I base my therapeutic work on several optimistic and humanistic assumptions.  First, we all have the innate capacity to experience unconditional happiness, peace, compassion, and wisdom. Second, no matter how destructive and unskillful our behaviors may be, we are all doing the best we can at the present moment, and these behaviors arise from our attempts to cope with distress.  As we actively and persistently apply constructive coping skills, the negative behaviors subside.  Third, we all have the need to feel love, acceptance, validation, and a sense of belonging.  Finally, in most cases I have encountered, suffering originate from internalized fear, blame, judgment and resistence toward oneself and life.  Therefore, the cultivation of inner ease, openness, curiosity, and compassion is the path to positive transformation.



Several major therapeutic frameworks have been influential for me.  First, I am grateful for Carl Rogers' clarity regarding the major curative factors for a therapist -- accurate empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive regard.  Dr. Rogers' Client Centered Therapy helped me conceptualize the importance of a positive therapeutic relationship -- it is within the support and safety of a positive therapeutic relationship that the authentic self and healing emerge.  Neuroscience has provided useful information regarding the structure and inner workings of the brain affecting our thoughts, emotions, and behavioral impulses; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has provided practical tools for working with these elements.  Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has provided a useful framework and concrete tools for addressing emotional distress, self-injurious behaviors, and interpersonal conflicts.  Taiji, Qi Gong and Aikido have provided me with both direct experience and conceptual information regarding the impact of body-centered practice on our mental and emotional well-being.  Finally, mindfulness lies at the foundation of my therapeutic approach.  Mindfulness, which I understand as open and non-judgmental present moment awareness, is at the heart of happiness.  It is with mindfulness that we make conscious choices and free ourselves from habitual reactions that cause suffering.

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