In many ways the relational structure of our brains works like flowing water. Water carves channels that get deeper and deeper over time, and neural networks get stronger and stronger the more they are reinforced. However, it is always possible for water to run down a new path, and for our way of relating to ourselves, others and the world around us to change.
how we heal:
psychotherapy & mindful relationship
If left unchanged, one or possibly a few relationship patterns often repeat over and over through our lives. In a good therapeutic relationship, slowly, over time, with continued effort and courage on your part and continued support from your therapist, you will risk new ways of being - both in therapy and in the outside world. Emotions and actions that were deemed unsafe or inappropriate by a younger you (and likely were unsafe at the time) will be able to be experienced and added back into the mix of experiences available to you in your world - like a painter can add new colors of paint to her pallet - this leads to a fuller experience in the world and in relationships.
Therapy's transmutation consists not in elevating proper Reason over pure-blind Passion, but in replacing silent, unworkable intuitions with functional ones.
New neural pathways will form, and take precedence over the old ones, and your template for how you relate to yourself, others and the world around you will shift. I invite you to heal, connect and transform through mindful relationship and our work together.
All of this sounds very heady - but the process of healing begins far from this intellectualized place. Healing begins by allowing feelings, sensations and other foreign or forgotten experiences in, in the presence of a caring other who is skilled at helping you to tolerate and even enjoy these new experiences. Healing becomes lasting change, when a new experience begins to be understood by the thinking mind so that its old rigid models of what it believes about you and the world around you can be revised to allow you more ease, freedom and joy in your life and relationships.
why our patterns repeat: neuroscience & attachment theory
We come into the world needing connection to survive, and our limbic (emotional) brain develops to attune to our parents, whomever and however they may be. Through this early attunement and any other moments of profound emotional impact, we learn certain ways of being, which emotions are safe and unsafe to experience, and which parts of ourselves to show and which to hide away. As we move through life, over and over we repeat these famliar patterns, even when they no longer serve us and may in fact constrain us in living the life we want to live.
what happens when we change our patterns
Replacing older patterns that no longer serve you with newer more flexible, more functional ways of being allows you to: