treats anxiety, depression, and similar disorders in women ages 18 to 45.
General anxiety and related anxiety disorders can impact both women and men. However, anxiety disorders seem to be more prevalent in females. Research has shown that a woman living from puberty through 50 years of age is twice as likely to deal with an anxiety disorder as a man in the same age range. Furthermore, research shows that these disorders occur earlier in life for women than for men. Anxiety can also be more complex to treat in women, as they are more likely to deal with multiple psychiatric disorders. Depression is the most commonly co-occuring disorder.
Researchers have not been able to conclusively determine the reasons for the prevalence of anxiety in women. Differences in brain chemistry represent one possible explanation, such as women having a more active fight or flight response. In addition, the male brain produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter designed to combat stress and anxiety, at a faster rate than the female brain. Any women or men living with an anxiety disorder should reach out to a trusted medical professional.
Dr. Robin Ohringer has served clients as a psychotherapist and social worker for 45 years. In private practice since 1989, Dr. Robin Ohringer draws on in-depth experience in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions.
Although all human beings respond to surprising events, the learning response may be more intense in military veterans with PTSD. Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, or VTCRI, recently conducted brain scans of 74 veterans who had experienced trauma while serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Some of these individuals had formal diagnoses of PTSD.
The researchers studied the participants' reactions to surprising events by playing gambling games with them while the participants were connected to MRI scanners. They found that, compared to participants without PTSD diagnoses, participants with such diagnoses had increased levels of activity in attention centers of the brain when something unexpected happened in the game.
This result supports prior research that individuals with PTSD are more attentive to unexpected occurrences and potential threats, while offering more information about how this occurs. Findings suggest that the disproportionate attention to surprise makes it difficult for such individuals to allocate attention to their surroundings in a typical way. Researchers have noted that awareness of this process may help clinicians in the mental health field to develop more appropriate assessment tools and interventions that specifically address this learning disruption, which may in turn help to reduce symptoms in individuals with PTSD.
In preparation for her career as a psychotherapist, Dr. Robin Ohringer studied for her PhD at the Simmons College School of Social Work. At her Cambridge, Massachusetts, practice, Dr. Robin Ohringer helps people challenged by mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and grief.
Major life changes can trigger a response of grief, characterized by intense longing and/or sorrow. Such emotions may arise in response to a diagnosis of a chronic illness, disruptive events like moving or being laid off, and the death of a loved one.
Everyone grieves differently, meaning that there’s no one “right way” to react to such life-altering occurrences. For example, while one person might feel oddly numb or disconnected, another might feel angry.
Moreover, grief is not a static experience; whereas a person might feel angry one day, he or she might experience depression or resignation the next. The duration of grief also varies greatly from person to person, with emergence from it coming after a few months for some and years for others.
Whatever the source, grief needn’t be experienced alone or without support. Many communities have groups that meet to talk through participants’ grief, and mental health professionals are trained to address grief-related issues.
A Massachusetts-based psychotherapist, Robin Ohringer operates a private practice in Cambridge. In treating patients for issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Robin Ohringer employs a variety of techniques, including mindfulness training.
Focused on promoting moment-to-moment awareness, mindfulness is a practice akin to other high-focus activities, such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation. The ultimate goal of mindfulness training is to reduce unnecessary emotional reactivity by helping a person learn to experience everyday thoughts, feelings, and sensations without assigning meaning to them.
In addition to promoting greater awareness, the practice supports voluntary control of mental processes and helps practitioners learn to deal with stressful situations in a calm and clear-headed manner. Over the years, research has shown that mindfulness can assist with issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The practice can also be used alone or alongside other treatments to help patients with hypochondria, eating disorders, attention-deficit disorder, and autism.