~ Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy ~
I practice Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy, offering a space to explore how conflicts between faith and practice can hinder psychological growth and healing. This exploration often tends toward the impact psychological distress can have on how we choose to live by and practice the core values of our faith.
These explorations attend to layers of being (and becoming) beyond surface-level interpretations of experience, requiring courage to encounter the unknown and befriend the mystery of existence. This is not to say that I provide religious/spiritual direction. While informed about many different systems of faith, I humbly refrain from telling patients what to believe. For many, this is a profoundly personal choice, and for others, faith and culture are indistinguishable.
I am particularly interested in working with people of all ages and faiths. This interest also extends to those identifying as agnostics and atheists. That is, in order to question and deny the existence of “G-O-D,” one must first have an idea of “G-O-D” to question and deny.
I endeavor to compassionately and empathically understand my patients’ experiences, and how these may conflict with their core values. I have a deep sense of respect for my profession, as well as gratitude for those who trust my presence. Quite succinctly, I consider healing to be a sacred process, and I consider my clinical work to be an integral component of my own spiritual practice.
As outlined under the Education & Experience tab, I draw from a wide scope of clinical experience. I also draw from other disciplines, such as mythology and theology, existential and process philosophy, etymology, biology and physiology, sociology and cultural anthropology, theoretical metaphysics, and history.
I believe that broadening the approach to treating psychological symptoms can further insight into the experience of human suffering, allowing its inherent wisdom to emerge. In other words, as long as suffering is tolerable, venturing into it from many different angles can amplify growth and healing.
By this approach, I seek to explore the roots as well as the tendrils of surface-level concerns and experiences. As a means of inviting this process, I find inspiration in Humanistic and Transpersonal theories. I also integrate various Psychodynamic and Cognitive-Behavioral ideas, providing an eclectic theoretical schema malleable to each individual.
Using traditional talk therapy as a frame, I emphasize trust and empowerment in the service of cooperatively creating and negotiating a therapeutic relationship. Authentically showing up for this journey naturally integrates evidenced-based techniques often emphasized in popular self-help psychotherapy.
By engaging in psychotherapy with me, you can expect me to draw our attention to:
- the rhythm of our conversations and the resonance of the language used
- how and what bodily sensations can teach us about our emotional lives
- poignantly stated metaphors and relevant etymology
- the potential psychospiritual relevance of dreams
- mythological symbols and themes
- various mindfulness practices that can nurture insight into confusing emotions, conflicting thoughts and indirect/defensive behaviors
- the psychotherapeutic value of compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, generosity, empathy and love, and
- Holistic diagnostic and conceptual models.
These areas of exploration highlight the mysterious edges of experience and existence whereby both patient and therapist are able to cooperatively approach what is actually trying to be shared, witnessed, and integrated into one's journey of healing.
I also offer this same frame when engaging in play therapy with children in that I allow the freedom and spontaneity of play to emerge naturally. That is, I invite children to autonomously choose meaningful objects, treasured toys, art materials, and/or musical instruments to bring from home, and consider the manner in which the play is negotiated to be the language of therapy.
While most of my practice is providing individual psychotherapy, I have an interest in group therapy as well as in teaching and providing professional training seminars. Information regarding these interests can be found under the Group Psychotherapy and the Teaching and Training tabs, respectively.
While I integrate an eclectic range of theories and disciplines into my clinical practice, my approach has been most influenced by comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell, transpersonal psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, analytical psychologist Carl Jung, existential psychoanalyst Rollo May, and pediatric psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott.