I try to observe closely, and share what I notice–usually tentatively, some times more forcefully–so that you may consider whether my experience of you rings true, and provides you with some greater understanding of what is blocking you from living a richer, more satisfying life. I like to think of myself as an active and engaged therapist; I will ask you how you feel and how you experience the emotion in your body, but if I just sit there and nod or just ask you how you feel about something, please throw a box of kleenex at me. Perhaps I’m having an off day.
As most people are looking to make changes in their relationships with others, the relationship that develops between me and my clients can be a fertile microcosm to explore. Of course therapy is in some sense an artificial and limited relationship, but in many ways what goes on between the two of us can yield insights into the nature of your interpersonal world. So I encourage you to mine that rich datafield as much as possible.
Although people often enter therapy in some sort of crisis, it is usually longer-term, underlying issues that concern them. My goal is to work as quickly as possible, trying to make the most of each session. My clients don’t expect miracles, but they often are in significant distress when we first meet, and want relief. As the therapy progresses, the goals may enlarge, so we are not just working to get through the pain, but to create more positive things–richer, deeper relationships, more satisfying and creative work, more peace with themselves, and more engagement in life. Helping others to achieve these goals is a big part of what makes my life meaningful.