My Approach to Helping
When someone takes the courageous and often hesitantly hopeful step of seeking therapeutic assistance they are conveying that currently "it is difficult being me in my life circumstances". The particular difficulties may be emotional overwhelm, inner conflict, harsh inner criticism, relationship conflict, substance abuse or addiction, troubling behavior, difficulty making decisions, traumatic memories, depression, anxiety and more. Whatever the form of suffering, the person seeking help has lost touch with their inherent capacities for coping, connection, healing, change, growth and choosing wise direction. The process of therapy is geared to assisting clients whether individually or in couple or family to access those capacities so that they can take steps in the direction of authenticity, confidence and connection.The foundation for such change is the ever widening experience of self acceptance-even of those parts of the self that one may not like or approve of. Paradoxically the more one can accept all of oneself the more one can change. The primary practice that promotes this self acceptance is self compassion.
My approach is is aimed at helping people to develop and practice self compassion and self acceptance so they can develop the strength to cope with the challenges they face and to make the changes they desire. The primary vehicle for this is through the therapeutic relationship that models this acceptance through non-judgmental deep empathic listening,honest feedback and a collaborative environment that makes room for client to disagree and challenge the therapist. My core practice of deep listening is to assist me to understand the dynamics of my clients predicament so that strategies for solution can be crafted. Just as importantly -the process of being listened to and understood helps the client to listen to and understand him or herself. When this happens people begin to feel more whole. They have more clarity about who they are, their relationships and situations. They are then ready to begin to take steps toward coping,healing and growth.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I have had much success over the years in assisting people with issues of low self esteem.At the heart of this issue is a lack of self acceptance which blocks one from a sense of self and and a sense worth . Often people have what might be called a ``harsh inner critic`` a part- that shames ,beats up and disempowers . The roots of this inner critic are often in childhood . I am trained and skilled in Focusing a body mind process of emotional healing and insight that provides a way of recognizing , understanding , managing, healing and transforming this inner critic part . As that happens there is an increase in a sense of worth as a human being as well as ownership of ones authentic relationship and growth needs, wants , preferences and values.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
In my opinion the purpose of psychotherapy is to assist people to resolve their presenting problems to become more accepting and loving of themselves , more able to give and receive love, to feel more effective and in control of their life at whatever stage of life and in whatever circumstances.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I love guiding, making safe and accompanying people in the honest , courageous , at times frightening process of facing what is emotionally painful and not working in their lives -whether relationship, family, work or career or spirituality -and finding within those very issues the seeds of strength, healing, confidence and renewal.I have in my 30 years of practice been honored to witness the restoration of this human capacity for resilience and growth.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Yes they have . I am not a stranger to internal conflict, inner criticism , insecurity, loss , or struggles in love and marriage. By the same token I am also not a stranger to the desire for healing , growth in confidence and connection, which has impelled me to be a client in therapy and to engage in a long term practice of Focusing and meditation. The struggles I have experienced and moved through and beyond have helped me to develop a trust in my own ability to be present with a person in pain and in our shared human capacity to cope , heal, grow and live forward.