As a therapist, I offer a kind, non-judgmental setting where my clients can safely reveal their thoughts and feelings. For me, therapy can be distilled down to two basic objectives: Wisdom and Integrity.
Wisdom is the combination of knowledge and experience, applied thoughtfully to life situations. With the help of an aware, accepting psychotherapist, self-reflection comes more easily, paving the way for wise choices and positive change.
Integrity is a state of wholeness. When we are overtaken by self-doubt, recriminations and inner conflict, our state of integrity is compromised. We easily succumb to anxiety, addictions, depression or despair. These states can wreak havoc on our relationships. Psychotherapy is an integrative process that helps re-establish wholeness.
I’ve been a practicing psychotherapist for over 25 years.
I have found the Jungian and Existential approaches to psychotherapy very helpful in my own life, and in my work with clients.
Meaning: The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw meaning as central to psychological health. Our society, families and social environment offer many belief systems and guidelines for a happy, fulfilling life. But only as individuals can we discover what is meaningful to us. When that happens, energy that was blocked is liberated; and even tragic circumstances can be borne with strength and confidence.
Existential analysis emphasizes a deep exploration of the meaning of our existence. To have an existential crisis is to experience a loss of a meaningful existence. We may experience others and ourselves as automatons moving robotically through life. In extreme cases, life feels like a prison from which there is no escape.
I can cite numerous ways in which my clients’ discovery of meaning positively affected their lives. Many have found meaning through a deeper acceptance of their life choices. This enabled them to approach their present circumstances with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Others have discovered meaning through a newfound spiritual perspective. For others, the path to meaning comes through significant changes in career or relationships. A few clients have overcome debilitating physical symptoms when they made choices that reflected their own skills, values and desires.
Imagination: Jung emphasized the power of imagination to heal the psyche. Though not necessary to the psychotherapeutic process, dreams can reveal the unconscious assumptions that shape our understanding of our lives.
Jung observed that the psyche has the capacity to reach a solution to a problem though imaginative rather than rational means. I encourage my clients to follow their imagination through writing, drawing, photography, active imagination, or any other creative outlet.
Existential analysis understands imagination as the capacity to free oneself from preconceived ideas of reality. In order to transcend our current situation, it is necessary to imagine our other possibilities.
I regard psychotherapy primarily as a creative approach to overcoming difficulties. I have worked successfully with artists, dancers, writers and musicians who suffered from creative blocks or inhibitions. To be human is to be creative. Everyone has the potential to live their life creatively whether or not they are engaged in a creative field.
Responsibility: Carl Jung emphasized that action is necessary to the psychotherapeutic process. Insight and understanding are without value if one is not prepared to act on what one has learned.
Existential analysis emphasizes our responsibility to be true to ourselves, and not lose ourselves to societal roles and identities. It takes courage to live your life according to your own values. I provide strong support when the time comes for my clients to transform their insight into action.