Psychotherapy & art therapy
what is therapy, why do it?
Therapy is a special place and time -- where else can we make sense, not make sense, feel, not feel, connect, disconnect, understand and not understand -- and it all leads to things getting clearer and better?
You might come for therapy when you feel unsafe, or dissatisfied with choices you make, or find your relationships problematic, or can’t trust yourself, or feel unable to cope with day-to-day living.
Like many people you might have tried to cope with what hurts you by relying on work, food, drugs, self-harm or some other way of fooling the pain and confusion for just a bit longer. You might do your best not to think about it, or try medication or self-help books, and maybe that helps but the trouble still doesn’t go away.
Puzzling out why things have broken down and how to deal with them on your own can be deeply discouraging. The point of psychotherapy is to give you some experienced help. We often don’t really know what we’re made of, what our strengths are, or why our problems came up, until we can have a careful and non-judgmental look at them. By engaging in a therapy relationship, you might come to see sides of yourself you weren’t aware of. You may change aspects of yourself that may have worked well in the past, but don’t work so well anymore. The more fully you can see and understand yourself, the more problems such as depression, anxiety and fear can dissolve.
You may already have a sense of the situations that make your life painful, or you may feel confused about what’s happening. In either case the starting point is to let yourself express whatever's there. There’s no right or wrong thing to say or way to say it. While listening and offering my response, I keep in mind the belief that everyone repeats patterns that were once useful but later on might make things worse. On our own, it can be impossible to see and understand our well-worn ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. Simply saying to ourselves that we can overcome our demons if we change partner/job/diet/routine/etc., though helpful in some ways, just doesn’t work.
how this works
My role as a therapist is to help you see your own patterns more clearly, and help you appreciate how they might serve you well or not, so that you can choose for yourself how you’d like to change. Having a therapeutic, confidential time and space to express your thoughts and feelings is a powerful way of getting a handle on your life.
Through this process, you’ll understand your relationships better, you’ll feel you have more choices, and you can dismiss old patterns that don’t suit you anymore. Finally, you can feel that you’re more in the driver’s seat on a road that you’ve more consciously chosen.
All you need for psychotherapy to work is an ability to learn from experience, an openness to new thoughts and feelings, and a willingness to try to express what you’re feeling and thinking (though it’s natural that words are hard to find, especially in the beginning).
We can talk, or you can make art, or both. You don't have to explain anything or know how to draw or even know how to say what you mean.