what is therapy?

Therapy opens a shared space in which to talk about problems, explore difficulties in relationships, or simply create a new avenue in which to hear yourself speak out loud about you. Psychotherapy is often a longer-term in-depth exploration, while therapy or counseling is a short-term problem-focused search for understanding and change.

The goal of psychotherapy is to help you feel better, more comfortable with who you are, what you feel, and why you behave in ways that have evolved over time. Therapy helps create understanding, choice, and change.

When you explore the well-worn pathways of yourself with a therapist you can understand yourself in new ways, and have a different perspective on the critical thoughts, despairing feelings, or destructive behaviors you may have that lead you round and round. It is a gradual process that sheds light on long standing anxiety, grief, depression, addictions, or relationship troubles. Through therapy, the landscape inside and outside starts to look different.

How we know, care for, understand and express ourselves is the foundation on which we build our relationships, families, work, meaning, purpose, health and contentment. Psychotherapy is a pause and a space in which you can reflect and talk about yourself. This process of finding words, speaking out loud, being heard and understood transforms. Psychotherapy helps change the stories we tell ourselves, and tell others, about us. It helps us understand and accept where we have come from, where we find ourselves now, and where we hope to be in the future.

why do people come to therapy?

People come to therapy for many reasons, mostly because something in themselves or in their lives is not as they would like it to be, and they feel they need a little help. They may simply want to feel better, and have less pain, or they may want to explore deep seated parts of themselves that eat away at the quality and substance of their lives. We often have difficulty understanding ourselves, and sometimes it does not feel safe to explore, on our own, what is causing us trouble. Many of us need someone to listen non-judgmentally and empathically, which helps unknot the ties that bind us up within and with others.

what psychotherapy is to me

My view of psychotherapy has been shaped by my own experiences in therapy, and been informed by Relational, Interpersonal and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy which believes that the shared therapeutic relationship is vital to change. I also integrate Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which pays close attention to our body’s responses and physical reactions, helping us learn that our body can be a resource and a place of safety. These therapies along with mindfulness and emotion-focused (EFT) therapies, attachment–based and developmental approaches have all felt meaningful to me in my own life.

I believe that transformation comes through feeling connected and understood by someone, one individual with another. Being with and present, listening intently to what you say and don’t say, and reflecting your experience back to you is at the heart of psychotherapy. We are all doing our best to move towards health and a balanced life, even when our path has felt destructive and full of pain. Experiencing empathy and understanding leads to greater self-awareness and compassion for who you are and how you are – this is the work of therapy. Towards this goal I will bring myself – my thoughts, my feelings, my skills, training and experience to our conversations. I also draw on ongoing research, current literature and clinical supervision to ensure that we are working as effectively as possible to meet your needs and goals. It is important to me that therapy is a collaborative process so I will check in with you regularly to ensure that our work is feeling useful and safe to you. Supporting people to bring their full selves to their lives, relationships, and work, as well as into the therapy hour, has been my vocation and pleasure since 1998.