If you are considering psychotherapy as an individual or couple, there are many choices before you. You will have certain expectations for a potential therapist, and will want to find someone you feel is a “good fit.”
As a certified Jungian analyst and licensed Marriage Family Therapist, I work from a depth perspective in both my individual and couples work. My work might be considered to be a depth psycho-spiritual form of psychotherapy grounded in my training as a Jungian psychoanalyst.
As an ordained Episcopal priest, I also honor your particular religious tradition and spiritual quest. I bring a depth perspective to my own theological training and work. People often struggle with spiritual emotions that accompany divorce, loss of a job, interpersonal conflicts, and questions about the meaning of their lives. These are legitimate concerns that may also have psychological issues embedded in them as well. They may feel lost and rootless. I welcome these concerns.
I have also been the provost and faculty of a graduate school in depth psychology for many years - Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. I am a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and International Association Analytical Psychologists and California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and a Research Psychoanalyst with the California Medical Board. While these are merely outer credentials, they reflect my years of inner searching and education that I indirectly bring to my work as a depth psychotherapist.
What does a depth perspective mean for psychotherapy in a few words? It means that I start with where you are. I assume that lasting change requires the slow patient effort of helping you discover what changes will further your own development. I look for those experiences you are having that will enhance your efforts. Your dreams, personal interactions and at times more than rational hunches suggest what is being required of you at a particular time in your life. Together we look to the margins of awareness for suggestions for what could be.
A depth perspective assumes you have plenty of access to self-help books, advice from friends and strangers alike. Hence I’m not interested in tacking something on to your personality that you need to constantly try to follow or shore up as you go along. While I value a strong well-developed ego, I am interested in those changes that will be lasting for you and will become integrated into your life. You will not have to work at being different because through a depth approach you will be differentiating and integrating who you are becoming from session to session.
This takes time. It’s hard work. It may be slow work. My intention is to stay with you during those hard times when you encounter pain, frustration, and discouragement without giving up on you or your efforts or adding to your struggle. Together we work to find another way forward supported by those depths where we meet again and again more than what is in our current awareness.
This work, however, has the potential of being immensely rewarding and lasting.
We all have a story to tell. It's a story made up of many chapters, paragraphs, phrases, words and footnotes. We tell our tales to ourselves and others. We live our lives based on these stories. At various times, the story we're living by may not work so well anymore. We need new ways of envisioning our lives - a new story to live by. Psychotherapy is a pilgrimage, a journey, that we take together. As we journey together, we identify why the narrative does not seem to be working anymore for us and others.
Jung once said, "And in each of us there is another whom we do not know. He (she) speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he (she) sees us from the way we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation in which there is no solution, he (she) can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude - the very attitude that led us into the difficult situation." (C.G. Jung CW10, par. 325)
Hence we listen to dreams, images that spontaneously arise, interactions in the therapy sessions, hints on the margins of our awareness. We listen to the stories others have told us about ourselves originating with parents, spouses, other influential people. We may not be the "characters" they think we are! At times it's hard to see the distorted ideas about ourselves we've inherited and inserted into our unique narrative. We look for other ways to discover who we are.
We begin, as Jung suggested, to use the "other" we do not know in order to revise our autobiography. The "other" is sometimes the therapist or the dream or day dream. We find new ways of relating to ourselves and others. I help you to discover and understand the help that's available.
I work in a relational, interpersonal style. I begin with your beginning - the first words of "chapter one" in your story. I work with both conscious and unconscious material such as dreams, daydreams, fantasies, intuitions, various symptoms - more than what we may think we know about ourselves. Unexpectedly, we gain insight into those obstacles that impede life's intended path. Together we listen into those difficulties for new directions emerging from the depths of ongoing struggles.
It's my desire to help you discover the resources, inner and outer, that are available to help you.
Perhaps you are now open to telling your story.
I'm ready to hear it.