“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” -Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
We each blend our varied education, training, and life experience into a unique approach to psychotherapy, but we share many common values that bond us together in our practice. In particular, we are all dedicated to the practice of mindfulness and to the work of social justice.
Mindfulness is a practice that trains our attention and awareness to accept the truth of our experience in the present moment. In Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, Christopher Germen describes mindfulness as:
Mindfulness has received wide attention in recent years as a tool for stress reduction. In our experience, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Mindfulness practiced individually and reinforced in weekly therapy breaks down our delusions so that we can see our lives and relationships more clearly, understand our inner conflicts and suffering, and make decisions that are aligned with our core values.
As we bring mindful awareness to the suffering of our minds and the truths of our lives, we inevitably notice the suffering of others and the many injustices in the world. When we cut through the human habits of avoidance and denial, we find that if acceptance is one side of a coin, compassionate action is the other. The freedom of being present in order to make calm, balanced decisions in our lives leads us to actions that embody and create social justice. We are eliminating the resentment and prejudice of the past and the fear of the future.
The combination of these values in our practice opens us to work with a wide diversity of people as we welcome them into our offices. We are each engaged in advocacy and direct services that target the bigotry, disparity, and oppression that contribute so much to the suffering of our clients and our communities. When these issues emerge in the therapy, we support our clients to grapple with them honestly and compassionately, and we strive to acknowledge our differences with respect and humility.