Sometimes we go into the deep, dark recesses, other times we sit in the sun, each allows the other. At the entrance to a cave we have access to both the shadow and the light. It's said the 12 century mystic, Sheik Sof Omar, lived in the cave above for 42 years. I'm not sure if that's entirely true or not, however the commitment to exploration of self and of God is truly a lifelong process embodied by the Sheik (and his family). The principles we can learn from this are also just as powerful and ones that guide my work as a therapist.
I am dedicated to helping every person become as fully aware of their gifts, potency, loving presence, and joy.
WHO DO I WORK WITH
Families, couples, and individuals. I have special experience with addictions, parenting, anxiety and panic, existential issues, and trauma.
I believe that therapy is divided into two main areas to explore;
1) the shadow... shadow material is typically what is impacting our lives in a restrictive manner. It is that which we have not integrated, accepted, realized. It manifests as, for example, us doing something that we can't stop... whether that be an addiction, a pattern of behavior, an outcome at work or home, or a physiological process such as depression, panic, or anxiety that is preventing us from living life the way we want.
2) the light... our light, our YES, our higher self, our access to living in accordance to our gifts and vision.
Most therapies spend a lot of time exploring the shadow material. Makes some sense. If something is an active block, then by all means work on figuring that out, remedy it, then YEA! No block and we live life fully. Somehow, however, this does not always go according to that plan. I certainly do spend time fixing a shadow element that needs fixing, however, I believe that, our capacity to explore our shadow is limited by our capacity to accept our light. Thus, I try to move therapy along as fast as possible to the exploration of light... of yes.
The cave analogy is useful here to understand this concept. The shadow, of course, is what is usually inside the cave... you've been exploring this cave for some time, you've been in the cave too many times to remember. Each time you get in 20, 30 feet, it's pitch dark, you take a turn or two, and are promptly lost... really scary. And really easy to do again and again. So you simply learn to live life with all the shadow that just won't change, you make the best of it...
Now imagine that outside the entrance to the cave, in the light, there is a tree. You tie a rope on the tree. The rope is 50 feet long. You enter the cave and safely explore the cave up to 50 feet. Drop the rope and you run the risk of becoming lost again... eventually, you learn all there is to know about the cave up to the 50 feet. You can even let go of the rope and be pretty comfortable up to the 50 foot mark. Now you get a 100 foot rope, and do the same process up to that 100 feet. And then with 200 feet, then 300. Eventually you reach the end of the cave, and there is no part of that cave in which you are not comfortable and able to find your way to your light. Thus... your capacity to accept your light, your rope, is what sets the amount of shadow, cave, you can safely explore.
We can also call this our ability to resource ourselves, our ability to ground, to stay connected. So in therapy, to the extent we recognize, sense, and relate to our light... we automatically move to the exact right amount of shadow that is blocking our forward progress.
How I work
So then, how do we access the shadow and the light? The cave, the tree, the rope? I generally consider two integral components to this; transparency and curiosity.
Transparency. This is our bold ability to say what is true in the moment. Therapy, as in life, is too short to not name what is true, what is present, what we see. I commit to that with each client, to boldly name what is true for me in the moment.
Curiosity. To the extent we each remain curious of the other, whether in individual therapy, with our partners, or with our families, we will embody the compassionate warrior qualities of strong back and soft heart.