I work from the perspective that “life”, the animating force within living beings, naturally orients toward healing and evolution. Our modern world, coupled with our capacity for free thinking, means we have often become dissociated from this natural state. The dissociation emerges from many factors: from the impact of growing up in a particular family and a particular culture, to environmental and intergenerational influences. Depth psychotherapy seeks to investigate and resolve the factors which prevent the expression of our truest nature. In this time honoured approach, we are seeking to understand who we truly are, and what in truth will nourish our life with meaning.
From a practical perspective sessions are organic, rather than linear, manualised or transactional. This enables the natural process into the work. We would meet weekly, or more often if the work reaches a point where that might be fruitful. In general, you would drive the process by bringing what is arising and important to you and I would help you explore that, surfacing feelings and making links that perhaps you cannot see. Over time, our work would unearth and make sense of where you are in life and what might have taken you off track. Those distortions, which might include unconscious feelings (often called trauma in our culture) are in some way resolved.
There are numerous approaches for bringing this process into being. If you’re familiar with Psychotherapeutic theory, then some of these will resonate, if not, feel free to skip to past the list.
- Alchemical Transformation – this is the (modernised) ancient appreciation of processes within the depths of the psyche which lead to profound transformation. Usually experienced through emotions, I am guided by the works of Edinger, Woodman, Hillman and Jung.
- Archetypal Psychology – using myth, symbol and archetypes resident in both our culture and the psyche, we can understand unconscious material, including that which is pre-verbal or even ancestral. In this way, complexes which distort our being and prevent depth authenticity (true Self expression) can be resolved.
- Internal family systems and Ego State therapy – unpacking aspects of the psyche experienced as sub personalities, for example, the “saboteur” or the “inner child”. Linking these unprocessed feeling states to complexes and archetypes or somatic experience, helps to reprocess deeply buried trauma.
- Psychodynamic and Systems Theories – “classic” Jungian/Freudian (and post) methods for unpacking projection, transference, and psychosexual development. These are used in conjunction with the other listed approaches to make sense of interpersonal relationships, including the relationship that forms between you and I.
Most often, my clients finish working with me have achieved a more clear “sense of self”, which put simply, means they have a better idea of who they are and what they want. This might sound academic or intangible, but it results in quite concrete changes to a person:
- A stronger foundation to live with authenticity and integrity which also improves confidence and resilience.
- Close relationships are more possible and rewarding, as complexes which are behind repeating patterns and which in turn block intimacy, are resolved.
- Emotional intelligence (self awareness, communication, self-regulation) is enhanced. Emotions become less difficult, and instead become an important tool for life. Dysfunctional or overwhelming emotional states are resolved or are able to be soothed internally.
- Work and life purpose become more known and eventually realised, and as these come into alignment, more energy is available for living.
- Addictions are resolved. I work with the underlying causes of addiction, which are often related to difficult ego states. Working in this way means that addictive urges dissipate. Addictions which might have been more generalised (aka an “addictive personality”) are managed, and addictive substance or process, or various combinations thereof, are sought out less often.
There are many different approaches to counselling and Psychotherapy. This way of working more often than not surfaces difficult feelings, which have hitherto been suppressed. This requires a certain readiness and commitment. But the benefit is a transformation at the most profound of levels.
I find this to be touching, powerful and quite often life changing work.