My love of psychotherapy began in my third year of residency with my first experiences using the Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) model. By this time in my training, I had come to understand the limitations of medications and had also grown disillusioned with an array of psychotherapies that I felt were not effective in helping create change. Within ISTDP I had discovered not only an accurate understanding of humans and human suffering but, in my opinion, how best to help people understand themselves, their thoughts, their feelings and how to create the change they want to see in their life.

ISTDP, like many psychotherapies, understands people in terms of how they are shaped and affected by their past experiences and how those experiences affect our present day lives. Where ISTDP differs, however, is in how it deals with the maladaptive behaviors that perpetuate a person’s current problems. Specifically, the role of the therapist in ISTDP is to point out these maladaptive patterns and help people relate to themselves in more healthy ways. Sessions typically last 90 minutes and are meant to mobilize deep feelings in a relatively short period of time. As the therapist, I work actively to point out these maladaptive patterns of behavior, giving you the choice to continue them or not.  

As a psychotherapist I have had the pleasure of seeing ISTDP help people make deep, full and long-lasting changes. The growing body of evidence for this modality supports these personal observations and is part of a remarkable innovation in the field of psychotherapy.

a high level of quality care.

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1200 Artesia Boulevard, Suite 204

Hermosa Beach, California 90246


1460 7th Street, Suite 201

Santa Monica, CA 90401



Dr. Ettekal is a licensed and board certified psychiatrist and therapist practicing in Santa Monica and Hermosa Beach, CA.  Dr. Ettekal treats adults with a variety of illnesses and disorders including ADHD, Anxiety disorder, OCD, Depression, bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, and claustrophobia.  Dr. Ettekal services areas including West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, Marina Del Rey, Vista Del Mar, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, El Segundo, Southbay,  Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Playa del Rey, and Hermosa Beach. 


copyright - Amir Ettekal, MD  

Amir Ettekal, MD