My Approach to Helping
My approach to therapy comes from the belief that within all of us is an inner wisdom, that when accessed will guide us to new insights, answers and relief from our struggles. By nature, all people have the capacity to solve problems for themselves by listening to their own hearts. The problem is we often have little access to this innate wisdom because we are socialized to look outward for answers and fulfillment and do not learn to trust ourselves. As well, no one goes through life without ever being hurt or wounded in some way or another, which leads to the development of inner defenses or protectors that get in the way of our ability to tap into this inner resource. My job as a therapist is to help people acccess the wisdom within them that will bring about healthier decisions and answers that will lead to relief and healing. This idea that we all have the capacity to find answers for ourselves in order to change, grow and be healthy, functioning individuals is central to many models of therapy. Carl Jung, one of the prominent psychotherapists of the early 1900s, often used the phrase "the wisdom of the unconscious" to express this view. In Transactional Analysis, a form of therapy developed by Eric Berne, it is believed that we are all essentially "ok," with intrinsic value and worth, capable of being healthy. Psychotherapist and author, Scott Peck, M.D., who wrote the book, "The Road Less Traveled" in the late 1970s wrote that, "we must say concerning the unconscious that there is a part of us that is wiser than we are." This idea of a wise part of ourselves is again found in the work of Richard Schwartz, who developed the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy in the early 1980s. Schwartz learned through work with his clients that there were universal qualities - calm, clarity, confidence, courage, competence and curiosity - all people seemed to possess when in a state of mind his clients often called their "Self." Through continued work and observation with clients, he developed a way to help people access this place of "Self" where understanding and answers reside and relief and healing can follow. IFS is the mode of therapy I predominantly use, although my training and experience is also strongly influenced by Solution Focused Therapy, Rogerian Therapy and various Cognitive-Behavioral therapies, that I incorporate as needed.