The Point of Therapy

The point of therapy is to have a safe space to begin to face what is painful or scary to look at inside of us so we can begin to consciously choose how we want to be in the world.  This is important because things we're not conscious of don't just impact us; we are impacting other people all the time. But to become conscious first, we have to admit that there's a lot we don't yet know.

Success in Therapy

Research has shown that the most important factor in predicting success in therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. In fact, research has found this is more important than the therapeutic modality practiced. I believe my greatest strength as a therapist is my ability to form a genuine connection with my clients.  My first goal is to create a safe, comfortable, engaging, nurturing, and hopeful environment for clients.

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product."  said Eleanor Roosevelt.  I try to support my clients so that they can recognize that therapy is not about changing others, or engaging in an endless pursuit to adjust circumstances out of their control. Successful therapy allows you to accept what you can (and cannot) control, and use your energy to make positive changes in order to live a life you value.

I work with older children, teens, adults and families to help them learn new ways to express their thoughts, feelings, dreams, as well as traumatic experiences.   Children are deserving of respect and need to have a voice in their own lives.  This belief is an important part of my work to help children learn new skills so that they can be understood by those who care for them.  

I have found that the most successful outcomes in my work are brought about by using a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Art Therapy, Neurodevelopmental (NDAT), Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy (MBAT), and other expressive therapies (including reflective journaling).  I believe it is important to explore attachment styles (2:39 mins), and how your childhood affects your relationships (7:35 mins).  Attachment theory argues that a strong emotional and physical bond to one primary caregiver in our first years of life, is critical to our development.  If our bonding is strong and we are securely attached, then we feel safe to explore the world. If our bond is weak, we feel insecurely attached. We are afraid to leave or explore a scary-looking world. And we are not sure if we can return.  We often don't understand our own feelings, and can experience toxic stress.
 
Entering therapy is a creative act.  It’s a process of experimentation, growth and transformation.