and Ideas I Draw From
are a few of the people and ideas that have inspired my
work as a counselor and psychotherapist.
While seemingly diverse, all these have commonalities that link
them soundly together.
C. G. Jung
I often find Jungian
ideas meaningful in therapy, particularly his thoughts on our
continued development through our lifetimes, the use of dreams to
re-connect to lost and estranged parts of ourselves (re-energizing),
and the connection we share with others and the world. Also, I
am currently the president of the Jungian Psychotherapists
Association and have written a book about dream work.
here for more about the book.)
for comments by Google co-founder Larry Page on dreams)
Meditation traditions offer practical relaxation
exercises and alternative perspectives on living - such as emphasis
on “being” instead of “doing.” In our culture we learn well
what to do, and how to do things, but not always so well how to just
“be,” take pleasure, or accept the difficulties in our lives that
cannot be changed.
(Click here for more about meditation)
and Humanistic Psychology
Each of our lives has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Existentialists
take this reality as a starting point for examining life. We are,
for example, isolated in some ways, and we will die. I find many
clients directly or indirectly bring related questions and want
companionship in search for ways to live peacefully and fruitfully in such a world. Existentialists emphasize fulfillment
through finding meaning and engaging
fully in life through one’s own choices. An approach to counseling
focusing on these uniquely human issues is called
(Click here for samples of exercises)
Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
For those with concrete goals for change of behavior or reduction
in persistent thoughts, CBT offers structured and straightforward
tools and suggestions.
(Click here for more about CBT tools)
Chaos and complexity theory bring fascinating perspectives on ways
to work with complex systems, such as our minds, bodies, and
psyches. These theories also remind us to be respectful of ourselves
as individuals: Simple explanations don’t capture or predict who we
are and how we work.
My clients have exposed me to more helpful
perspectives and approaches than any other source. Many times I’ve
received a good idea from one client and offered it (anonymously, of
course) to others, who have also found it helpful. I’ve compiled a
list of resources that describe some of these perspectives,
including Non-Violent Communication (Marhsall
Rosenburg), The Happiness Project, When Things Fall Apart
The Power of Now (Eckart Tolle), and more.
For a listing of some of these perspectives,
Appropriately, counseling is often serious, and the pain we all sometimes feel is
real. In the midst of it all, humor can also help us hold our lives
and ourselves a little more lightly, even while being genuine and maintaining
honesty. Through laughter, our perspectives can broaden,
and though circumstances haven’t changed, they can feel different.
(Click here for a selection of
comics by topic)
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