What can you expect from therapy? People are looking for change. I have abandoned rigid techniques for a much more successful approach. Listening is so important as the world has become so fast and distractable. As I listen to people’s concerns and perspectives, I believe that being heard and understood is paramount to success in therapy and in life.
In my office I am honored to have people open up and expose their fears, abuse, desires and conflicts. They want to be happy and more content. People are intrinsically motivated to change,the motivation is sometimes hidden.
As I have learned over the years, to listen and trust my intuition, I find that my clients are responding very positively to reflections and questions that urge them to look more deeply. This is client centered therapy or person focused which is based heavily on the work of Carl Rogers carl rogers contribution to psychology and his colleagues. The focus is on listening to the clients’ perspective and values. The source of their internal motivation is theirs, not mine.
Recently a client commented ‘Wow I never thought of that! You are good!’ I had only repeated what I heard him describe which was a repetitive conflict that he was experiencing. I listened and responded to him. I noted that he was repeating the same cycle like a record with the needle stuck. The needle had to be picked up and replaced so music could be heard again. Resolving ambivalence many times helps move a person toward change.
I see each person as a clean slate when they walk into my office. A relationship is created as I listen, watch and notice their body movements, their expression and have them clarify their goals. I see each person as unique. Their lives are unique so their therapy plan is personalize and individualized to their needs. If the therapy works, it’s because I listened carefully and they felt heard.
I don’t focus on diagnosis. If a person wants to focus on their diagnosis which many times has become their identity, I explain to them that the diagnosis is just a group of symptoms and those symptoms can be changed. Your diagnosis is just a word not a sentence for the rest of your life. Life is change.
I see that the emphasis on diagnosis can be harmful when it gives a person an identify that they live from instead of seeing their ability to change. Diagnoses mostly function as a guideline for insurance company claims and pharacological intervention, although diagnosing can be helpful in extreme biochemical disorders, many times a life style change is needed.
I have seen clients for example, a woman who sought treatment for anxiety and panic attacks and she was fatigued. The focus was to help her catch up on her sleep and reduce the severity and quantity of her panic so that she had the energy to work in therapy. Another example is the person who had insomnia for such a long time , sleeping 2-3 hours a night. She wewas fatigued and depressed. Trazadone (an antidepressant was indicated) to help her catch up on sleep and increase her energy.
I taught a course years ago on ‘The Psychobiology of Gene Expression’ inspired by a book by Ernest Rossi http://www.ernestrossi.com/documents/about_psychobiology_of_gene_expression.htm and what I took away for my clients and myself are the steps toward a Creative Life. There is a natural rhythm and if we ‘ride the wave ‘ we will notice there we feel lest anxious, stress and sadness. Can you see yourself working toward this lifestyle a little at a time?
6-8 AM A Creative Awakening. Take a few minutes to breathe, meditate or journal
8 AM. – 10.AM – Prime Creative work time for larks
10 AM – Take this time to do creative work
12 PM – 2PM – Lunch with healthy food
2 PM-4 PM- Creative nap time or writing
4-6 PM – Breaking point- nurture and healing (walk, massage, listen to enjoyable music)
6PM-8PM – Family Social support time (call or visit friends in person, phone, SKYPE or facebook)
8-10 PM- Social Engagment or Solitary time- Quiet family time, or solitary journaling or reading, mediation, hobbies , theatre, movies or creative outlets. Be with friends etc. Prepare for sleep with a warm bath or shower
10-MIDNIGHT- Engage in the Creative Dream Cycle- Sleep
Making slight changes in your daily routine will create a less stressful lifestyle for you and therefore improve your ability to enjoy life and your relationships more.