After practicing as a psychologist in Madison for 20 years, I can say with confidence that most of what we see clinically is people's responses to the serious difficulties of life. Not that there isn’t true psychopathology, but that the power of emphasizing resilience and strength, and de-pathologizing normal struggle cannot be overstated. While clearly depression, anxiety, and a host of other issues exist, it is rarely effective to view them as illnesses to be treated as diseases. I endorse the model of therapy being a collaboration in which the therapist's role is to find and activate the client’s internal resources. I strongly feel that we can learn and grow from any experience, and incorporate that thinking into the therapy dialogue. Growth and change are at the center of the disruptions that bring people to therapy, and therapy emboldens them to lean into that and take charge of it.
Change is going to happen. It is happening right this minute. We encourage you to put yourself back into an active role, participating in the change and influencing it. The phrase “conscious evolution” is showing up more and more, and aligns with our philosophy of life and therapy. How do we participate in our own growth? By practicing mindful awareness of our reactions and behaviors, by becoming skillful at making choices, by dedicating ourselves to being life-affirming, and by taking responsibility for our lives. The great French author Colette observed that by the age of 40, we have created for our own faces. Our expressions, our habits of smile or frown literally carve out our visages. Similarly, we are the authors of our own lives, not in terms of what happens to us, but in terms of what we do with that.
We at Westside Psychotherapy are committed to being Conscious Evolutionaries, and invite you to join us at in this undertaking.