Words Have Power
Often the process of naming something, just the act of putting it into words, lessens its power over us. Once something has been labeled, it is easier to deal with it. My job is to help you verbalize your feelings, even though you may not understand or even recognize them.
People often erect walls around themselves for protection. We can visualize the process of therapy as opening windows and doors in those walls. I will respect your protections or defenses as they are there for a reason – you will never be forced or pushed to go beyond your comfort zone. What I provide for you is a safe place, full of care and support, where you can risk lowering your protective walls. This will enable you to see new approaches to old problems and ways of thinking.
The process also involves the need to understand your past. You may have developed survival skills to help you deal with difficult or even terrifying experiences that you faced earlier in life. Although these skills served a useful function then, they may interfere in how you manage your life now. To let them go often means changing lifelong behaviors. Our job together is to determine which skills are still useful and which have become unnecessary baggage that weighs you down.
Once you understand how your past experiences affect you in the present, you may not be so quick to judge or put yourself down. You may become more accepting of who you are. Therapy enables you to grieve for all your unmet needs in the past, so you can become who you want to be in the present.
Doing this work involves developing and building trust. I don’t expect you to immediately feel comfortable telling me, a stranger, intimate details about your life. However, I will remain consistent, safe, and nonjudgmental. Trust develops, one day at a time, session after session.