"I think I'll go to the Park and watch the children playing
Perhaps I'll find, in my head, what my heart is saying.'
Donald Fagan..."Any World That I'm Welcomed To"
What a lovely thought, lyric and behavior suggestion from one of my favorite song writers. Watching children play is a beautiful way to gain perspective, yet in this day and age the notion of simply going to a park, perhaps around other humans, feels more like a luxury from the recent past than a simple walk toward good mental and physical health. That walk is still needed...more than ever. Covid-19 has brought us all to some level of recognition that we are fragile, that we are vulnerable, and that we need each other if we are to survive...if we are to live meaningful lives. In my 27 years of experience in mental health I have yet to experience--along with the equally profound social justice enlightenment--such an invitation for individual and systemic reflection, meditation, evolution and change. An invitation. Much like our battles with the experience of being a human being wrapped in skin, traveling through this world of uncertainty are invitations to our own change.
At the Group Room, we understand that these battles can take the familiar forms and tired language of addiction, dependence, depression, anxiety, divorce, isolation, and a host of other processes and names as methods to cope. Yet my understanding and approach to these issues as a human being who has chosen to be a therapist is to view these events not as optional or aberrant, but necessary and vital. The notion of addiction is not left for the unfortunate few, but is very much a part of all human experience; merely pick your poison. Attachment to something (a feeling, a process, a drug, a person, refusing to change, I could go on forever...) seems to be mandatory for all of us. The question becomes: How then, do I reclaim my Freedom of choice?
I believe the answers lie in our ability to challenge, reconsider and reframe our habituated thoughts, feeling and behaviors--formed for whatever reasons and also to be explored but not dwelled-upon. We are nature and nurture, but all ways of being that have been learned and habituated, can be relearned and re-habituated. To paraphrase what an ancient philosophy has known for 4000 years; all my suffering is based on that which I desire. Desire ebbs and flows, and our certainty about, attachment to, and impulsive need to attend to that which we desire will be the degree to which we are uncomfortable...or depressed, addicted, angry, controlling and/or the king of them all and informer of most shared kooky human behavior...anxious. Most of us have some kind of anxiety-making process that we're certain finds its origins in the world around us. In those around us. That's a losing proposition...a powerless one. We gain emotional, mental, and spiritual strength when we find the courage to look at ourselves. To accept the invitations that feel like anxiety, fear, and conflict as informers to change, evolution, and love. Freedom remains the opposite of addiction, and though love be the opposite of hate, it is to be human to feel both, and some of the anxiety we all feel--collectively and individually--is simply a calling to move toward that love. When you call the Group Room, you will not be catagorized as a mental health malady, but welcomed significantly as a human person being introduced to some aspect of change. My goal is to help you discover where the invitations of your life can lead; to assist you in discovering new options, new prisms through which to view your beautiful existence. While we can't change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and incorporate the challenges in your life. By applying complementary therapy approaches and techniques, we will uncover and understand long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back from transforming change into opportunity.
We've recently enjoyed a move and my office hours always welcome walk-ins, a cup of coffee, a quick chat per anything, or even a place to sit quietly for a bit. If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.
Please call or email me for an individual, group or family/couple therapy consultation today.