I practice in a fluid, non-formulaic manner – which means I do not load you with heady concepts, nor do I trample you with intellectual analysis or psychological jargon. These things are typically not helpful in a clinical environment, where people who are struggling with the issues of life and relationships tend to best respond to therapists who are genuine and approachable. At the same time, I am very professional and as such, I value your time (and mine), your goals and your purpose for seeking therapy and will work with you to create a treatment plan that is accessible and doable. We want to define the problem early so that we can then decide how best to proceed. It’s a collaborative process.
I am trained and knowledgeable in all sorts of methods, theories and treatment styles (you can see a discussion of my worldview here and a list of my influences here ), but I get my primary inspiration as a therapist from my work with my teacher and mentor, the late psychologist Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, preeminent scholar of the psychologically-informed spiritual path of A Course in Miracles. His approach rested on very simple concepts of healing, most importantly the idea that people do not need to be hit over the head with fancy concepts or philosophies, nor do they need to be seen as ‘problems’ who require solving from an all-knowing authority. Rather, it is the therapist’s job to get him or herself out of the way, such that a genuine healing environment is established making it much more likely that the difficult feelings and memories that emerge in session may be seen anew and undone. As such, therapy is gentle and kind, and this in itself paves the way to true healing. It’s a journey for both of us. This is the way I practice.
That said, there are tools and techniques that I tend to use in practice. These include:
- Insight-oriented methods – helping you to identify your projections, i.e., hidden beliefs that you ‘project’ on yourself, others and the world around you.
- Forgiveness practices – identifying, addressing and healing guilt through the psychology of forgiveness.
- Somatic and Energy Psychology techniques – helping you get in touch with your body and viscera, in a way that links what your body feels to your emotional states, and learning how that impacts your thinking and experience of life. This may include breathing, tapping meridian points or using special visualization techniques.
- Cognitive Restructuring – Identifying and altering negative thinking patterns, especially the ones that seem so automatic as to color your experience of the world.
- Journaling and Homework – writing ‘assignments’ designed to help you uncover blocks, or process through painful memories or emotions. Journaling can be extremely transformative!
- Transpersonal Methods – helping you to identify sources of internal strength and wisdom beyond that of your everyday ego.
- Meditation and Mindfulness practices – learning techniques to quiet the mind, observe one’s thinking processes, and locate ‘the quiet center’ or ‘inner healer’ within you.
- Biblio/Mediatherapy – recommending books, movies or music that might be helpful to you.
- Humor! – Obviously laughter and fun can be very healing 🙂
artwork: Joaquin de Sorolla, Reservoir, Alcazar de Seville