My Approach to Helping
It may be a little unorthodox to introduce my practice to you on a negative note. But the truth is that what brought me to Goodtherapy was..."not-good therapy"! My own, as patient. With an intelligent, highly trained practitioner, who knows how to practice good therapy...and didn't.
This got me thinking: How is it that good therapists go...off track? Gold standard skills, compassion, caring, empathy...are, evidently, not enough.
I believe I found the missing piece. To be a good therapist is to be humble. Humility in action is the foundation of safety and success in treatment.
Humility keeps a therapist open, curious, and honest - and keeps this honesty respectful. It acknowledges your power as a patient - to really let me know how my words and actions affect you, knowing this helps me help you.
Emotional pain is rooted in lived experience, and only new experience can touch it. Symptoms are distressing, but feeling trapped, alone, or unreachable within them is...unbearable. It's likely that the emotional events that caused your distress were experienced in this way: Alone and unbearable. Therapy is a healing conversation, and it heals by giving you a new experience, one that unfolds as you relate your experience to me, and I relate to you.
So we undo your aloneness together; you'll find me respectfully wondering about little things I notice, moment to moment, as you tell your story - the glimpses of feeling that accompany your words - the music of your problem, so to speak. This is a gentle process, and very, very powerful. It orients you to yourself and your "problem" in a new way - with safety, sometimes surprising speed, and depth.
Humility in action give me the power to heal, and is the basis of the two models I rely on to help others (Sue Johnson's EFT for couples and families, and Diana Fosha's AEDP for individuals. "Undoing aloneness" is a term of Dr. Fosha's). This site provides good information on both.