What Is East/West Psychotherapy?
1) Working with thoughts and beliefs
You may know this as the traditional 'talk therapy'. Basically, this is where we explore both your current life situation that has brought you to seek therapy, and begin to connect the dots between what is not working in your life, and your past experiences and relationships including the early, most influential ones. The most powerful part of this prong of holistic psychotherapy is becoming aware of the thoughts (usually about yourself and usually pretty set in place by age 5) you are believing. Sometimes called 'core beliefs', to the extent these are both unconscious and wholeheartedly believed, they are what sap your energy and sense of connection to yourself and to the people in your life. I can help you get clear on what these are, and more importantly, what feelings are connected to them and where you get stuck.
2) Working with feelings and sensations
This is where the rubber really hits the road. By that I mean, this is where real growth and relief start to occur in therapy, sometimes from the get go of the first session, sometimes a bit later. This is also where I really pay attention to the pace of therapy; these feelings can range from somewhat to incredibly vulnerable, and may even include past traumatic experience. I help people navigate and digest these often very long held feelings with a lot of care, warmth and engagement. I help people process these feelings not only in the traditional (and relatively helpful but limited) way of exploring the stories, beliefs and experiences they are connected to, but also through processing them directly as they arise as physical sensations in the body. I sometimes refer to this as 'the highway to healing', simply because it is so direct and powerful.
3) Working with relationship
Fortunately, and what can at times feel like unfortunately, we do not exist as human beings in a vacuum; we are surrounded by other human beings and are generally social creatures. The majority of our most wonderful as well as most horrible experiences and memories have occurred in relationship with someone. To the degree that our most important and influential relationships (usually mom, dad, or an ex partner) were also the ones that induced the most pain in us, we tend to suffer as much or more so than not in relationship. We suffer by getting stuck and going unconscious in relation to the above-mentioned thoughts and feelings. In holistic therapy, we work together to untangle the knots of this painful emotional suffering, both in processing your relationships with others as well as with yourself. New found freedom and a growing satisfaction in how you navigate life and relationship usually results from this. The therapeutic relationship between therapist and client can sometimes be the most helpful and powerful part of the therapy. Just as emotional wounding or trauma usually happen in the context of relationship, so it goes with growth and healing.
4) Working with presence
Last but not least, and always here in the midst of these thoughts, feelings and relationships, is presence. In working with any of the other 3 prongs of this holistic psychotherapy, we are of course working with presence, as this is what we are underneath it all. Yet, to acknowledge and invite this into the foreground in the therapy room is the deepest invitation into true healing power, and into the sweetest fulfillment and satisfaction in living a life. When your presence or unobstructed true self is seen, acknowledged and invited to be here, consciously, a wonderful blooming tends to happen. From this warm, vibrant and peaceful core of your being, your pain and contraction, anxiety and depression, can be fully allowed to pass through and they lose their grip. Not because they have to, but because they are finally allowed to be and thus pass through. From here you begin to see that it was the habit of turning away from these vulnerable feelings which gave them such power over you in the first place. As you come more and more back home to this presence of your being, you tend to feel more connected and happier more and more often. Your whole life receives blessing to grow and blossom as a result.