Jungian analysis deals with the typical experiences that bring people to therapy such as life transitions, depression, anxiety, illness, and loss. We talk about how you are managing the current stressors in your life and how you might feel better. We may consider the archetypal situations presently active in your life. By this I mean your family life, love life, spiritual life, your work, relationships, and emotions. This kind of therapy usually entails doing dream work. Everyone dreams and it might take some effort to remember them, but the rewards of participating in dream work include greater clarity of oneself and relationships and a greater understanding of your strengths and defenses. The undertaking of Jungian analysis is a gift to yourself. Ultimately, allowing the time and commitment needed, people report feeling happier with less anger and anxiety. Click here to read an article from Behavioral Sciences Journal about the effectiveness of Jungian psychotherapy.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression often coincides with anxiety. Nearly everyone will experience depression sometime in her/his life. If you are feeling hopelessness, despair, sadness, or lack motivation, you are probably suffering from depression. I often utilize my training and experience with narrative therapy to help people feel less depressed when speaking about their depression. I also think it is helpful to consider the depression as a restriction of some kind. Depression is deflating and inhibiting, and healing comes when the “weight” of its content loses its power and a new attitude emerges in the psyche.
Excessive worry is a sign of anxiety. Anxiety is felt as a tension in the mind and body. It is a dis-ease. I help you find the ease in life, which is a practice and discipline. Bringing conscious awareness to the tension you hold in the skeletal muscles can broaden your understanding of your anxiety and how to release it in your body. I integrate trauma theory and somatic theories to help you unbind from the tension of anxiety.
Transitions and change are a natural part of life. They can also be painful, stressful, and maybe lonely. You may feel that the transition is bringing up old patterns and you need support and encouragement in not going down those familiar paths that may feel comforting but impede growth. I support you through the transition by empathically and carefully listening to the fears that may arise. With my understanding of the deeper levels of life (archetypal patterns) I help clients to explore where they want to go and the steps to get there.
Adjusting to a new job, relationship, or limitation tests our strength and resolve. Knowing you are not alone during these times can be quite reassuring. I help you to understand any resistance to change that you may feel. Ultimately an acceptance occurs, and you are free to move forward and allow for growth and renewal.
Loss can be deeply felt and often out of our control. Experiencing loss often leads to feelings of grief. Grief is a natural process, not something to avoid. Blame, shame, and depression come from being unable to express grief properly. Positive expressions of grief are healing. Together, we will explore healthy ways to express your grief.
The relationships in our lives are full of joy and conflict. All relationships will cycle through good times and bad times, and learning about oneself and the other is critical to successful relationships. I combine my theoretical backgrounds in Analytical Psychology (Jungian) and Bowen Systems Theory to get inside the frame of the system (couples, parents, families). Analytical Psychology taught me that many of the interactions we engage in with another are unconscious. By this I mean that there is much more going on underneath the surface when we interact with one another. Delving into this part of you and your partner reaps a wealth of information that can be used for greater understanding. Murray Bowen, M.D. researched and expanded our understanding of the patterns and resistances found in relationships. We have an instinctual urge to form relationships, yet we also have a similar desire for individuality and self-direction. These polarities can unite with consciousness and commitment. In working with families, I explore with you the where and how conflict arises and what forces sustain it. I integrate my experience and training in this area with your knowledge of your family and together we find the path to better communication, boundaries, and acceptance.
Recovery From Childhood Abuse and Trauma
When there has been significant neglect and/or abuse in childhood, a sense of safety must be felt first within the therapeutic relationship. In therapy, we are building rapport as we discuss the aspects of your life, while feelings of trust and safety grow. We explore your emotional and cognitive experiences, your hopes and fantasies, disappointments, and strengths. I find that sandplay therapy is often a powerful method to integrate into the work of recovering from the loss of safety and security in childhood. Working in the sand and creating a “scene” or sand picture helps when feelings and memories may feel overwhelming. This method activates a deeper knowing of yourself.
The emotions that arise from domestic violence and abuse, rape, crime, war, and torture can feel overwhelming. I work with you to calm the anxiety and fear as we enlarge your sense of self-efficacy and direction. You may be experiencing nightmares, and with my training in dream work, I can help you discover their message and the pathway to healing. Oftentimes, nightmares begin to fade when you acknowledge and speak of them.
PTSD can include the symptoms of: panic attacks, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, anger, depression, memory loss, and flashbacks. I begin the therapeutic process to recovery slowly and checking in with you regularly to monitor your feelings and sensations.
The psyche-soma connection is an exciting area of research and practice. The emotional and traumatic experiences of our lives often find a place in our bodies. Psychological trauma can lead to muscle tension and holding, autoimmune difficulties, organ diseases, and much more. We can learn how you hold tension in your body through active imagination and guided imagery. Understanding the mind-body connection for you can be very liberating.
Creative Therapy is the process of working through psychological issues without talk. The creative process is a bridge between your inner world and the outer world. It is a channel to the unconscious. As an alternative to “talk therapy,” I offer creative therapy. At times, words cannot express the trauma, the feelings, or the inner process. Being creative, or “at play” releases tensions, anxieties, and frustrations. To facilitate your creative play, I offer supplies for:
- Sand-play pictures
- Drawing, painting