“The purpose of psychotherapy is to set people free.”
-Rollo May, Freedom and Destiny (1981)
The heart of my practice is the work of encouraging healing changes. I assist individuals, couples, and families in navigating depression, anxiety, grief, marriage dissatisfaction, parenting struggles, childhood and the teen-aged years, identity and self-confidence, anger and stress, addictions, spiritual growth, and life transitions.
Entering into a therapeutic relationship begins by joining together in the midst of distress and the possibility of new hope. Then, almost unexpectedly, therapy begins. I think of therapy as a process of initiating a p.a.c.t. of changes to power, affect, creativity, and truth.
Therapy begins with power coming into focus. A problem’s power over an individual or a family lies in the roles and hierarchies, boundaries and power struggles, and rules, clear and covert, that govern over the status quo. During therapy, power is negotiated.
Whether in the numb of isolation, resentment, or grief, or the panic of chaos, fear, or uncertainty, during times of distress, deeply rooted emotion may remain hidden. In order for therapeutic change to occur, tension must be raised. Through the kindling of emotion and communication, the fire of affect must be stoked on the path to lasting change.
Insight is insufficient to bring about change. I approach therapy as an experiential process encouraging changes to begin in-session. However, cultivating understanding encourages changes to become more durable and lasting. Therefore, I teach and coach relationship creativity, offering opportunities to learn and practice new skills in-session.
Individuals and families internalize stories about what is true. Emotions from fear, guilt and disgust, to hope and love, are entrenched within implicit beliefs that we live by. These messages cannot merely be willed away. Truth must be confronted. Destructive truths must be ousted to leave space for new beliefs to grow and a new story to live by.
You may view therapy as a pact with your spouse, family, yourself, or even God. Over the course of therapy, you will be respected and valued for who you are but not left to remain as you were. Therapy is a challenge to power, a jolt to affect, an urge toward creativity, and a cleansing of truth. It is an opportunity. I would be delighted to join with you in it.
Blake Griffin Edwards
Marriage & Family Therapist