In contrast to my cognitive behavioral and solution focused approach to therapy is a Depth Psychology approach, which builds upon the teachings and wisdom of C.G. Jung, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, Marie-Louise von Franz, Robert Johnson, Edward Edinger, Joseph Campbell, and even the work of Sigmund Freud, Heinz Kohut, and Wilfred Bion.
Depth Psychology is simply defined as the only school of psychology that believes in the existence of the unconscious. The unconscious being where the concept of soul lives. It is my belief that the soul and the imagination are one and the same, and that one can gain access to this wisdom by not only exploring dreams, metaphor, music, art, and literature, but by fully immersing oneself in the five senses, and thus playing with the idea that there is a Collective Unconscious that comes at us during our waking hours much like dreams arise in us in the dead of night. In the process, one will explore what deeply engages them in terms of hearing, smelling, seeing, taste, and touch. From there, one moves to the edge of what one likes in order to discover new avenues of exploration and learning. Likewise, it is thought to be extremely Cathartic to explore past hurts and trauma through the five senses in order to learn what sometimes traps us and unconsciously influences us. This is the importance of bringing what is unconscious into consciousness or what remains in the Shadow out into the light.
My specific scope of practice has to do with the realm of the interpersonal, and so we will explore some of the above as it relates to the relationships that one continues to have with family, friends, coworkers, bosses, and others in the community, whether being played out in the here and now, or still influencing one from the past. I will help the client explore the ideas of projection and transference, and what our dislikes and likes in terms of others tell us about ourselves. It is thought that others are often a mirror that reflects a part of ourselves that remain unconscious, and which is important to integrate with and embrace, if, in fact, one is to ultimately become their genuine and full self.
Metaphorically speaking, I believe that what the therapeutic process mirrors is the relationship that Dante (symbolic of a client) has with Virgil (symbolic of the therapist) in the “Divine Comedy” written by Dante Alighieri. In the story, Virgil helps Dante negotiate both Hell and Purgatory; ultimately, leaving his side when Dante is about to enter into Paradise. As a therapist, it is my task to walk side by side with you, and shine a light on those areas of yourself and your life that you may not be aware of. We all have blind spots and strengths that we are not conscious of.
Additionally, we will attempt to find balance in the paradoxical parts of ourselves that make us human. It is not what people say that defines them, but what they do. Our paradoxical nature is normal. However, we need to be able to see the contradictions that exist within us, and make decisions that ultimately are of benefit to us. This will be addressed by the use of problem solving skills and learning to avoid getting caught in the cycle of unwanted drama.
There are no guarantees in therapy, and it is often the journey, not the goal, that ultimately defines the value of the experience. Change is inevitable, and not something that anyone desires to do alone. Let me be the Virgil to your Dante; I will follow your lead and help you navigate the inevitable interpersonal conflicts that accompany change.
"The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are." - C.G. Jung