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How Will We Work Together?

     I approach therapy and life with a belief that while we cannot always control what life throws at us, we can control how we respond to it. We can become empowered to have control over our lives.

Our Early Experiences Are Important....

     There is a common understanding, supported by extensive research, that our early life experiences have a profound influence on how we live our adult life. These experiences become the foundation for how we want to interact with our world. Our interpretation of how these early experiences have impacted us becomes our rationale for how we choose to respond to subsequent life events. 

     Through this process we develop our personal strategies for creating the lives we want. We often express these strategies in the form of our values, beliefs, and expectations and they have a strong influence on the goals we aspire to in our life and the manner in which we pursue them. 

 “At the center of your being

you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” 

            Lao Tzu 


     As we respond to these life events we also develop problem solving skills that help us to overcome challenges and threats along the way; we often refer to these as life skills or coping skills. As a result we become increasingly empowered to take responsibility to define our life journey

     However, sometimes we find ourselves “stuck in a rut” or "obstructed" by certain events in our life. At these times, we find our existing problem solving skills are not helping us or we find that our proven strategies are no longer relevant for helping us get through this event in our life. This can give rise to confusion, anxiety, stress, conflict, a loss of direction, and/or a sense of helplessness about how to manage our life in the way we want. So, we find ourselves overwhelmed, unable to live life authentically, and we become frustrated by the barriers preventing us from achieving our personal goals. 

Taking Personal Control

While there is a sense of helplessness at these times, we can regain control of our lives by changing the way we respond to these problems. Loa-Tzu, a Chinese philosopher of Taoism in the 4th Century BC, said “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power" I find this wisdom to be a truly inspiring message for life; the only thing we really have control over is ourselves. The answer to true and lasting empowerment, therefore, lies within each of us and our ability to choose the most effective way to respond to the world around us.

     We all wish we could change the negative people or situations in our lives but the reality is we often can’t, even if we believe we know the other better than they know themselves or that the situation is unfair. However, we can change ourselves to respond differently and through that create change in others or the situation. In order to do this, we need to do what Loa-Tzu advises and that is to learn how to better manage ourselves to purse what we want, rather than rely on others to give us what we need. This brings the control and sense of self-efficacy right back to us.

Becoming Empowered to Create Change

“The past has no power to stop you

from being present now.

Only your grievance about

the past can do that.

What is grievance?

The baggage of old

thought and emotion.”

 Lao Tzu 

     I work with you to promote growth from within by creating new knowledge for you. My role as your counselor is to help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your problem, identifying unhelpful unconscious beliefs and motivations that hinder your healthy progress and well-being. A better understanding of how these unhealthy beliefs have become integrated into your lived experiences offers you the opportunity to change them, freeing you up to find alternative paths to living authentically and realizing what you most value in your life. Addressing these important underlying existential issues is critical to realigning to your life compass, a tool essential for navigating your personal life journey.

     The way I work is heavily influenced by the work of the psychiatrist Dr. Carl Gustav Jung. Jung developed the theory of depth psychology, acknowledging the importance of integrating the conscious and unconscious parts of our psyche as the route to wholeness and well-being.

     Dr. James Hollis, leading Jungian Analyst, explains what depth psychology is in the following excellent video and its purpose in building emotional, psychological, behavioral, and spiritual well-being.

Enneagram Personality Model

     The Enneagram personality model provides a useful model for understanding the underlying motivations that influence how we choose to interact with our world. It is a holistic personal development tool that integrates the influences of nature, nurture, personal responsibility, and spiritual development. Therefore, the enneagram not only provides a holistic understanding of our personality as we live and experience it; it also offers a comprehensive system for personal and spiritual development that is useful over the lifetime. 

     The enneagram describes each personality’s core underlying motivations for life and offers descriptions for how these motivations present themselves as healthy and unhealthy behaviors. No one personality is healthier or better than another and all personalities can function in healthy and unhealthy ways. 

     The enneagram model provides levels of functioning for each personality, offering tangible guidelines for personal growth and well-being. This allows us to become more accepting of our whole self; our unhealthy self is as much a part of us as our healthy self as they coexist in all of us. Rather than deny or punish the darker side of ourselves, we become empowered when we learn to accept and manage it instead. We learn to integrate the conscious and unconscious parts of our whole psyche. 

     A deeper understanding of why and how our life experiences impact us the way they do empowers us to take control in shaping the quality of our lived experiences. In doing this, we develop the capacity to live more authentically, aligning more closely to our true nature and aspirational self. 

Our Working Relationship

     Our working relationship is collaborative, we are partners in your growth. True empowerment and contentment comes from within when we achieve balance and integration of the mind, body, and soul providing a deep sense of grounding. In the same way the trunk and roots of a tree provide stability and resilience for the branches and leaves to bend and flow to weather stormy times, a strong psychological and emotional inner core provides us the same essential qualities to successfully navigate the unpredictability of our life events. 

     Our lives are not simple, they are complicated and enmeshed. Because all aspects our life are interconnected, our problems also must be understood and resolved holistically bringing in all aspects of what makes us who we are. We need solutions and growth that enrich across our life style and life span.

     New skills and strategies are needed to facilitate and maintain the changes needed to realize these new life goals. I use a wide range of interventions, tools, and exercises to equip you to bring about these positive social changes for yourself. We live in a time when quick and superficial solutions gain the most attention, however, true empowerment comes from the ability to develop skills that promote sustainable change. My goal is to create that deeper and more meaningful change for you.

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