People generally seek therapy due to an internal emotional problem that has been triggered by an external event. This emotional problem will be affecting their life in a negative way and causing them difficulties. In therapy we work together to identify and overcome these internal problems and mechanisms that create and maintain pain and unhappiness.
We work from the understanding that most psychological problems arise from difficulty containing painful feelings derived from our interactions in life. Instead of containing our feelings, we become anxious and engage in problematic behaviours (commonly called defences) that can then cause suffering in our lives.
Together, we build on your self-awareness and capacity to experience your emotions in the present by helping you pay attention to your feelings, noticing and regulating your anxiety and observing the behaviour patterns and the difficulties they are causing in your life, so that you can choose to let go of them.
This process results in psychological problems that can present in many forms including: depression, unexplained medical symptoms, headaches, avoidance behaviours, shortness of breath, sudden weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, relationship difficulties, ruminative thoughts, obsessive thoughts and detachment. Often it is these deeply buried painful emotions that are triggered outside of our awareness that result in these symptoms. Unconscious defences (behaviours) serve the purpose of reducing anxiety and blocking the rise of feelings into conscious awareness.
By being able to experience and contain your emotions instead of avoiding them, you will be able to communicate what is going on inside you and connect with others in close and meaningful relationships.
This contact with your emotions functions like an inner compass that helps you make important decisions and gives you a sense of direction and meaning in your life. It will help you to experience improvements in the areas of your life that are important to you such as:
Self-esteem and self-worth
Enjoyment in life
The goal of therapy is to help you overcome your internal struggle with feelings and emotions about past and present experiences that you experience as overwhelming. This increased capacity to experience your emotions gives you an opportunity to make sense of past and present events, gives your life meaning and direction and allows you to connect more deeply with others. You are then in a better position to use your emotions to assist in navigating your life and making decisions.