Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

The opportunity for growth and renewal exists each time we can successfully overcome a challenge.  Right now you may be dealing with two sets of challenges, those of daily life and those that arise from the existence of your creative abilities.  Your abilities deserve to be identified, valued and put into action for your benefit.  We believe highly creative individuals benefit most from psychotherapy that takes abilities and experiences accurately and comprehensively into account.

High levels of sensitivity may cause you to become burdened by your ability to recognize subtleties, in the inner and outer world that others may not notice.  You may also have difficulty ‘tuning things out’ by virtue of your perceptive abilities.  If you are highly intuitive and highly sensitive, you are acutely attuned to the unconscious and most likely experience great emotional depth as a natural way of being.

Have you experienced conventional talk therapy as insufficient for the psychological complexity, emotional depth and high levels of sensitivity you naturally experience?

Have you ever expressed yourself metaphorically and found that your metaphor was taken literally?

Do  you have a tendency to over-explain your point of view?

How we experience ourselves, others and reality can determine the direction we take and the results we achieve. Therapy for the highly creative person is based on the following foundational principles:

All symptoms have meaning and point to something important about ourselves in our present situation. When symptoms receive our direct attention and understanding, they can disperse in favor of mental clarity, emotional wellbeing and a more grounded felt sense in the body.

In a similar manner, through the process of grappling with a situational challenge, we can develop our inherent capabilities and recognize solutions previously unknown.  Symptoms and challenges are therefore seen as opportunities for self-transformation.

Meaningful dialogue, self-reflective activities and experiential practices are woven into therapy, giving the process a spontaneous, improvisational feel while offering the freedom to choose the most effective methods based on immediate experience.  Here we strike a balance between dialogue and action, setting clear goals along with permission to artfully ‘shift gears’ in the moment.

Dialogue is conducted in a spirit of open-ended inquiry.  For example, in place of:  Why is this happening to me?  We might ask:  What is being asked of me at this juncture?

We also look to dissolve the impasses formed by black and white thinking with explorative questions that ‘join the opposites.’ For example:  How can I cultivate meaningful relationships while, at the same time, respect my need for solitude? 

We expect to be surprised by the discovery of root causes, meaningful connections and valuable, new insights that come to us on their own since we invite them to.

Within this work you will be supported to more directly engage your sensate, intuitive, thinking and feeling functions so you can work with all parts of yourself dynamically.

Toward this end we work with the whole of our psyche, conscious and subconscious, with an awareness of the unconscious, since the conscious part of our psyche is only the ‘tip of the iceberg.’  Tuning into the subconscious and working with an awareness of the unconscious will help you feel more confident about accessing your intuitive function.

If we are not getting the results we want, we also consider the possibility of self-sabotage.  Another part of the self, for whatever reason, conscious or unconscious, is not ready for, or may not want things to change.  We thereby include the awareness of secondary gain: What is the ‘payoff’ for keeping things the same?  When we recognize the existence of secondary gain, we can take steps to address it on a direct basis, so resistance can be replaced by integration and action.

Psychological wellbeing is largely dependent on physiological state.  Experiential practices, which address underlying physiology on a direct basis, are therefore given a complementary role along with dialogue and self-reflection.

Negative thoughts, feelings, stressful situations, traumatic memories and events will often trigger the body’s ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. You may even experience these physiological reactions on a regular basis by virtue of having a naturally-sensitive nervous system, even when, it seems, ‘not much’ is going on.

The activation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) can be life-saving when we are under threat, but debilitating when we experience high activation on a repetitive basis where there is no clear and present danger. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction is an underlying factor in post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety and stress-related illnesses, as well as the chronically-negative thoughts, feelings and physical sensations that can become more permanent ‘house guests’ when the body is neglected in the therapy process.

Toward this end, a carefully chosen combination of experiential practices assist us to target underlying physiology on a direct basis so that unwanted physiological reactions can be released and thereby facilitate cognitive, emotional and physical ‘shifts’ that feel satisfying and complete.

Healing effects include the experience of internal safety and support, wellbeing that is not dependent upon external factors, ease in decision-making and greater ability to more comfortably take action while in right alignment with Self.

Awareness of creative abilities is automatically part of the therapy process.  The integration of abilities includes the following steps:

Your ‘driving’ aptitudes will be recognized on a direct basis for the strengths that they are, and their expression supported.

Any inherent challenges that an aptitude may present will be addressed through the introduction of specific, strategic skills. Some typical examples of challenges posed by creative aptitudes include:

  • Mental exhaustion stemming from high ideaphoria
  • Difficulty finding the linear form in one’s writing as a challenge presented by divergent thinking
  • Sensory ‘overload’ due to the existence of strong sensory skills
  • Unspecified fears as a result of having strong intuitive capabilities and therefore a more direct connection with the unconscious and the collective unconscious
  • ‘Compassion fatigue’ as an effect of empathically-heightened consciousness

We explore any environmental, lifestyle or behavioral changes that may be needed to support your driving aptitudes and ‘nurture’ any relative aptitude weaknesses.

We also balance the process of assisting you to cultivate enjoyable activities that honor your need for reflective contemplation with the development of skills that allow you to more comfortably advance your life and career.

Peace of mind emerges from having effective ‘tools in the toolbox’ with which to successfully tackle life’s challenges and those posed by your creative abilities.  A fuller development of your capabilities through the use of applicable skills and practices, can become a transformational experience where you are empowered to live more fully from your own ‘creative space.’

Anything of depth requires holding the opposites.