A respectful and empowering approach to your thoughts, feelings, and experiences within a therapy setting
It might sound fancy, but humanism in the context of psychotherapy is pretty simple. It centers you, the client, and focuses on helping you build a stronger sense of self and develop a healthy understanding of your feelings, all within the ethical and social contract we have made with those around us to further the earth we all inhabit. No two of us are the same being, so psychotherapy together will naturally address your individual and unique challenges and seek to help you understand the root cause of your struggles. There is no “one size fits all.”
Focusing means tuning into and clarifying those vague or subtle feelings we all have, and by being particularly compassionate and humanistic, we can bring those feelings into better focus.
Focusing-Oriented Therapy is all about helping you recognize and process those small, inner feelings that we often skip over or ignore. It puts your emotional experiences at the center of your therapy – never undermining or belittling. This approach is especially compassionate and culturally sensitive.
Attachment theorists posit that the infant-parent relationship (and initially studied as a mother) is the most formative relationship in our life. As an attachment-oriented therapist, what resonates most for me is how all of our relationships from cradle to grave have a way of shaping who we are as individuals and the choices we make in our lives, and should be processed so that we may experience them more fully, as well as build the kinds of relationships that work for us as individuals.
Emotionally-Focusing Therapy (EFT)
Prior to working 100% virtually, I trained for many years in EFT for couples. EFT is an attachment-based model of couples therapy that examines the “cycle” that exists within relationships based on our own attachment needs. I have found that EFT is a model though that can be adapted to individual work, and is quite similar to Focusing-Oriented Therapy in that it prioritizes the relationship that we have to our own inner felt sense. The founder of EFT, Susan Johnson, is in the early stages of developing a similar comprehensive to EFT training, for individual psychotherapy, of which I also experienced a portion.
Unfortunately I have found that online therapy with couples did not have the same impact as in-person work, and for that reason have decided to not accept couples into my practice at this time. I do, however, utilize many of techniques and theories of EFT, and that they are applicable to individuals’ struggles within their relationships.
Humor & Playfulness
You know what they say, that “laughter is the best medicine,” and while obviously there are times when medication is much more warranted than humor, I find the ability to have humor and be playful, in most but not all of its forms helps to foster connection both with oneself and one another. In finding humor in our struggle, we can often feel much less intensity with any shame that arises, and if we know going into exploring something that it is normal, we can be more open and curious about what we find there, leading to a deeper and more meaningful understanding, and ultimately (eventually) a healthier outcome.
Connection & Rapport
There have been countless studies on psychotherapy that have demonstrated that the modality of therapy is not nearly as consequential to therapy outcomes as the quality of the relationship between client and therapist. While I’ve listed it last here, I find that it is woven throughout every part of the work we do. How we work together will ultimately be essential to the depth of the process that you are able to get to, and subsequently the return on the investments that you make during this time.