Therapy provides us the opportunity for greater self-discovery and deepened understanding. The person I enjoy working with is someone who is genuinely curious about what makes them tick, why they make choices that sink their dreams or sabotage the relationships important to them; but who also want to know their strengths and talents so they can embrace and use them more effectively.
Therapy is teamwork. The client and I both work toward the goals the client has identified. I don’t have the client’s answers, but I do believe the answers lie within the client and, if a couple, within the relationship, and with deliberate and consistent commitment can be found.
I honor the faith systems of my clients and am comfortable and skilled in addressing their spiritual and religious concerns when requested. I help clients discern and explore their problems and to make informed and healthy choices for their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, all of which I believe are interconnected.
The Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.” It is not uncommon that some individuals and couples I work with wish to integrate their religious beliefs or spiritual values in the counseling process. Given my background and training, I am comfortable and skilled in helping them do this. I have worked with different religious-spiritual orientations and welcome and respect the conversation that follows.
Some people identify themselves as spiritual, but not religious. Spirituality is one of those words that asking a dozen people their understanding of it you may have a dozen different answers. One does not need to be a member of a church, synagogue, or mosque, however, to explore their spiritual values and orientation. For some people, early life experiences with a religious establishment, scriptural interpretations, or a religious figure have resulted in feelings of shame, judgment, rejection, confusion, trauma, and being unlovable. These experiences often negatively impact our sense of self and how we are in relationship with others. Exploring one’s values and beliefs in a place where it is safe to question and doubt and discern can promote a renewed sense of peace, identify a new purpose in life, lead one to a greater sense of their true self and a greater connection to themselves and to others.