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Therapy Dojo Manifesto


Go To A Mountain Top
And Cry For a Vision
Where There Is No Vision
The People Perish
Sioux Proverb

 

Every life brings moments when we are plunged into a great abyss of transition.  These experiences may be initiated by a variety of situations – bereavement, illness or disablement, the crisis of physical trauma, victimization or addiction, being fired, an empty nest, divorce or other developmental crisis.  Whatever the cause, major life transition is often the catalyst for an individual to enter psychotherapy with me.

 

“TO EVOLVE OUT OF A POSITION OF PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMATURITY TO THE COURAGE OF SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND ASSURANCE REQUIRES A DEATH AND RESURRECTION…THAT’S THE BASIC MOTIF OF THE UNIVERSAL HERO’S JOURNEY – LEAVING ONE CONDITION AND FINDING THE SOURCE OF LIFE TO BRING YOU FORTH INTO A RICHER OR MORE MATURE CONDITION.”

Joseph Campbell

 

Many of my clients are suffering from common psychological effects, such as feelings of fear, loss, confusion, an absence of meaning, identity disruption, low self-worth, and a sense of being overwhelmed by life’s unfairness or its uncertainties. When they seek the help of a therapeutic alliance they discover that they can survive the chaos.  This is truly the hero’s journey – going down into the muck in order to come up with the gold.  Those clients who commit to this journey with me emerge from troubled times with a deeper sense of self-acceptance, wisdom and a renewed connection with others.

 

“WHAT WE CAN’T FACE LOOKS FOR US ANYWAY”

                                       

                  “TO GIVE YOUR COW A LARGE MEADOW IS THE WAY TO CONTROL HIM”

 

The origins of the term “DOJO” translates as a place of awakening and training.  During these existential challenges of life we can all use a place to come together for shelter, to learn and transform ourselves.  In this spirit I offer my Therapy Dojo as a process and place to awaken to and learn new ways of being in the world.  That is both the goal and reward.

 

“NO VIRTUE, NO SIN, THERE IS NO FEAR”

 

I create and hold a space where courageous, honest and sometimes difficult conversations are encouraged and unfold naturally.  I work as an integrative clinician whose therapeutic style is varied and versatile and believe in combining the knowledge and skills from a variety of transformative traditions.  My psychodynamic framework integrates somatic, relational and developmental perspectives with a special emphasis on a mindfulness orientation.

 

 “Necessary, Forever Necessary

To Burn Out False Shames And Smelt The

Heaviest Ore of the Body Into Purity”

 

Life and science confirm that transition and change is a part of life.  Sadness and anger is often part of the experience because loss is inevitable as we gain something new in the process of change.   We expand the sense of choice in our lives as we work on becoming more conscious.  Our abilities to mourn loss can often be tested as we act on new awareness and thus make more skillful decisions.  Simultaneously, however, it is at these moments that we can feel an embodied sense of movement, vitality and hope as we make contact with our core, authentic selves. The shift starts.  We throw out old scripts that were never ours to begin with and break the chains of the familiar and pseudo safe.  We learn to honor our intention and intuition and enact the freedom, power and accountability of our choices.

 

“YOU CANNOT GET IT BY TAKING THOUGHT

YOU CANNOT SEEK IT BY NOT TAKING THOUGHT”

 

“OFTEN THE WISDOM OF THE BODY CLARIFIES THE CONFUSION OF THE SPIRIT”

 

I engage clients in the therapeutic practices that allow them to re-awaken the embodied intelligence that streams through them and enlivens the gestures, expressions, conversations and experiences that make up who they are.  This is the human capacity to transform knowledge and vision into a muscular commitment to action.  When we connect to the life of our body and affect we connect to what we truly care about.  Our goal is to organize our selves towards fulfillment and heal our capacity to experience compassion, joy and wonder: FIRE IN THE BELLY, CHI IN THE HANDS, BALANCED STEP, CLEAR VOICE, CALM MIND, RENEWED VISION, WARRIORS OF THE OPEN HEART.

 

“WHAT NOW SEEMS TO YOU OPAQUE, YOU WILL MAKE

TRANSPARENT WITH YOUR BLAZING HEART…”

R. M. Rilke

 

We’re in pain and want out.  Yet the challenge is to move into it as the window through it.  We deny our body and choose numbness rather than be alive with certain emotions.   We think that we can’t survive them but therapy teaches that we can not only tolerate them but that they can offer us meaningful information.  Contacting the wisdom of the body, integrating the shadow and knowing our feelings gives a better map of who and where we are and how we want to grow.   Therapy can move us from being a witness to author of our lives.  With the help of a therapeutic alliance we can find the courage, awareness and support to act as a warrior of the heart – to awake and manifest presence.

 

“THERE IS A FIELD BEYOND RIGHT THINKING

AND BEYOND WRONG THINKING

I WILL MEET YOU THERE”

Rumi

 

With safety and empathy we can maintain the possibility of movement; with trust and balance we can commit to practice and embody aliveness; with comfort and acceptance we can relax and sustain contact with our authentic self.  Clients are encouraged to cultivate awareness, courage and acceptance – to become warriors of the their heart.

  " ALL TRUE THINGS
MUST CHANGE AND ONLY
  THAT WHICH CHANGES
      REMAINS TRUE"
C.G. Jung

 

To facilitate a client’s exploration along the path to healing and wholeness I employ a therapeutic modality and plan that guides inner resources forward like a kayak gliding along the river of spirit within each unique individual.  We all want more.  We want to feel connected – to our self and others.  We want to know that we can flow with change like the windsurfer jiving up and down the bay.  We want to know how to respond to life’s trials and tribulations; we want to know that we can emerge from “the hero’s journey” with a deep sense of acceptance, renewed vision and a genuine connection with our loved ones.

 

Developing skills of attention and focus provides great benefits.  This is not your Woody Allen’s therapy where self awareness becomes the trap or crutch.  Acting with intention is empowering.  Fear, guilt and shame are usually the culprits.  Choose Life.  Choose to walk with Socrates:  KNOW THY SELF – it often leads to having more choice in one’s life.

 

“THIS BE MY PILGRIMAGE

AND GOAL

DAILY TO MARCH AND FIND

THE SECRET PHRASES OF THE

SOUL

THE EVANGELS OF THE

MIND”

John Drinkwater

 

Guided by a sense of freedom and empathy within our self and within our relationship to the world we can enter the fires of intimacy.  Welcome to the Therapy Dojo and the hero’s journey to maintain the balance and vitality necessary to move skillfully through transition.

Todd Irvin, MFT is listed at AllTherapist.com

 

 

 

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