How Therapy Helps
If you’ve never tried therapy before, you may be wondering how entering into this process will help you to create the positive changes you're seeking. Or if you’ve had previous therapy experiences, you know that every therapist has her or his own way of working with people, and you may be curious about what our partnership would be like. A broad description of our collaboration is that we will be working on healing your relationship with yourself. Specifically, the tools we will use to accomplish your goals include:
Therapy provides a unique opportunity to spend quality time with yourself and bring your full attention to what is going on, inside and outside of yourself. There is tremendous power in naming what’s true for you and having that truth witnessed and acknowledged.
- Developing compassion for yourself
Many people believe that their habitual harsh treatment of themselves helps them to hold themselves accountable and be honest with themselves. In fact, judgment and self-blame actually get in the way of the openness and curiosity that promote clarity, to say nothing of being damaging to self-esteem.
It can be difficult to see clearly when we’re so close to a situation that we’re overwhelmed by its details, or when we’re so detached from it that we deny or suppress its impact. Placing ourselves at the right distance, though, enables us to see, or to sense what’s at the root of the situations that may be confusing us or causing us pain.
We may not always like or choose to act on our feelings, but the energy they contain is a vital part of our aliveness that seeks expression. As communications of our emotional truth, our feelings can help us to understand and appreciate what our experiences truly mean to us.
- Exploring beliefs, values, and expectations and the patterns of behavior that grow from them
To a greater or lesser extent, all of us share the perception that people and events outside of us cause us to feel and behave the way that we do. But our own internal filters are always having an enormous impact on our perceptions and it is within our inner realm that we have the most power to create change.
- Assessing costs and benefits
Even the most painful and destructive patterns in which we feel stuck developed for valid reasons and originally came into being to serve a protective purpose. Paradoxically, appreciating the benefits of these “good intentions” can help us to release the costly patterns and find healthier ways to get our needs met. As our awareness increases, so do our choices.
We all need to feel cared for and loved. By necessity as children, our choices are constrained by the need to win the approval of those on whom we depend to supply support and nurturance. As adults, though, we can have many more choices, if our connection to ourselves is such that we are willing and able to be, in a sense, our own good parent. From this place of valuing ourselves, we can envision new and healthy steps that promote our growth.