Congratulations, for taking the first step towards better emotional well-being. Entering therapy can be a daunting decision. What can I tell you that might make this step easier?
Every person’s therapy is unique. It will follow your life, both past and present. Primarily, therapy will be a safe space where every worry or concern you have will be acceptable for discussion and analysis. It may frequently be difficult, but there will also be joy and freedom. And I can assure you that ‘the talking cure’ can bring about deep and long-lasting change in your life.
I work from a psychodynamic framework. I believe none of us is just one person, but rather a dynamic mix of all the life experiences that have brought us this far. Sometimes those different histories conflict with each other and slow our progress through life. Rationally we may know that we are capable of a more advanced job but a browbeaten child within finds it impossible to stand up for the recognition we deserve. Maybe you possess a great love inside but a lonely core makes you feel unworthy of an intimate relationship. Especially through childhood, we make compromises with our family, our friends and our community. In our formative years, these compromises can lead to beliefs about ourselves that take us away from our true selves. Almost every one of us comes to adulthood believing we are a very different person than the version of ourselves that will bring us peace and liveliness.
Through our weekly therapy sessions together, I will support you as you strive to understand these separate forces within and the compromises you have needed to make, discerning which may be useful to you today and which are holding you back from a more satisfying life.
I am a graduate of the University of Toronto, have completed the CTP program for training in psychotherapy and am registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. I have also worked for over twenty years as a social worker in the community, addressing issues of addiction, mental health, homelessness and poverty.
I believe very much in the ‘talking cure’ of the early psychotherapists, Freud and Breuer. I try to encourage my clients to talk with as little inhibition as possible, following a stream of consciousness. If they are discussing frustrations at work and are suddenly thinking about another child who bullied them in grade school, they should go with that, there is likely a connection. Dreams, fantasies and other irrational imaginings can also be valuable to analyze.
I strive to establish a strong rapport so that there hopefully will be nothing too shameful, sorrowful or unnatural, that it cannot be discussed. Unlike our everyday lives, the therapeutic relationship is a unique bubble where we hopefully can feel free of the impingements of society for an hour every week to feel, consider and discuss whatever is our inner truth at the time. If in here we can get beyond the everyday self-censoring, we can engage in a real discussion of issues that may be controlling our lives, but from the shadows beyond our conscious attention.
I don’t have the answers. I will not be your guru. I will not advise you to leave your wife or husband. You, the client, will do the vast majority of the talking. I will be a sympathetic ear, frequently a mirror and occasionally a challenger to irrational behavior, as you bring your issues and emotions out into the light.