"When I can accept myself just as I am,

then I can change."

Carl Rogers

What is therapy?

The therapy room is a confidential place to question, think, explore, examine and feel. I see therapy as an educational and philosophical experience rather than a clinical one.

People live lives where things have happened to them, or they have done things that burden them. These things have to be seen as they are. Therapy provides a space where people can talk about anything that preoccupies them. It is also a place where they can talk about the things they don't ordinarily talk about.

The therapist listens to the client, with acceptance and encourages examination at points of interest and explores possible hidden meanings with them. It is an open-ended exploration, and the client and therapist can't know what will happen as a consequence of entering therapy.

It is the synergy of ideas plus the relationship that creates the real therapeutic power.

The underlying value assumption in therapy is that this self-knowledge is a good thing, affirming as Ralph W Emerson said of the Socratic ideal, that 'the unexamined life is not worth living'. My assumption is that examination and understanding will likely lead to relief from non-productive anxiety and discomfort.

Who comes to therapy?

People usually come into therapy because they are suffering and looking for relief. They have often tried many different methods to alleviate their pain and found that all their efforts have failed.

Events like, birth and death, hunger and sex, love and loss and aging are what bring people into therapy and what people consider are their extraordinary responses to those events. With contemporary culture urging us to be the person who knows what they want and knows how to get it, we are often terrified by our frustration and dissatisfaction.

People often struggle with doubt and fear and feel trepidation about taking the risk and entering therapy. Therapist and client know there are no guarantees in therapy. Individuals appropriately fear revealing to themselves and the therapist, aspects of their lives that have long remained hidden from view. Therapy asks us to wonder whether by doing this, it can get us the lives we would rather live. Asking ourselves searching questions and revealing ourselves, in the presence of a therapist, is not I imagine, at first, high on most people's list of pleasures.