Because the services I provide are in response to your needs, circumstances and goals, I don’t have a preconceived idea of what our work will look like. However, over the years I’ve noticed certain patterns in the work I do with folks.
When the goal is to reduce distressing symptoms the sessions stay very close to topic. This makes for a structured dialogue in which we explore, develop and assess coping techniques that target the symptoms. I’ll ask you to practice these techniques between sessions, and part of each session will be devoted to assessing what worked and what didn’t. We use your feedback to fine tune our work.
Another form therapy takes is working on a particular core issue. While symptoms may be what have drawn your attention to this issue, you’re looking for more than immediate symptom reduction. You want to find out what drives the symptoms. Material such as fear of abandonment, or a need to be perfect, or self-sacrifice, and how these play out again and again in your work or relationships is what we uncover and explore. In the process we increase your awareness of this dynamic and decrease its ability to influence your choices and actions.
For some people therapy is one leg in a journey of self-knowledge. Here the work is concerned with discovering the big meanings in your life. Very often these meanings are scattered throughout our experience but we aren’t fully aware of them. Things like personal values, spiritual experience and expression and the encounter with mortality can be hidden behind what we think we should believe. Your truth can be found in the stories you tell about yourself, in your memories and in your dreams. Like a miner panning next to a river you sift and gather the gold. This level of work is often compelling for those who identify as being in the second half of life.