Every therapist’s approach to the work of counseling is shaped not only by their training and theoretical orientation, but also by who they are, their own life commitments, and by their understanding of the healing process. When looking for a therapist, it’s always a good idea to ask about these things. Here are some brief statements about how I approach the work of therapy.
Pastoral Psychotherapy is a collaborative relationship in which you and I work together to understand and work through the issues you bring for therapy. As a professional trained in both theology and psychology, I draw on the resources of both disciplines in my work. Theologically, I am shaped by my Quaker heritage and my Christian commitment. My training in clinical psychology is grounded in the depth psychology of C.G. Jung and Archetypal psychology, although I draw on many other perspectives as well, such as Family Systems Theory, Self Psychology, and a variety of developmental theories. I trust that we all have a rich store of inner wisdom that we can access in our efforts to overcome obstacles to healthy living.
Spiritual Direction is also a collaborative relationship in which your desire for discovering or deepening your relationship with God is at the center of our work. Together we will explore the language, conceptual frameworks, and practices of spirituality that are most suited to your personality and religious formation. Your beliefs, hopes, fears, questions, and doubts are all important to this process and will be treated respectfully. Although spiritual direction is not psychotherapy, the insights of psychology are often very helpful in discerning which practices are most likely to help you find your way to an authentic and vital spiritual life.
Relationship Counseling is a collaboration involving the therapist and two or more people involved in a significant relationship. In relationship counseling the focus is often on the process of relating, the styles and skills of healthy communication, negotiation, and problem solving. It is common that both our deepest wounds and our deepest joys are activated in important relationships. Consequently, relationship counseling will also focus on the internal dynamics that each partner brings to the relationship. For people of faith, relationships are central to our spiritual journey, particularly when difficulties in relating challenge us to deepen spiritual life. Uncovering and working through the unconscious forces that shape our styles of relating can lead to deep personal growth and a renewed spiritual life, as well as to profound healing in our partnerships with others.