" There are more things in heaven and earth ... than are dreamt of in your philosophy " Hamlet
As a therapist with a PhD in depth psychology, my process is based on the concept of "seeing through". We look through the obvious (such as crippling anxiety or suffocating depression) to discover what is breathing behind it. In this manner we uncover who you are beyond the pain, cultural expectations, and all of the shoulds that have cluttered and defined your life. We may wander onto a new philosophy for you, something you've never even dreamed of. Working together, we can unravel the defenses that have been unconsciously built to protect your heart and soul from feeling and have kept you from being present in your own life. By staying curious, open, creative, and nonjudgmental, we will unearth who you really are and investigate what may be holding you back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
I love this description of the theraputic process and healing:
When we look at healing as creating space for the stranger, it is clear that we should be willing and able to offer … so much needed hospitality…Therefore, healing means, first of all, the creation of an empty but friendly space where those who suffer can tell their story to someone who can listen with real attention…Our most important question as healers is not, "What to say or to do?" but, "How to develop enough inner space where the story can be received?" Healing is the humble but also very demanding task of creating and offering a friendly empty space where the stranger can reflect on their pain and suffering without fear; and find the confidence that makes them look for new ways right in the center of their confusion. Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out: Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
There are a couple of things that resonate for me in this quote. One is about the therapeutic process developing confidence, the confidence that healing is possible, and that we can find new ways of seeing the world even in our most depressed and anxious state. It’s very easy to feel hopeless and overwhelmed when we’re overcome with confusion and suffering. To know that the therapeutic relationship can help to develop the inner confidence necessary to look at the world differently can be comforting. Even though we may not have an answer or specific path, we can find new ways of living.
I’m also attracted to the term stranger. The stranger does not have to mean the patient. The stranger can be the unknown feeling, or an unknown, strange part of ourselves. That is where it takes listening with real attention to patiently see who or what is emerging.