Therapy Should Make Sense
The actions that restore satisfying living are not unusual. They are everyday actions done with feeling, contact, and conviction. Most complicated psychological theories got that way describing the indirectness that humans use to manage discomfort. This indirectness does offer partial protection from anxiety and fear, but it perpetuates and compounds problems. It also drains energy, and starves the person of real contact with others.
My name is Michael Samsel. At mid-life I came to believe that the greatest task in front of any of us is to form and sustain rich, pleasurable, and meaningful relationships. To that end, I became a therapist, not to have a job, but to follow a passion.
I believe that joyful living is a birthright, but that our experiences have often led to a style of life that ensures survival in some sense, but largely at the cost of joy. I believe that love, warmth and fulfillment are best relearned and recaptured through our closest present relationships. I agree with most therapists that early relationships are often the source of later joyless living, but I also concentrate on how this legacy of self-limiting and self-punishing beliefs and behaviors is present but solvable in here-and-now relationships.
Therapy is a process of developing feeling and purpose. This is done by 1) increasing self awareness, 2) increasing direct self-expression, and 3) increasing the capacity to have and hold strong feelings. In our society, the first is encouraged but the latter two really are not. I believe that self-awareness is fundamental to happiness, but also that insight is usually the by-product, not the cause of change.
Change starts by doing something different, but only continues when we experience something different. My work focuses on increasing freedom of feeling, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. Together these constitute freedom of action. I address both self-limiting beliefs and limiting neuromuscular patterns.
Many people dismiss therapy because they believe it is either empty reassurance, or an expensive format to hear self-help advice, or "renting a friend", or a "crutch" to make suffering tolerable, etc Good therapy, however, is made by the participants, and is compatible with 'common sense'. Common sense is not a specific body of knowledge, but rather a state of harmony between one's mind, heart, belly, the natural world, and the human community.