Hidden Lines Psychotherapy*
Every life has its secrets. Every life needs its secrets. No matter how intimate you become with someone — your lover, spouse, parent, sibling, friend, teacher, guru, or child — you will always have something that is yours and cannot be shared. You won’t even reveal all your secrets to your psychotherapist (trust me).
The trouble — and when I speak of trouble, I mean what used to be called neurosis and is now variously labeled depression, anxiety, or simply and vaguely, mental illness — the trouble arises when we become blind to our own secrets, or at least to many of the most important of them.
It is entirely possible that even we as individuals are not meant to be self-aware of all our secrets, of all the preconscious and unconscious contents of our minds. Science has yet to deliver an answer on that question. Yet we can consider it a safe proposition that it is both possible and healthy to know a good deal of our own secrets, and to nurture the ability to reveal and explore the ones that might lead us toward clarity, freedom, and progress in our lives; just in the process of our being honest with them.
This, by and large, is the process of psychotherapy. It is a process in which you are free to thus reveal and explore personal secrets that no one else knows about; that you might not even be fully aware of. It is done in a safe — you might almost say sacred – space in which the privacy and confidentiality of what is said and heard are held secure.
It is also a place where you may learn to continue the work of exploration and self-discovery on your own — first, so that you aren’t “chained to the couch” for months or years, with all the expense and inconvenience involved in that; and second, because it is, after all, a lifelong process. You never reach a point where you become Ms. or Mr. Perfectly-Sane. Let me assure you: even your therapist isn’t there, not even close. Why do you imagine we do this stuff?
It is, after all, the year 2020. A year of irretrievable and tragic loss; a year of isolation and loneliness; a year of fear and chaos and socio-economic collapse on a scale not seen in this nation perhaps since its Civil War in the 19th c. It is a year of environmental devastation, of our own making, equally unprecedented, particularly on the fire-ravaged West coast. And a year of the rebirth of a long-repressed revolution against a fascist police cult of racist brutality and murder.
If you haven’t been impacted psychologically by any of this, you are in the minority. Surveys, controlled studies, and other research have found consistently that, depending on target populations and sample sizes, between 60% and 90% of respondents or participants have suffered from elevated levels of depression, anxiety, and panic disorders since the pandemic began in March.
So this is a time when all our wounds are exposed. We don’t need to hide them anymore; we don’t have to pretend they aren’t there anymore. The social, cultural, political, and economic wounds will of course continue to affect us. But they cannot be our primary focus. This is the year for you to find the ground of your own safe space, where your wounds lead your to your secrets. These are uniquely yours. The healing process will also be unique to your life, your personality, your circumstances, your needs.
If any of this has interested you, has drawn your attention, then I encourage you to spend a little time at the writings page and become familiar with my perspective on psychology, the human mind, and the dynamic between the spiritual and the scientific. If you still feel a resonance, then use the About page to make a connection, and we’ll make arrangements to meet up.
Generally, you can expect a free initial consult of about 30 minutes to help you decide whether you’d like to continue with me. After that, there will be 40-minute-long sessions charged at a rate of $35/session (which is roughly 40% below my regular rate). Sessions will be held over Skype or Zoom (I recommend Skype because it has a better online security profile than Zoom); or by phone for those who prefer to avoid video interaction.
*About the name: “Hidden Lines” is a phrase from the Chinese oracle I Ching, which is the inspiration of much of my work and writing. It appears in two places in the oracle’s text (Hex. 3, Nature, and Hex. 44, Coming to Meet) as a metaphor for the true self or the self-healing capacity of the body and psyche.