ABOUT MY PRACTICE
My Approach to Psychotherapy and AnalysisPeople who work with me often come from creative, academic, or healing professions--but not necessarily! When I was growing up, I had the experience of living in different cultures, and I have continued to learn from those who have different backgrounds from my own. Early on I discovered that I found it meaningful to work with sensitive people who had difficulties with attachment and trust, abandonment or loss of a parent, existential concerns, identity issues, or suffering because of a traumatic childhood with emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse. Jungian analysis or psychotherapy recognizes the need to feel whole and authentic and to live a meaningful life. From a Jungian point of view, a symptom is not simply a source of distress: it may be a communication of distress about a problem that one has not yet been addressed. Perhaps the problem has not been even recognized. The symptom may be symbolic of some aspect of the problem or its solution, which may emerge during the work. A depth approach is different from widely used methods that focus on eliminating a symptom, consciously attempting to change attitudes and behaviors. or tutorials in "mindfulness." These approaches may be very helpful for an individual in a particular situation, for example, to become more conscious of counterproductive habits or attitudes and try new coping strategies. However, if the habits or attitudes are longstanding, it is unlikely that lasting change will result from symptom-oriented or short term therapy. One symptom may subside only to have a new one appear. Depth therapy addresses the sources of your problems. Patterns of cognition and behavior are discussed, and people in depth therapy often pursue a meditation practice with an experienced meditation teacher. You may discover that, beneath the familiar pain, there are feelings that you have avoided. People often fear that if they open up they will break down and no longer be able to perform at a high level. These fears are an important thing to discuss in therapy. You will not be pushed--though you may be confronted or challenged! In any therapy, the relationship between therapist and patient is important. If you feel a rapport with your therapist and can really work together, you will come to feel safe to express your deeper feelings and reactions. In depth therapy, feelings that arise toward your therapist and feelings "in the room" can be talked about. One way to think about this is that both analyst and patient will have a tendency to recreate familiar situations, whether they are constructive or problematic. When you and your therapist can become aware of what is happening in the present during the therapy hour, you will learn about feelings and patterns that you had not been aware of. In Jungian analysis the therapist and patient can explore this territory together. Many people in analysis record their dreams in a journal and bring their dreams to their sessions. Dream imagery may refer to unresolved issues from the past and present, and dreams may also anticipate future developments. In addition to talking, some people find it helpful to use expressive modalities, such as sandplay or painting.
ConsultationI frequently consult to other therapists and healthcare professionals about their work with patients. I no longer see children in my practice, but I continue to consult about therapeutic work with children.
Sandplay Process and Consultation I am a teaching member of the Sandplay Therapists of America (CST-T) and the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST). I work with therapists who are interested in adding sandplay to their practice and want to do their own therapy-sandplay process or receive consultation about their work with patients.
Copyright 2016 Dyane Sherwood