treeWHEN YOU’RE ANCHORED TO YOUR SELF — to what you feel and want, and who you are — living can become the spontaneous expression of your own inner beauty and innate freedom.

Most emotional wounding happens in relationship, so the brain needs to experience a new and attuned relationship to register a reparative experience. Therapy creates an environment in which you can experience the full range of your feelings — and your Self — in the presence of an engaged and empathic listener, allowing a new concept of relationship to take hold.

From such a secure base, a journey of self-discovery and self-creation can unfold. Clients often express bewilderment about exactly how therapy works. “I can feel my life changing,” one client said, “but I can’t tell you why.”

The answer is part science, part mystery.

First, the science: the brain changes as clients learn to befriend difficult emotions, tame overwhelming or destructive ones, and savor positive ones. Areas of the brain responsible for emotional regulation grow stronger. Over time, you feel more stable and integrated, and better able to take new, previously unconsidered risks in living.

The life challenges that brought you to therapy have less of a hold as you begin to consciously create your life, and experience more self-acceptance and compassion in the process.

quotes-red“Van has been my partner through life-changing journeys, and I can never express my gratitude properly. Transitioning from my 20s to 30s, my 30s to 40s, and my 40s to 50s —  and into a bisexual identity. Dealing with being the adult child of alcoholics. Exploring commitment and relationship. Healing the loss of my sister in childhood, my brother in adulthood, and five miscarriages in my marriage. Managing day-to-day challenges in the workplace as a professional educator, engineering managing, and learning scientist. Coming to terms with severe regrets over life choices and mistakes. Addressing depression  — and healing phone, online, and in-person sex addictions. Finding joy in my life and in my relationships.”

The mystery behind the science is that something transformative can happen between the person of the therapist and the person of the client — and this cannot be quantified or predicted.

Life-changing individual therapy is more than a business transaction. Consider two different streams that meet beneath the sea to change the current: who I am and what I bring to your healing, and who you are and what you bring, mingle below consciousness and slowly change us both.

When you end therapy, you take with you that capacity to both shape your world and be shaped by it. You can remain anchored in your Self while living more spontaneously and authentically in the world.