Therapy is at times painful as well. If your headache is caused by a tumor then the way to address it would be a surgery. Obviously surgeries are painful and scary. And in the short term you don’t feel better. However, in the long term you have less pain and a better quality of life. Therapy is also a long term investment that may not have immediate results but can give way to new life, more intimacy in relationships, and lasting change.
Maybe you're reading this and thinking to yourself, “I don’t think I want to pay for someone to help me experience more pain. Just give me an advil please”. Then I would encourage you with, anything worth doing in life is painful at some level. Think about becoming more physically fit, think about birthing and raising a child, think about learning a new skill, all of these require some level of pain or discomfort. My promise to you is that I will accompany you in the pain and discomfort of changing and healing. I also promise to remain in communication with you to adjust therapy so that it isn’t just painful but also brings you relief like a good deep tissue massage.
I like to describe my approach using the metaphor of a headache as the unwanted things you wish to change. Some approaches to therapy just give you techniques to address the pain like giving someone an advil for a recurring headache. While this is helpful in the short term it doesn’t actually address the reason someone is having recurring headaches. It's simply treating the symptom. The way to relieve the headaches would be to find out why the pain is occurring. Similarly in therapy I work to help people understand the reason for their pain so we can address it appropriately. The treatment for a headache caused by improper posture is much different than the treatment for a headache caused by a tumor.
This process to find the source of pain is usually slow because most of the time we are unaware of why our “headaches” are happening. It’s also slow because it can be difficult to face the implications of why we are in pain because it might mean something we don’t want to recognize about ourselves or it might mean a treatment that we don’t want. My approach to therapy is largely centered on doing the work to gently find and address the source of your pain. However, I also give techniques so that you can manage the pain while we work to treat the source.
The other important aspect of my approach is that it is deeply personal. What I mean by that is I relate to all my clients as one human to another not the expert to the novice or the broken one to the fixed one. It also means that we will talk about how therapy is feeling and what is happening in our relationship. I believe this is important because therapy is a microcosm of your life and relationships. As the saying goes, “wherever you go you bring yourself with you” including therapy! Therefore we can work on the issues you bring to therapy by exploring how they show up in our dynamic. An example of this would be if a person often feels that people are not interested in him or her we can talk about when that comes up in our relationship. This can be deeply healing for people because we don’t often get to say to people in our lives, “hey when you said or did _______ I felt _______” and for the other person to really hear us in a way that validates our pain. Then I work with a client to identify other times they were wounded in this same way to heal from that pain. As people start to heal from their wounds they can begin to believe and experience something different about themselves.
If you feel like my approach to therapy resonates with you don’t hesitate to contact me for a free 15 minute consultation so we can make sure we are a good fit. Or if you are unsure and have questions about my approach I would be happy to talk about those as well!