3 months ago
Counselors and therapists: Jeannie Songer and I have two spots open in our weekly process group and would be grateful for your help in spreading the word! Please see the attached flier for more info and to see if any of your clients or others within your circles might like to know about it. ... See MoreSee Less
Hey! You popped up on my feed! For anyone considering counseling, Ryan does excellent work!
12 months ago
Working really hard maintaining your job, your family, and your life, yet somehow feel stuck? Wonder why other people seem happier or further along, even though you’re just as dedicated and responsible as they are?
Toren and I are interviewing now for our men’s interpersonal process group. Visit bit.ly/2ttZFgd and reach out to us for more info! ... See MoreSee Less
Looks great, Ryan!
At times i have lost who i am...want to get back to me and stay there.
3 years ago
There are times when refusing to have a certain kind of conversation, the kind that keeps you or others small, is actually the most loving thing to do. Say that while negotiating something with your partner, his voice begins to take on an accusatory tone. You notice him getting more and more distraught and entangled in projections.
Now, there’s no need for defensiveness, or for sharing your insights about his distortions. Resist the temptation to perpetuate the usual dynamic. You are saying ‘no’ not apathetically, but with a commitment to generating something new, to approaching a more complete expression of yourselves.
For this, you may or may not need to put off contact with your partner. Either way, use the time to recall who you really are and who it is you’d like to be in the relationship. Disclosing these truths about yourself is then a gift to you both. It gives your partner something solid to respond to, and renews your own sense of integrity for having followed that profound urge we all have to break through. ... See MoreSee Less
Wherever we are in our lives, none of us are exempt from loss. Aging, illness, death, and separation from all that we love are inescapable truths. Even throughout an ordinary day, we may lose our faith, our purpose, our balance, our clarity, or our connectedness many times over. We can all relate to the painfulness that these experiences stir up.
One way of coping with painfulness is withdrawal. We decide “if this is what life involves, then I’m not playing!” This seems to me to be very human. Feeling overwhelmed and out of touch with how to move forward is okay. At the same time, we do want to find a way to continue growing our potential.
Like a seed, you have all the information you need to develop that potential, but it takes the right conditions before germination happens. You can begin working with stuckness by acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel whatever fears are there. With sincerity and care, tend to the feelings of worry that the worst will happen, of loneliness and longing, of grief following rejection, or of guilt for having disappointed your partner.
This way of staying with yourself breaks the dormancy of the heart and lets it know that it’s truly supported. Trust the strength that opens from there, and the miracle of its successive unfolding.
Photo by Jessica Reeder on Flickr ... See MoreSee Less
Very happy knowing that something about this is landing for each of you!
Wow very inspirational. 1st post I read this morning. Thanks for posting this son! I love it.
beautiful! i needed to hear this thank you Ryan... <3
Wow. Thank you
Thank you Ryan, for your insights
When I think back to working with my first therapist, I now see how strongly I projected onto her. I longed so deeply for what was happening in there that I began imagining her as I wanted her to be, instead of seeing her as she actually was. I remember the shock I experienced when she told me that she also attended therapy. That she might be needing her own healing was difficult for me to accept.
Now that I’m also a therapist, I recognize that pursuing my own therapy is an okay thing to do, and really one of the most important resources I have for doing my work well. It allows me to understand myself, and therefore enter into relationship with clients, more deeply. I can better appreciate their change process as related to my own. And though sessions with clients are dedicated to their growth alone, I’d not be practicing therapy if witnessing that growth wasn’t also somehow gratifying to me.
All of this reminds me how the distinctions I create between myself and those I work with can be distracting. Sure, I’m a therapist one day, but a client the next. And in either situation, I’m both helping and being helped. When I get too caught up in this or that role, I begin to experience myself as separate. I lose track of the Essence flowing within and around us from which potential unfolds. I dedicate this piece to my first therapist, who inspired me to lean into that Oneness and the inherent wisdom it provides.
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Love this one, Ryan. And doesn't it keep happening? : )
What a beautiful spider web. Amazing engineers.
