I am a licensed psychologist who has been in practice for 20 years. I was fortunate to be trained at Georgia State University in the 1980s, and there, with teachers such as Irma Shepherd, Ray Craddick, Pauline Clance, and Bernhard Kempler, I received powerful teaching about how to listen deeply and how to be fully present. While learning new techniques and new formulations about therapy is continually important, the basic teaching I received about how to be with my clients is the solid foundation of all I do.
Living is stressful, and always has been. Our time may be more stressful in some ways. Many of us feel that the quality of our lives is poor, that we are so pressured and are moving so fast that we can hardly catch a breath. This can lead us to become isolated, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious. Other difficulties befall us: we can lose intimate partners through break ups, divorces, or death; our relationships deteriorate into empty actions or destructive, automatic scripts. Sometimes hard things happen to us out of the blue, or perhaps they happened to us when we were young and vulnerable. And still, at other times, we can bring them on ourselves by making poor decisions.
Psychotherapy helps for a number of reasons, but foremost among them is that it is a way of slowing down, and with the help of another person, finding a way to contact our deepest yearnings and potentials, and to sort through whatever has caused us to become stuck in unrewarding patterns of behavior.