My overall outlook on therapy
I believe that a genuine therapeutic relationship between me and the person is the basis for healing work. The client ideally experiences themselves within such a relationship as seen, heard, and valued, and as an empowered partner in our relationship and in their healing.
I understand clients’ experiences holistically through a biopsychosocial lense:
- I’m attentive to relevant biological factors such as genetics, temperament, physical illness, physiological changes, etc. I’m also particularly interested in how the body holds life experiences and in mind body connections.
- Psychotherapy of course focuses on the psychological part including conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to ourselves, others in our lives, and the world around us.
- I also understand the client as an individual embedded in a social/political context and I try to be attentive to the intersection between the person and factors such as gender, sexuality, culture, socio-economic background, political context, and larger systems of oppression.
Type of therapeutic approach I practice
I consider myself an integrative psychotherapist. That means that I draw on elements from different psychological perspectives including: relational, psychodynamic, trauma, and cognitive behavioral. I seek to anchor my work within a broader social justice informed perspective.
My therapeutic approach is tailored to the individual client, considering their life journeys, needs, vulnerabilities, and strengths. At the same time, my approach is based on the belief that meaningful change and healing often occurs through the curative “ingredients” below.
I believe therapy can help people by:
* Encouraging them to develop awareness and insight about themselves and their lives. This includes helping them identify patterns and connections between past and present, and between thoughts, feelings, relationships, behaviors, bodily experiences, etc. This awareness often helps clients make changes in needed areas of their lives.
*Helping people weave a story or a narrative of their life and how they came to be the person they are. I find that such a narrative lessens the feeling that there is something “wrong” with a person or that they are “defective”, “bad”, “weak”, “broken”, etc.
*Being attuned to people’s emotional experiences, and helping them understand, experience, and work through various emotions with someone who will listen deeply, witness, and hold.
*Helping people develop the capacity to hold and tolerate painful emotions and aspects of their lives. This includes helping them decrease their efforts to cope with difficulty and pain by excessive distraction, denial, seeking to escape, or fighting with their painful experiences.
*Being attentive to important relationships in people’s lives, both from past and present, and helping them understand the impact of these relationships on their lives, and the interactions between themselves and others.
*Helping people identify directions of meaning and value in their lives and supporting them as they make choices in these directions and seek to live in congruence with their values.
*Helping people understand the impact of larger structural, political economic, cultural, etc factors on their self and wellbeing.