If you’re looking to start therapy, there are lots of options. How do you know you’ve found the right therapist for you? In this blog series I’ll tell you a little about my background, how I found energy therapy and why I think its the best thing you’ve never heard of.
People often ask me how I got interested in energy psychology. It’s been a long winding path. I was a depressed kid who was in therapy by the time I was ten. I turned my lived experience into a career that helps other people find their way out of the darkness toward a whole new life.
I got my start in the mental health field when I was 19. I got a job working the weekend shift at an 8 bed halfway house for the chronically mentally ill in Newburgh NY. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine someone thought I was responsible enough for such a serious job. But they did. I worked there on the weekends and took clients to run their errands or mine in the eight passenger van I had to drive them around in. The job taught me so much. I went to school during the week and spent my weekends learning about mental illness from reading clients charts, looking up their diagnosis in the DSM and reading about their medication.
I had a pretty good foundation in abnormal psychology long before I took the course. I did my internships in psychiatric hospitals and wrote my papers on the topics I had become familiar with through first hand experience. I loved everything about psychology.
I still love helping people put the puzzle pieces together. Listening to peoples stories and helping them come to new conclusions and gain insight is a privilege. Therapy is incredibly intimate work. You have to be curious and not accept anything at face value. Whenever I get stuck or overwhelmed I go back to the theories and techniques that ground me. They give me confidence and keep me engaged in the art of psychotherapy. The day to day process can be depressing, lonely and isolated. My interest has persisted through out my nearly 30 year career. Therapy isn’t just my job, it’s part of my lifestyle.
Every therapist should be in therapy
Being a patient has always been part of my training. I have gotten trained in the types of therapy I have found most helpful personally. In my early days, my mentors [mostly] psychodynamically trained. I attended the same training institute as one of my most influential therapists. She convinced me of the benefits of post graduate training mostly by being such an excellent therapist.
Psychodynamic training helped me to understand the role of the unconscious mind and how to help people become curious about the underlying issues that drive their unwanted feelings and behavior. Learning about Object Relations and Attachment theory added richness and additional perspectives.
My interest in a new therapy usually goes something like this: Get interested in a subject. Read a book. Find myself a therapist who works with the method. Decide whether or not it helped me enough to pursue training. Because training is expensive and time consuming, I only invest in things I’ve gotten enough positive benefits from. I use myself as a guinea pig. I’m always learning and experimenting with new things.
Life changing discovery
I found Energy Psychology (EP) by accident. EFT or tapping is one of many types of EP. Tapping on acupressure points elicits a calming response in the body that can reduce the physiological stress associated with trauma. Even though the idea excited me, I thought the process was silly. Tapping on your skin? Needless to say, I was skeptical. I had a nightmare during the weekend long training. I processed it the next morning with a classmate. To my surprise, the emotional distress I felt decreased from and 8, very high, to 0 in just two rounds of tapping. This still wasn’t enough to win me over. Yet.
I took the new information home and began to use it on my friends and family. I experimented with it for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw Judith Swack speak about HBLU, that I became a believer.
Check back to read more about my therapy story, why I believe in energy psychology and why I believe it can help you.
“My quest for personal growth led me to a career I love with unending potential”.