Role of the Therapist:
I perceive therapy as an opportunity to witness oneself in a very intimate manner, in a very safe place. So often we go through life on auto mode without taking the time to carefully and deeply explore the choices we are making, the reasons behind the choices and the way in which we learned to define, and also limit, ourselves in the process. My job is to act as a guide, to very carefully and respectfully assist my clients in making contact with themselves in a very deep way and to help them become mindful of the imprints (the way one comes to define themself and the world) and then to assist and support them in expanding beyond the imprint in order to bring forward their own unique, authentic and true self.
Role of the Client:
The role of the client is willingness. To simply be willing to enter the office, in and of itself is a true act of courage. Then, to take a seat within oneself, with the therapist present as witness, is another. Pain, the most common motivator of change, creates the pathway to opportunity: the opportunity to take another deeper look, to reassess and redefine the way in which you have come to know yourself, others and the world, and then to reclaim yourself, with expression of your own unique and very real truth. When we bring ourselves into our lives in this manner it invariably leads to more balance and reconnection to the wholeness that has always been there.
How It Works:
In various ways humans learn through the socialization process to honor or oppress the many parts of self. When we honor, we expand ourselves into our life. When we oppress, we contract and much internal energy is given to holding this contraction thus robbing ourselves of our vitality, energy and access to wholeness. While this contraction is largely seen as a survival skill in time it becomes habitual (after the threat is gone) and leads to symptoms of depression, anxiety, addictions, low self-esteem, etc.
Humans are social creatures; we need engagement and contact with other humans in order to be healthy. Left to ourselves, we tend to develop psychological and emotional imbalance. Therapy, quite simply, is a relationship between the Client and the Therapist that is based upon respect, honesty, connection and trust....the very things we are looking for in our relations with our important others.
Through the therapeutic relationship and self observation, a process unfolds by which the client begins to bring into his/her awareness, the parts of the self that have been oppressed (think "aha I see it"). Once able to observe it, the Client begins to recognize the oppressed parts as parts of the self (think "Oh, that's me"). Once this split off part of the self is recognized, the integration back into wholeness of the self begins. Once complete, the Client is able to choose ("I can" versus "I'm stuck") and begins to make choices that honor and support his/her wholeness. Psychological and emotional symptoms abate, relationships improve and expansion continues.
The benefits of therapy include reduction and/or resolution of symptoms (depression, anxiety, addictions, etc), improved self-esteem, improved relationships, improved quality of life, reduction of stress, better job satisfaction, career changes, improved conflict resolution skills, and many more.
Lets be honest; we want our relationships to work. Don't we? Even in a state of imbalance, there is a balance; it may be lopsided but it is balanced. When we begin the process of rebalancing ourselves we temporarily destabilize the balance in our relationships. Simply put, when we change, it affects others. Most often this is a good thing that creates a positive rippling effect throughout the system (couple, family, work place, etc).
Sometimes members of the system feel threatened, for various reasons, by the changes and do not support the new balance. Pressure may be applied on the Client to revert to old behaviors. This can present a challenge to the Client to choose and in some instances results in the decision to leave the relationship.
As the Therapist, I will not make choices for you, influence you to make one decision over another nor will I judge you for any choices you make. It is my role to help you determine what is best for you and to support you throughout the process.
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Couples Counseling and Marriage Couselor