We offer something deeper. Frequently, we get clients walking through the door who describe past experiences with therapists that have left them feeling unheard, reduced, and demoralized around the possibility of finding treatment that really addresses their needs.
"Some of it was helpful," they often say, "but..." and they come to describe the experience of not being seen as a full person with a long history and a deep life philosophy, with dreams and multifaceted desires, with their own thoughts about illness and their own thoughts about health
The Bay Area Artists of the Unconscious offers something deeper. First and foremost, we listen to the person.
1. We listen to his or her history, which is unique and provides many clues to why certain struggles have emerged. Typically people are creative and resourceful and their struggles involve strategies they have created in the past to carry them through difficult times, familiar protections which now weight them down.
2. We listen to the unconscious--in dreams, in fantasies, in actions and beliefs, each of us speaks from the deepest part of ourselves, and when we tap into it, there are veins of wisdom there. One way to conceive of many psychological struggles is the loss of contact with all aspects of oneself. Addressing this loss of contact not only helps reduce symptoms, it enhances life and the range of choices a person has.
3. We listen to a person's life philosophy. This includes someone's background culture(s), value system, heroes, and picture of success. It includes that highly individual and exquisitely nuanced thing: a person's understanding of what mental health means, which involves what it takes to be happy, what it takes to be noble, and what feels most alive.