“It can be quite disorienting to find that a story (we tell about our lives) … is not only not true – it actually never was true. Not now not ever. There is another form of obsolescence that can fray at the cocoon we have spun about ourselves, that is, the story was true at one time, and for an extended period; the story was even true and good to us, but now it is no longer true and no longer of any benefit, in fact our continued retelling of it simply imprisons us. We are used to the prison however, we have indeed fitted cushions and armchairs and made it comfortable and we have locked the door from the inside.” – David Whyte
Our capacity to stay “connected” to ourselves and others is a very tricky proposition. We are constantly being influenced by a variety of factors, that if go “unnoticed,” can impact us dramatically. Our “triggers” can be either obvious and transparent, or unpredictable and invisible. And our default responses (thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviors), which served as forms of defense and protection in the past, are most often no longer our preferred form of response in the present. Yet they persist. Understanding our patterns is a big piece of the puzzle, as is presence, courage, and the strength to notice and accept our own vulnerability.
Just as every person’s experience of depression or anxiety is different, every client’s course of treatment will be as well. It is no easy task to explain the art and science of psychotherapy, but foundationally here is my process.
Broadly speaking, clients come to individual counselling for one of two reasons. One, they may be feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances that life is presenting to them and are looking for relief from the suffering it is producing, or two, they proactively seek out personal growth in order to progress from “getting by” (surviving) and move towards excellence (thriving). Sometimes the work occurs in concert with one another, other times not. Either way, I find both types of therapeutic work to be very rich and rewarding
For many, one of the most difficult aspects of the therapeutic process can be taking the first step. Reaching out and asking for help can feel like admitting weakness, which can cascade into feelings of unworthiness and shame. For many people these feelings will decrease the likelihood of them ever reaching out for help. It can all feel like too much.
Dealing in the unknown can feel scary, but therapy can be transformative. I would like to encourage you to reach out for support … whether to me or someone else. Please feel free to call or email to schedule an initial appointment. You can reduce pain and suffering and move towards hope, health and happiness.
*** This is not an exhaustive list of the issues with which I treat. If your issue is not listed above and you are interested in working me, please contact me to see if we may be a fit.
Since so many people ask, here are some ideas:
Classics (Old and New)
– Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
– Polyvagal Theory – Steven Porges
– The Gift of Therapy – Irvin Yalom
– Anxious – Joseph Ledoux
– Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
– Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown
– Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – Johann Hari
– Capture: Unravelling the Mystery of Mental Suffering – David Kessler
– Maybe You Should Talk to Someone – Lori Gottlieb
I work with young adults to help navigate the overwhelming onslaught of change that often feels out of control – for them and their families. Moods, emotions, thoughts, identity are constantly in flux: frequently adolescents will have difficulties understanding their relationship to independence, interdependence, and what is healthy for them. We work on the development of self-awareness, boundaries, values, self-esteem, autonomic nervous system regulation, and the exploration of their relationships with themselves and others.