What is Contemplative Psychotherapy?

Peace is not something you can force on anything or anyone... much less upon one’s own mind. It is like trying to quiet the ocean by pressing upon the waves. Sanity lies in somehow opening to the chaos, allowing anxiety, moving deeply into the tumult, diving into the waves, where underneath, within, peace simply is.
— Gerald May

 

Contemplative Psychotherapy engages the dynamic, authentic, and therefore unpredictable relationship between client and counselor to invite healing.  Confidence in the innate goodness and wisdom of ourselves and our clients creates spacious welcoming of whatever arises in the present moment, knowing that the client holds within themselves the keys to their own freedom.  Unconditional acceptance and positive regard of self and other create an environment of love and safety where curiosity and the pursuit of wholeness can thrive.

Research has shown that the most important predicter of success in counseling is the relationship between the clinician and their client. We use the dynamics of our work together to discover who you are deeply meant to be and how that might conflict with how you actually show up in the world. As you explore your story and courageously tell the truth of your life experience we discover not only insights but also your transcendent glory. Trauma occurs in relationship, and is only healed within relationship

In a radical departure from a societal view of suffering, Contemplative Psychotherapy views suffering as caused by the many ways we reject the direct experience of the lives we are living.  The primary effort of the Contemplative Psychotherapist is not the dispensing of sage advice or removal of unpleasant circumstances, but discovering the lens with which clients view reality, and considering ways in which they might choose to relate differently.  As the ability to feel our emotions, and attend to our thoughts, patterns, impulses and bodily sensations is cultivated, there is a growing access to clarity and compassion.  What may have seemed solid and insurmountable softens, and access to infinite potential and new perspectives becomes available; even experiences of joy and peace in the midst of suffering.

 Meditation is the primary means by which I train and equip my mind, body and spirit to cultivate my oneness with the divine, and bring a presence to clients in which they are empowered to name what is true for them. I aspire to neither invade nor abandon them in their suffering; skillfully and gently entering their world and yet not becoming lost in it.  Through the love and compassionate attention I try to bring to this dance of connection, healing is facilitated.