I have had the privilege of treating people from all walks of life and who have had a variety of needs. Individuals and couples who are struggling and are desirous of greater peace and harmony in their relationship, families seeking greater interpersonal harmony, using specialized conflict resolution treatment, along with children who may be having difficulty in school or who may be suffering from certain forms of learning challenges or bullying, or adolescents who may be experiencing emotional turmoil or lack of direction.
Always keeping in mind the person's needs, pace and approaching the situation and process with mature, patient, non judgmental skills and knowledge acquired during my 25 years of private psychotherapy practice and 10 years of public social work practice.
Many people ask me if I have a specialty and I always hesitate with my answer. I want to say to them, "Yeh fixing broken hearts" but instead I put on my clinical voice and try to explain in less than 200 words that I believe all human suffering has a common internal experience to it, certainly to different degrees and with varying features but with a strong definable similarity. Of course in the 25 years I have been in private practice, I have heard and seen all sorts of manifestations of inner woundedness, including but certainly not limited to: alcohol or drugs, rage, isolation, depression, anxiety, panic episodes, overeating/undereating, insomnia/can’t get out of bed syndrome, can’t get off a topic or beyond a certain behavior (also called OCD), bipolar and a lot more. I have treated all of these and have discovered that over and over again there are similar root emotions connected to them. I discovered early on in my private practice that if I made a trusting connection with my clients at a deep level, where I could speak to the part of them that was suffering the most, healing would take place, if I did not then the healing process would not unfold. I studied interactive group therapy under Dr. Jay Earley for three years during the mid-1990’s. After all these years it remains on the top five list of my most meaningful professional experiences. Dr. Earley eventually introduced me to a practice created by Dr.Richard Schwartz called Internal Family System (IFS). Wow, finally an exact scientific method for an unscientific ,organic experience. My effectiveness with clients took a leap into a whole new realm, allowing me to access places within them with clarity and compassion. I am so grateful for the loving and brilliant work that both of these men have done for so many people, including myself and my dear clients.
I don't want to come to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
by Diane Ackerman
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