I have been exposed to many approaches to transformation and growth over the years, and integrated many of them in to my work with others.
When it comes to relationships, addiction, anxiety, and general supportive counseling however - three main modalities stand out.
ATTACHMENT FOCUS (affirming)
Attachment focus basically means I see the importance of relationship in growth. Without a feeling of safety it’s very difficult to grow, share, and open up to deeper aspects of ourselves. We are pack creatures that learn through relationship, through modeling, dialogue, questioning, feedback, and reflection. If as a client you aren’t feeling comfortable, safe, and free to be yourself, it’s going to be difficult to really get to the bottom of whatever problem you are struggling with. As a counselor also I am open to feedback, my job is to help hold the space, and be somewhat of a tour guide while you journey more in to what's important to you.
The degree to which you feel safe in the therapy office will correlate to how much you want to explore new ideas and challenge yourself. Returning to the secure base that we form in relationship makes all the difference here. I try to cultivate a real sense of truly having your back.
DEPTH THERAPY (denying)
Depth psychology is the art and science of understanding our unconscious mental processes and motivations. Like in the famous “iceburg” diagram, our conscious mind is only a small part of the entire human psyche. By embracing consciousness as a whole, we uncover reasons why we think, feel, choose, love, and work the way we do. Often we value something different than what our routines and behavior otherwise suggest. Discovering our unconscious motives is implicitly healing and corrective. We awaken more out of our unconscious sleep, and see the machine that has been running the actions of life. With new awareness comes new ability to make choices, we align with our highest values.
VALUE DRIVEN (neutralizing/reconciling)
Change is a fickle creature. In a famous study done by Harvard Professor, and developmental psychologist Robert Keegan (entitled the immunity to change), his team found that even when presented with all the best reasons in the world to change, most people won’t.
At the very least, we usually have strong resistance to change. Our personality structure is designed to make us survive. This includes us feeling safe, and a preference to pleasurable experiences. Change is often very uncomfortable. It’s disorienting, can make us feel an identity loss, and it launches us head first in to the unknown. By helping clients connect deeply with their highest values, and using reflection techniques such as motivational interviewing, we work directly with our immunity to change and choose to move forward despite our fears. When I hear you, you can hear yourself, and we can identify what's important to you.