Humans are resilient by nature. When faced with adversity, our brain and body will adjust to it and develop ways to cope. These adaptations are often beneficial because they allow us to navigate a threatening or unsafe environment. However, the same strategies that once helped us can become maladaptive in a different environment where there is no threat. Part of the therapeutic journey is to identify what coping strategies we have carried that do not work well for us anymore. I will listen and ask you about your own story so we can see what patterns emerge, which ones we need to keep or incorporate and which ones we need to let go of.
I believe healing is relational. We cannot “heal” alone because we cannot read the label from inside the bottle.
Even if we have friends, family or romantic partners we can rely on, it is not always possible to express all our feelings and say anything that is in our minds/hearts without fear of being judged, misunderstood… This is what therapy is for, to provide a space where it is possible and safe to do so.
Therapy can be many things. It depends on what you need and what the matter at hand is, which varies from session to session. Perhaps sometimes you just want to vent and say what you might not be able to say in other settings. Perhaps other times you prefer to tackle things in a more practical way and work on how to address an issue or on what to do next. Or perhaps you need something different.
Oftentimes a session will be more fulfilling if we talk about what you really feel like sharing in that moment rather than following a rigid structure or sticking to a therapeutic plan. I invite you to listen to your intuition/gut feeling and bring forth what wants to come to light.
Originally, the word heal meant “to make whole”. As humans, we are multi-faceted. When I sit down with you, my interest goes beyond just understanding your “issues”. I also want to know about and explore other sides of you — your body, your relationships, your environment, your culture, your worldview… all these aspects come together to form a system that makes you who you are. Rather than looking at and treating all these aspects as separate, I see them as connected and as one entity. By bringing them back together we are making the system “whole” again and hence, healing it. Maybe you have noticed that when something goes sideways in one area of your life, other areas are impacted by it too. Likewise, when things are going well in one area of our life, things start to fall into place in other areas of our life too.
The holistic approach is also commonly known as integrative since it takes influences from different schools of thought.
In the course of therapy, I may draw techniques from different therapeutic approaches because therapy is not a one size fits all. Speaking in practical terms, these approaches include Narrative Therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT), Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and trauma-informed therapy. I mainly take influence from two branches of psychology: spiritual psychology and positive psychology. Different therapeutic approaches will work for different people because each person has their own unique story and worldview.