My Approach to Helping
Experience confirms what many, many studies report: The key to successful therapy is the warm, accepting relationship between the person seeking help and the therapist. Helping the person to feel comfortable and secure in the treatment is my starting point. When one feels safe enough, unexpected thoughts, recollections, and associations come to awareness. This new awareness starts the healing process. Many ideas we have are expressions of our earliest conclusions about the world and our place in it. I help people find these conclusions and consider whether they still make sense. For example, someone who repeatedly finds disappointment in relationships may operate on the unexamined assumption that others are unreliable, not to be trusted, and look for disappointment. The result can be sadness and loneliness. Someone who suffers job setbacks over and over may believe, deep down, that he or she is shameful and unworthy of success. The result can be self-defeating choices. Someone who experiences great anxiety for no apparent reason may be unknowingly reliving terrifying childhood experiences that foster the need constantly to be on high alert. The result can be a habit of self-defense that looks to others like anger. No one chooses to have these feelings. But one can choose not to let them stand in the way of happiness. I help people to make this choice.