About Being You

Psychotherapy is an actvity "which involves our fellow human beings, and our being with them as fellow human beings." 

 -  Condrau (1988)

Some principles on how I work.

People come to therapy because they want help to live a better life. They want things to change but are not quite sure how to make these changes. They often express themselves as feeling quite "stuck". I see symptoms such as an addiction, an eating disorder, depression and anxiety as not merely events to be removed by magic words or medication, but as indicators that the way the person is living their live is unsatisfactory to them. They may lack the skills that could help them live a more fulfilling life; to be able to make healthier choices or to simply lead a less chaotic or dramatic life.

"The ways we evade and deny reality often form the basis of symptoms. Beneath every symptom is an unfaced dilemma. Essentially clients come to therapy when their usual evasions and denials are not working as well as they used to and they need a new way of tackling, but feel at a loss to find one".     Emmy van Deurzen

 

When working with clients I apply techniques from my studies (although not limited to), in CBT and DBT, Mindfulness and Meditation, Family Systems Theory, Existential Phenomenology, Emotional Focus Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Focusing Oriented Therapy (Trauma).

My therapeutic approach stems from an Existential perspective which means that:

  • I focus on knowing and understanding individuals as human beings, rather than knowing all about them
  • Understanding the human experience and the meaning of these experience(s)  for the individual and 
  • Understanding the unique features of each individual.

I also weave psychoeducation in to my work with Addictions and the Family as I believe education and knowledge is key to bringing about understanding and awareness for individuals. With greater awareness, the possibilities for change may arise as new perspectives are understood; creating a little bit more room in their lives for different choices rather than the usual unhelpful yet familiar patterns of functioning.

I believe people who come to therapy wish to:

  • to be understood and to feel that if they keep working at it they will ultimately understand themselves a bit better
  • to be supported in their tentative steps into the unknown world of change for themselves;
  • to feel they are not the only person to feel as they do and to be released of shame about not coping as well as they feel they ought to.

People who choose to come to therapy are unlikely to know these things by simply being told they are one way or another or just by being reassured. They will need to discover all these strange and amazing things by themselves, with my help, so that they can experience and understand them. Existential therapy is a process of uncovering and discovery.

I'm on the North Shore in Greenwich Wednesday - Friday and on the Northern Beaches part-time.