Individual Therapy

Guidelines

Individual therapy is a safe environment where you can share your inner world with a therapist. Though therapists are trained in different theories when it comes to therapy, there is a common thread running through all therapies, regardless of the theoretical base – that is, it is a confidential place where you can expect to be listened to and regarded.

There is both long-term and short-term therapy. Given your presenting problem, your therapist will guide you in this regard. For example, if it is possible to address your presenting problem by means of short-term therapy, the therapist will advise you such.

Both Janine and Robert work in a non-directive manner, believing that the “answers” to the presenting problems lie within you, and that, with help in going toward yourself, you will experience a renewed sense of clarity and freedom to go forth in a way that enhances and maintains your sense of well-being.

Please take note of the following as you enter into individual therapy with one of us:

      1. Each session is 50 minutes
      2. If you need to cancel a session, we require 24 hours notice to prevent you being charged for the session
      3. In terms of the account, most medical aids do cover individual therapy. It remains your responsibility to check up on the limits of your medical aid, and to monitor when your therapy benefits are depleted. If you are on medical aid, we will submit the account directly, and the medical aid will pay us directly. Once your medical aid is exhausted, you will receive a monthly account, via email, after the last session of each month, which needs to be settled before the first session of the new month
      4. Cost per session: R900.

 

Anxiety/Depression

The first stirrings of an inner world that has remained largely dormant and unknown to an individual over years can be a disposition or mood state that we commonly call anxiety or depression. This is sometimes precipitated by a major external event (a trauma, loss, crisis, significant transitional events, or an intense interpersonal encounter), or by changes within us, pertaining to significant life stages (adolescence, mid-life, old age). On the other hand, the precipitating event to anxiety or depression can at times be quite minor, it representing the last straw, indicating that, unbeknown to us, there has been an accumulative effect of repressed and suppressed emotion over years. In both cases, inner tension ensues – the need to let go of emotion (given the accumulation of emotion over time or the sudden experience of an unusually intense emotion) encountering our programmed inner “rules” or memorized habitual experience of holding on to emotion (suppressing or repressing it). This inner tension is experienced as anxiety.

Depression is experienced when the habit of holding on is so entrenched that no letting go process can be consciously embarked on at all. It is as if our inner world has become numb.

In accompanying individuals through bouts of acute anxiety and depression, and noticing the factors contributing to their recovery, we have begun to understand more fully the link between these mood states and our inner worlds. We have noticed, without exception, that those who present with symptoms of anxiety or depression display a particular way of relating to, processing of, and working with their emotions that is characterized by a denial, minimizing, or suppressing of their feelings in general, or specific emotions in particular. Their attitude towards their emotionality, or specific emotions is often characterized by an unhelpful guilt or shame, or an irritability and impatience with the presence of vulnerable emotions. They carry introjected parental voices that continue to convince them that they are not “allowed” to feel okay about being angry or sad or fearful or confused.

There is a need for a more holistic approach to the treatment of both chronic and acute anxiety and depression. Charles Whitfield, a leading figure in proposing an alternative paradigm to the understanding and treatment of anxiety and depression, notes that there is growing evidence that indicates a strong and perhaps even causal relationship between childhood trauma and depression. Our approach to addressing and treating anxiety and depression incorporates this movement towards oneself, one’s emotions and one’s inner world, and its woundedness.

Recommended Reading

The contents of the books listed below are in keeping with the paradigm in which we work, and can be a helpful resource for those who are inclined to supplement their therapy with reading.

Bradshaw, J. (1988) Healing the Shame that Binds You. Florida: Health Communications
Bradshaw, J. (1991) Home Coming. London:Piatkus
Epstein, M (1995) Thoughts without a thinker. New York: Basic Books
Epstein, M (1999) Going to pieces without falling apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness. New York: Broadway Books
Epstein, M (2001) Going on Being: Life at the Crossroads of Buddhism and Psychotherapy.Boston: Wisdom
Epstein, M (2013) The Trauma of Everyday Life. New York: Penguin Books
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2013) Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to face Stress, Pain and Illness
Kabat-Zinn, J (2005) Coming to our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. London: Piatkus Books
Miller, A.(1987) The Drama of Being a Child . London: Virago Press
Miller, A (2001) Paths of Life. London: Virago
Richo, D (1991) How to be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration.New York: Paulist Press
Richo, D (2012) Coming Home to Who You Are: Discovering your Natural Capacity for Love,Integrity and Compassion. Boston: Shambhala
Thich Nhat Hanh (2008) The Miracle of Mindfulness. London: Rider
Thich Nhat Hanh (2001) Anger:Buddhist wisdom for cooling the flames. London:Rider
Thich Nhat Hanh (2010) Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child. California: Parallax
Thich Nhat Hanh (2014) Fear: Essential Wisdom for getting through the Storm. New York: HarperCollins
Whitfield,CL (1987) Healing the Child Within. Florida: Health Communications
Whitfield,CL (1991) Co-Dependence. Florida: Health Communications
Whitfield,CL (2003) The Truth about Depression Florida: Health Communications
Williams M, Teasdale J, Segal Z and Kabat-Zinn J (2007) The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. New York: Guilford Press