When you and I enter into therapy together, my first goal is to provide an emotional environment where you feel safe. You will tell me what you want help with, and together we will decide the best direction to take. I will invite you to collaborate with me, because you know yourself better than anyone else.
You may come just to talk something over or to ask for some advice about something specific. Or, you may want to enter a focused course of therapy. I may offer various methods, and you will have the right to accept or refuse them.
If you want to work on something that relates to an earlier time in your life, you may be afraid of feeling past pain. I do not subscribe to the theory that you must re-live the pain of your past in order to heal from it. I will always strive to help you release the distressing energy caught in your system in the most painless way possible.
It is very clear to me that I am in no position to judge you. There is a good chance that I have been in a similar place to where you are in the past. I admire you for wanting to heal and grow, whether you are at the beginning of that journey or wanting to further it.
I do not have any authority over you. By the same token, I do not have the power to heal you. What I can do is teach you how to heal yourself. I can help you release emotional pain and old beliefs that no longer work for you, if that is your intention. You have the power to heal yourself. I will guide and facilitate that process with you until you no longer need me.
I will encourage you to love and accept yourself. This may feel strange to you at first, because our culture often teaches us to be harsh and critical towards ourselves. I believe that self-forgiveness and compassion for yourself is always indicated and always appropriate, no matter what. Not one of us has led a flawless life.
Forgiveness and compassion toward others is also very healing and helps us live more joyful lives. However, you may have been taught that you should forgive before you have healed from harm done to you and before you feel safe again. Safety comes first. Then, and only if you choose it, we can move toward the wonderful freedom that comes with forgiveness.
I firmly believe that you are healthy and good in your very Core. Most people are taught that something is wrong with them at your core, but I do not subscribe to that idea. Your inner health cannot be destroyed, regardless of how it may seem.
I have been trained in a variety of approaches, including Internal Family Systems Therapy, Repair and Reattachment Grief Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, Somatic Experiencing, The Journey, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In actual practice, with the exception of Repair and Reattachment Grief Therapy, I often combine elements of two or more modalities at once. In some cases, therapy can be done via Skype-like video sessions, using a more secure program called Re-Group.
There are ethical considerations involved with any form of counseling/psychotherapy. As a clinical social worker, I am bound by a code of ethics as outlined by the National Association of Social Workers, which can be viewed here: http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/docs/resources/nasw_code_of_ethics.pdf.
Working on healing yourself and creating a life of joy and peace, however you do it, is wonderful. It is challenging at times, interesting always, and often even fun. At the same time, it is also a way of doing your part in furthering the cause of world peace. The more individuals establish inner peace, the greater the possibility for outer peace.