My approach to supporting others to heal, grow, and better cope with life challenges and transitions incorporates awareness-building, cultivating acceptance and compassion, and providing a space that invites the possibility of exploring new ways of being. These elements empower individuals to take ownership of how they choose to create their lives and to move toward finding greater wellbeing and fulfillment.
People often do not realize that the very habits, patterns, and behaviors that cause them to feel stuck or block them from having what they want were necessary tools for survival at some point in their lives. Self-defeating habits remain because they are an individual’s best response to the challenges they face. Increased awareness of the present moment, including our feelings and beliefs, how we talk to ourselves, how we move and breathe, and how we relate to life’s challenges leads to the clarity we need to make new choices that are more in line with how we want to live now.
While it can be frustrating to see ourselves repeating mistakes or harmful habits or failing to meet our goals, we do not grow by rejecting ourselves as we are. Seeing parts of ourselves or our behaviors as only problematic makes it difficult for us to remain curious and open to new possibilities. When we reject ourselves, we also cut off the very energy we need to grow and engage with our needs and the environment to experience more wholeness and vitality. This makes compassion for oneself so important. Compassion helps us accept ourselves and allows us to be there for ourselves (and others) as an ally. Compassion also helps us cope with shame, a byproduct of trauma and what often underlies so much of what is holding us back. Overcoming the discomfort that accompanies growth and sustainable change is also a necessary step in the process and one that a therapeutic relationship can help support.