A session with me usually includes a holistic mix of conversation and experiential work. The proportion and kind of experiential work depends on your specific situation. Experiential possibilities include:
- examining an issue from different viewpoints through dialogue
- sensory awareness
- art therapy
- play therapy
- breath work
- modelling and practice
As your sessions progress, I check in periodically with you to determine how the mix is working for you and make any appropriate adjustments. You’re always in control of the limits in your session, and have the choice of declining, ending or modifying any experience according to your comfort level.
Standard sessions are 60 minutes. I recommend trying at least one 90-minute session to see if it’s a good fit for you. Many people find that it takes 30-45 minutes before they find their groove and then there is limited time available for “the work” in a 1-hour session, and almost no time for cooling down before finishing the session. Longer sessions allow up to 30 minutes of introductory conversation, at least 30 minutes of experiential work, and up to 30 minutes of debrief and integration. Some clients prefer 2-hour sessions because they allow for a gradual warm-up and still provide time for completing “deep” work.
Sessions are available in my office (Carlton Street or in the Junction) or in your home, within the TTC area. Depending on your needs, different options are available:
- 1-on-2 – I work with you and your partner
- 2-on-1 – I and another practitioner work with you (e.g. for relationship modelling)
- 2-on-2 – I and another practitioner work with you and your partner
Coaching is also available by e-mail, Skype or phone. Skype or phone sessions is generally shorter than in-person sessions because the experiential component is usually self-directed.
To arrange an introductory/evaluation session or ask any questions, complete the form at the bottom of this page or call me at 416-709-2348.
Climbing the Mountain
As your therapist, I’m rather like a Sherpa, guiding you on the path to your goal and generally facilitating an experience that you will find challenging but achievable. Similarly, you’re like the mountaineer choosing which mountains to climb in what order, and actually doing the work.
Therapy of many kinds is about “taking out the garbage”. As with other things, there is not just one way to achieve that goal. Good physical health, for example, is supported by combination of regular exercise and a nutritious, balanced diet. Exercise or diet alone will not give the same result as the two combined.
A number of popular healing professions include touch and some primarily use touch in their treatment of clients, for example: Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Reflexology, CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Structural Integration or Rolfing, Alexander Technique, Bowen Technique and others.
Many clients choose to use “talk therapy” exclusively, and get good results. Talking often provides access to the feelings that are left over from an event or experience, and is a good way to express and understand them. Experiences can be explored through dialogue, and they can also accessed through the physical dimension.
Feelings often manifest in body sensations, and one of the goals of therapy is to integrate or reconnect with feelings, and express them appropriately. This processing can be helped through enacting or re-enacting, giving a voice to a feeling, representing a feeling with a physical expression, and various other techniques and modalities.
Some clients choose to go a step further, and use the therapist as a physical support for their process. For example, many people find it helpful and comforting to be held while they cry because the sense of safety and being witnessed make it easier to access and experience their emotions more fully. Choosing to include some kinds of touch in therapy can provide you with additional routes to achieving the changes and healing you’re seeking.
For some people, a simple, honest hug is a rarely experienced luxury and provides a feeling of connection. For some people, that same hug could provoke fear, anxiety or sadness and thereby keep them away from the connection they long for. For many people, receiving a hug from “a stranger” feels a little weird and slightly uncomfortable because in our society, a handshake – or no touch at all – is customary. (Even some psychotherapists are reluctant to touch their clients!)
Considerable research has been done on how touch affects the psychological development of infants, and there is strong evidence linking early separations and deprivation of touch with various conditions including chronic anxiety, low self-esteem, persistent anger, distrust, narcissism and others. Many studies have concluded that most adults in society do not receive adequate amounts of touch… some feel 8-12 hugs a day are minimum for good health.
Some adults have experienced inappropriate kinds of touch or were denied appropriate touch as children, and some have experienced violence or trauma where touch sensations were a part of the aggression or injury. Insufficient or inappropriate touch can cause individuals to create defenses of many kinds, for example, to protect against the pain of isolation, or to “escape” from a repeated or unwanted intrusion. Touch (or lack of it) may have been part of the original problem, and for many people touch can also be an important part of the solution. It can be a powerfully healing and nourishing experience to receive the soothing strokes and cuddles that many of us have seldom received since our childhood.
As client and therapist – mountaineer and Sherpa – we will be in conversation about your journey. As with mountain-climbing, there are often several options available, and you always have the choice of which path to follow. I, as your Sherpa, will offer you my suggestions, and it’s up to you to select the challenge you’re ready for in that moment.
Are you ready for something better?
To arrange an introductory/evaluation session or ask any questions, complete the form below or call me at 416-709-2348.