Ours is a relationship like any other in that we need to get to know one another. I have developed an in-depth questionnaire for you to fill out so that I can get to know you on many levels – past and present. That way it will be easier for me to address the issues that you bring to the table. The first few sessions we will be getting to know each other, and you will also get to know how I work, and something about me. I have left a copy of my resume in the waiting room so that you can review it to see the kind of work that I have done. My style is active, and you will be getting feedback from me. Although I was trained classically (Psychoanalytically) I have been influenced by many other schools of thought since then and find that most people like an interactive relationship. I try to listen to what your needs are and tailor my approach to your particular needs.
When we get into the meat of the work you may go through cycles of solving some issues only to find that other problems are revealed underneath them. It’s kind of like peeling an onion. It takes TRUST to do this work and that means a commitment on both of our parts to show up and do the work. If either one of us can’t be here for an appointment, a twenty-four hour cancellation is respectful – unless an emergency erupts.
Sometimes strong emotions emerge in the work and it is important to stick it out. The work of therapy is in putting difficult and painful feelings into words, then working through those feelings so that they can be released. That makes room for happier and joyful feelings. At times it can be hard to understand how moving directly into painful feelings can help, but consider that if that is not done they remain inside and you carry their burden forever. There is no escape from yourself.
The central part of therapy is the hardest part of the work. It takes commitment and trust. It takes a partnership of therapist and client to work together to uncover the blocks that prevent you from the freedom to live out your potential and joy. It is within the safety net of the caring and secure environment of the office that you learn you can say anything and expect acceptance. At the same time part of the therapist’s job is to challenge those parts of the personality or behavior that hold you back or are hurtful to you. This may be uncomfortable at times and the delicate balance is part of the dance that therapist and client perfect over time.
The reason you come to therapy is in order to leave. Ironically, I can give you nothing that you don’t already have. You have the wisdom inside you; I am only here to potentiate that wisdom in you. Some people fear that they loose their autonomy by coming to a therapist, saying they feel they have to “do it on their own”. You do do it on your own. It’s just that I may act as mirror, ear, compassionate friend, offer insight that was on the tip of your tongue. You’re the one that does the work. Without that, I am nothing, I am defeated.
As you learn to feel and cry and release your blocks and suffering, as you learn to fly you will find you need the sessions less.
Eventually it is time for you to leave, and at that time it is very important for you to say goodbye. Saying goodbye is just as important a learning experience as saying hello. The paradigm of birth, living and dying is lived out in our relationship. The paradigm of the developmental stages of birth to death get to be lived out – all in the hello and good-bye. It is the death of the relationship and at the same time the birth of your new expanded Self. Honor the relationship of growing by saying good-bye when you are done, and if you need to ever come back for a session or two in the future, great. I love to get updates of news of any kind from people that I have been honored to help throughout the years.
Sometimes people want to leave before the work is done. If you feel you can’t continue with the work at a given point, please have the courage to come in for a session to explain what is happening. You may say you are not ready to do the rest of the work now, or you may say you are upset with me for some reason. That’s OK. I will applaud you for being direct and for expressing yourself in words rather than just actions