The word psychotherapy is made up of two root words. Psyche means soul or life spirit and therapeuein is to tend or render service. In this context, psychotherapy is in service to life spirit. It is dedicated to exploring the inner landscape of the individual as well as developing ego strength in the outer world of relationships, work, and creativity. The journey often begins with a desire for deeper meaning or curiosity about life. Is there more than meets the eye or is it simply a struggle to survive? Is there a way to decipher nightly dreams? Are emotions serving us or blocking the way?
Although often done in conjunction with psychotherapy, an analytic approach is different from traditional therapy, which focuses on strengthen the ego so it can survive in the world and in the tumult of emotional states. In analysis there is an added element of investigation, discovery of the nature of the inner world and workings of the psyche. One definition of analysis is “a careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other” (from Webster online dictionary). Keeping this in mind, Jungian analysis often begins with exploring material in the personal unconscious and shadow (anything that is in the background or hidden from sight). Analysis then moves deeper into discovering and getting to know the nature of emotionally toned complexes within as well as exploring the impact of cultural norms and tendencies on one’s life. At the core of complexes (individual as well as collective) are universal archetypal energies, dwelling in the collective unconscious, that influence inner as well as outer decisions and existence. Dreams, mythological amplification, and active imagination are all effective tools that can help the self-discovery or, in the words of C.G. Jung, individuation process.
Depression has many faces and can manifest as inertia, melancholia, exhaustion, lack of motivation/energy, feeling lost or trapped. Life can lose meaning and deep existential fears of non-being often manifest. Regardless of name or description, depression often takes over and robs us of vitality and enjoyment of life. However, depression and negative moods may be trying to tell you something. Working with dreams and imagination can reveal a hidden source to help re-infuse life with purpose. If you are curious about depression or need help navigating through it, the therapeutic process can help facilitate discovery of what is happening to as well as within you, and can also bring to light to hidden potential that is hiding in and under the cloud of depression.
Anxiety & Stress
Debilitating anxiety can make simple tasks of life appear overwhelming whereas a moderate amount of anxiety is normal when approaching something new that is outside of one’s comfort zone. Anxiety can freeze or it can motivate change. If anxiety holds you back, blocks productivity, and fulfillment of everyday tasks as well as your personal goals and dreams, it may be time to seek professional help in a supportive environment. As a team, we work together to prioritize tasks, reduce stress, build emotional resiliency, and reconnect to inner resources that nurture and guide. Learning to tackle obstacles step-by-step in a grounded way is important for survival in our fast-paced world vs. feeling overwhelmed and allowing outer circumstances dictate the course of your life.
Grief & Loss
Losing a loved one, a friend, a job, a home, a dream, or financial security is something we are never prepared for and never get used to. Although we have all at some time experienced grief and loss of some sort, it is very hard to carry the weight alone. The therapeutic environment can give emotional support that helps navigate the dark forest of sorrow and suffering. Nightly dreams and daytime imaginings will also be explored. These also offer hidden clues that guide and determine next steps, especially when in throes of grief, when you feel stuck, or when an old wound, heartache has been unearthed.
You’re in the minority if you are satisfied with your career and feel you are in the right place even on stressful, difficult days. Most of us struggle with tolerating a job that depletes body, mind, and soul, and wonder why life has lost meaning and why we wake up in the morning depressed, anxious, or irritable. How does one find a vocation that fulfills within and without? The journey begins with you, by being curious about who you are, what moves you on an inner level as well as outer, what your dreams and passions are as well as what sustains you and gives you energy. The therapeutic dyad can facilitate exploration and often help clarify, articulate, or manifest hidden potentials in the outer world.