As a psychotherapist I am convinced that compassion and humor are the keys to emotional health and to the relief of chronic unhappiness.
An important intention in my practice is to help my clients relate to their problems as opportunities for awakening and growth, rather than as obstacles that must be uprooted. Our practice and work is learning how to hold difficult feelings with kindness and care. We create a therapeutic environment – a supportive and encouraging space in which to express curiosity and develop a capacity for compassion, spontaneity and presence.
A consistent goal in my work, regardless of the presenting challenge, is to help people to increase their capacity for spontaneity and creativity in their responses to challenges. In other words: the problems really aren’t the issues. The problem is how we respond, which is usually reactive and habituated. First, we have to identify habitual patterns that no longer serve us. Often these patterns began as coping strategies and emotional protection. They may no longer be necessary and in fact may be detrimental to our well-being. Constriction and isolation are common effects of clinging to these reactive patterns. Our work then, is to relax the clinging and constriction.
I have expanded my approach to psychotherapy through a continuing practice of meditation and study of Buddhist Psychology, I have found that while Meditation can enhance conventional therapeutic approaches, Buddhist principles embody both compassion and mindfulness.
I am also drawn to the collaboration between psychotherapy, creativity, mindful-awareness and compassion practices.