If my heart could do my thinking
And my head begin to feel,
I would look upon the world anew
And know what’s truly real.
~ Van Morrison
My Therapeutic Approach
Emotional reality is. An ability to stay and work with it needs to evolve. . . It is one of the conundrums of living that we find it difficult to sustain what makes us feel alive. The fact that we are not up to our emotional life is part of who we are.
~ Michael Eigen, Emotional Storm
As a psychodynamic therapist, I tend to see difficulties in living as being related to what meanings we give to our experiences; this in turn is influenced by factors from the past and also by ways we have internalized those past experiences. This interplay of external and internal experiences plays a great part in who we are and the choices that are available to us—in relationships and in living.
Since patterns arising from both external and internal influences get lived out right now in current time, the therapeutic relationship provides a unique opportunity to observe this and to work through these areas—both therapist and client are impacted by these emotional realities. The opportunity to see ourselves in the here & now with the help and support of a trained ear offers the hope of change, since it is only the here and now that can be changed—not the past. With growing awareness of our patterns, we eventually gain more access to those parts of ourselves that are lived in unaware ways and also we have more potential to experience creative parts of ourselves.
Being able to develop a trusting relationship with a therapist will be immensely helpful in eventually reducing emotional suffering and finding deeper meaning and connection—to oneself, to others.
Counselor Michelle Shellenberger, MA, Bainbridge