Psychotherapy must remain an obstinate attempt of two people to arrive at a recovery of the wholeness of being human through the relationship between them.
My approach is based on my initial training in Counselling, Psychodynamic and Gestalt Therapy, Perinatal Psychology and over two decades of personal therapy with my teacher and supervisor, Psychotherapist, Andrew Feldmár, whose main influence is his teacher R.D.Laing. Auspiciously, my university thesis was in Psychiatry, precisely on R.D. Laing, so it was a full circle moment, meeting Feldmár in 1996, after moving to Canada.
Given my extensive training in Yoga, my strength is working with the mind of the body. As an adjunct to the therapeutic process, I often offer meditation, subtle breathing practices, gentle embodied movement and body work. As in Buddhist teaching, healing is not just our birth-right (Karma) but it could be our spiritual pursuit of freedom (Dharma) or otherwise an enslavement, endless suffering and existential death, just as Laing insinuates in a quote below. We can decide to pursue our freedom of choice or leave it up to faith.
I practice post psychedelic integration therapy, as a form of a harm reduction, and as an adjunct to my counselling practice, and under the supervision of my teacher and elder.
To see details of my practice principles and references, look below.
Initial session is 90 min long.
I practice inclusion, so If after the initial session money is the only obstacle to continue counselling, the fees may be re-negotiated.
Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.
As in the lineage of my teacher Feldmár and Laing, my approach is rooted in interpersonal social phenomenology, equal presence, moment-to-moment awareness, and the practice of non-harm, Ahimsa (Sanskrit: अहिंसा.), which is the same principle as the Hippocratic Oath of “Do not harm.”
Instead of treating mental illness diagnosis, I pay attention to the root of every mental disease which is trauma, held in the body memory, lingering within clients ambiguity and suffering, expressed in a relationship with oneself and others.
This relating can originate as early as our own conception, including the relationship of our parents, or, as politics and ethics passed down epigenetically though our ancestral line, culture or education.
The one common denominator of all the variety of mental illness described in DSM, is trauma.
~Judith Lewis Herman
Why social phenomenology versus medical models?
Known as a radical psychiatrist (as per Latin Radix – root), as well as a Yoga and meditation practitioner, R.D. Laing spoke of mental illness not as a medical problem, but a problem occurring in the way we relate to one another.
Therefore the issue is more ethical (how we treat each other) and political (distribution of power), rather than something being inherently wrong within.
Not that long ago, however, trauma (PTSD) is considered to be a brain disease and treated as such (lobotomy, electric shock therapy etc.). Observing this, Laing considered mental illness diagnosis represented by the DSM a dangerous disambiguation.
Where can one look for further research?
As an award winning medical journalist Robert Whitaker, specialized in mental illness research, he writes and speaks extensively on the futility of the medical approach to mental disease. Similarly, Psychiatrist and Academic, Joanna Moncrieff in her extensive research offers an analysis of the pervasive myth of the commonly spoked chemical imbalance of the brain. It is sobering to look at the on-going research of the side effects of the psychopharmacology and their addictive quality, which may be a strong contributor of the current alarming opioid crisis.
Research also shows that this approach to mental health crisis is not being resolved, in fact, the statistics only reflect its rapid rise, as over 8 million people, only in US, take prescribed psychoactive medications and the alarming statements that, only in the last ten years, 20-35 % of children’s are being diagnosed and majority of them medically treated (reference; Whitaker and Moncrieff).
What is, in this approach, the purpose of the mental and emotional healing process and its purpose in human society?
Laing says that, so-called civilized humans are generally psycho-phobic, terrified of their mind, and their soul becoming alive.
forHealing, as an embodiment process means befriending our Psyche (ψῡχή = psykhē/psūkhē), our Soul, which etymologically has the same Indo-European root to breathing, relaxing and being.
False self is for surviving, while true self is for living and thriving.
For psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, the deepest form of healing is the very pinnacle of spiritual experience, depicted as the Greek Hieros Gamos ( ἱερὸς γάμος,) This is the sacred marriage of our psyche, Soul (Anima) with the Spirit (Animus).
For the Radical therapist, the phenomenology of healing itself can be depicted as a process of emancipation (etymology: verb eman·ci·pate \i-ˈman(t)-sə-ˌpāt\. : to free (someone) from someone/control or power over.)
As a somatic therapist, educator, and fighter against racial injustice and war, Resmaa Menekem sees mental health and healing more as cultural and societal, rather than an individual issue taken out of its historical and political context. He shows how fear breeds fear, and as such it becomes unconsciously embedded in our bodily reactions, caused or reinforced by dysfunctional family systems, culture of violence, and immersed in the institutions affected by its inherent bureaucracy and the vertical structures of power.
Hence, the process and structure of healing itself can only come out of the communion of two or more people in small communities, where we cherish and execute principles of safety, solidarity, equity and care.
:*all prices will have additional 5% GST
No Refund, Exchange or Transfer of sessions.
Please note that a minimum of 48 hrs notice is required in writing, for changing or cancellation appointment, otherwise the full amount will be charged. The cause of missing an appointment is of no consequence. If you give me less than 48 hours notice, and I succeed in finding someone to take your appointment, your fee will be waived. this policy is not punitive; it is to cushion me from the vicissitudes of your life.
Disclaimer: The practices we offer are not meant to be medical services. If in doubt, please consult your medical practitioner.
My practice should not be construed as advocating for the use of psychedelic substances. I do not suggest, provide or administer such substances, but am present in my professional capacity and harm reduction. I do not assume any responsibility for any physical, psychological, legal or any other consequences from the use of these substances.
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