I totally agree. In my world, as a Rolfer, being the caretaker of a rather sensitive body has certainly made me a better practitioner. In particular, my journey from being a very athletically non-gifted kid to being an active adult (with not particularly high performance in multiple sports) has helped me see how to help others walk that path. The body is never *fixed* and perfect.... even if it feels great for months, there will always be new challenges and issues, so it truly is a work in progress. Of course internal growth has the possibility for maximum richness and ease in our old age! So it's nice that the mind and heart are influenced by aging in a different way than the physical body.
Well said and couldn't agree more.
You have the most beautiful posts Ryan. As a therapist too I am blown away sometimes by the power of just sitting with people, often when I'm feeling the most vulnerable is when I do the best therapy...I'm able to meet people in that tender place that is beneath all the various defenses and protections. I hope to meet you in the Hakomi world one day.
Every session reminds me that no two people are the same, that each of us has arrived here by some unique route. At the same time, we’ve traveled across common terrain. All of us have faced the tasks of learning how to feel, to want, to speak, to act, to imagine, and to love. And all of us have developed strategies for moving through whatever difficulties we encountered along the way.
When these difficulties persist, our strategies can become habituated. Our once creative attempts to deal with confusing situations congeal into something less malleable, such that we’re no longer responding to what’s in front of us in immediate or satisfying ways.
Which strategies have become recurrent for you when under emotional stress? Withdrawing from contact? Collapsing into helplessness? Taking on a competitive stance at the expense of intimacy? Acceding to others’ needs while avoiding expression of your own? Whichever they are, remember that they began as practical responses to early dilemmas and can be updated with new responses that better fit your current circumstances.
But changing core dispositions can’t happen through intellectual analysis or problem-solving. Many of our limiting patterns arise from structures lodged deeply in the brain and body, which can only be accessed experientially. #Hakomi can help you explore how these structures are exerting influence in your life and begin pursuing more expansive states of being. And the more you engage with these preferred states in therapy, the more you’ll find them spilling out into your everyday life.
Photo by ajeofj3 on Flickr ... See MoreSee Less
There was a time when therapy was mostly about talking. And while talking with a trusted other about the things we care about most can awaken something beautiful within us, its power is limited.
One of the things that I love about Hakomi is its acute focus on our present-moment experiences and, ultimately, how our underlying dispositions shape these experiences. What emerges from this way of working can be far more compelling!
This requires that I communicate with clients in a way that breaks away from ordinary conversation. Often I reflect back how something is being expressed – through gestures and movements, for example - rather than the details of what's being expressed. I might even interrupt to suggest immersing more fully in a particular feeling state or to steer things in a new direction altogether. I do this from a place of care, of course, and a desire to engage with possibilities.
You don’t need to be a therapist to cut through conventional ways of relating. Just begin paying attention to the experiences and longings of others, beneath their words, with wholehearted curiosity. When the timing’s right, name what you’re noticing out loud. Even simple, generic statements like 'hard to talk about, isn't it?' or 'something important about this, huh?' are significant indicators that you’re recognizing their current reality and leaving room for their exploring it more completely.
This practice may feel awkward, even artificial, at first. Gradually, your sincere intention to show up for others in this way will bring those relationships onto new ground, where affection and intimacy can truly grow.
I welcome your reflections here!
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"paying attention to the experiences and longings... beneath words...with wholehearted curiosity"
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Love it, & you are ao good at it.
Many couples admit to me that the words they’ve been using with one another are no longer getting them where they want to go. They sense that beneath their words, there are underlying currents flowing between them that contaminate their process.
Inevitably, they’re right. Because so much of how we experience who we are in relation to others is learned well before we’ve picked up language, these rules can’t be linguistically retrieved. They must be accessed experientially.
This is why in sessions I ask couples to explore their relational dynamics nonverbally. For example, each partner might assume a physical position that reflects the emotional stance they perceive they’re taking with the other, carefully noticing how it feels in their bodies. Carried out in an exploratory way, this can help couples become more conscious of and expand beyond how they’ve been organizing around a particular issue.
Give special attention this week to the dialogues of gestures, impulses, and movements that unfold between you and your partner. Maintain an attitude of friendly curiosity throughout, trusting that your remaining sensitive to and in contact with these experiences will lead you towards something new.
Photo by ParaFlyer on Flickr ... See MoreSee Less