The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. --Anaïs Nin
Being human is not tidy. Your inner life is sacred freight.
What does it mean to be human? How therapists answer this question has everything to do their approach to psychotherapy. I take you to be a living, breathing person who is unique, mysterious, wondrous, susceptible to emotional pain--and capable of extraordinary courage and strength. Human nature is extraordinarily complex, and therapies that reduce you to a psychological experiment that can be replicated, predicted or manipulated, simply are inappropriate. Being human is not a tidy matter. You are not an algorithm and your psyche is not a machine that needs tune-ups. Your individuality, your story, and your utterly unique inner life are sacred freight.
Depth psychologist Thomas Moore echoes the importance of this distinction, when he writes, "We may have to push the limits of psychology and insist that human beings are not aggregates of social influences or brain-driven packets of emotion that can be tweaked by chemicals into well-functioning social machines."
As a depth psychotherapist, I honor the mysterious and dynamic relationship that lies between your heart, body, soul, imagination, mind, and spirit. I acknowledge all that you are and all that you might become. I seek to build a compassionate, supportive, and culturally sensitive relationship with you, for you deserve nothing less than a one-of-a-kind approach to the miracle of your "one wild and precious life" (Mary Oliver).
What is depth psychotherapy?
Simply put, depth psychotherapy addresses that which lives below the surface of things, in the depths of ourselves, our relationships, and our world--yet outside our immediate awareness. As such, depth work is open to exploring the subtle, unconscious, and spiritual aspects of human experience that influence our lives. In depth psychotherapy, we bring to consciousness and work with the dark and the light, the challenging and the inspiring aspects of our unconscious lives, which demand care and attention.
Depth psychotherapy as soul work
Depth work in the Jungian tradition is more about the delicate art of caring for the soul than it is a science of neural networks and behavior modification. It honors the classical roots of psychology where, in Greek, psyche means soul, logos means knowledge, therapeia means care, attention or healing, and pathos means suffering. So, I view psychotherapy as the care of the soul; the psychotherapist as the attendant of the soul; and psychopathology as the knowledge or study of the suffering soul. Following these roots, I call my work “Therapy with Soul in Mind,” and I use the term “patient” rather than "client" to acknowledge the “one who is suffering.”
The soul is impossible to define, but it does seem to capture something of the mystery of our essence, and it resonates with our sense of aliveness, beauty and unique place in the world. Responding to its call is the life-giving breath of depth psychotherapy and must be kept in mind throughout the healing work.
A person's experience