Craig Metz, MS,
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
San Francisco, CA
‘the wound is the place where the light enters you.’ ~rumi
Depression and Anxiety:
Often two sides of the same coin, depression and anxiety are part of all of our lives. However, when these begin to interfere with our functioning and cause us significant distress it is time to take notice and take action. Anxiety and depression are powerful messengers -they tell us we need to make changes if we want to create the life we have always dreamed of living. Through short-term research proven techniques and in-depth therapy, the grip of anxiety and depression on our lives can be relaxed and these symptoms can be used to catapult our growth and understanding.
For most of us, it is like the air: it impacts everything that we do, but we seldom notice it. What is worse is that we believe that the self-hate, self-punishment and fear are good for us and and that, without them, we could not protect ourselves or get anything done. But it is all based on a misunderstanding we had a long time ago which is daily reinforced by our culture. Nothing is wrong with us. As we grow past our shame, the breadth of what is possible and the ease of our lives are vastly expanded.
Many of us struggle with addictions in one form or another. From alcohol to food or from TV to relationships, there is a hole in our soul that cannot be filled and the feelings we cannot tolerate. Although it is seldom easy, people do recover and they can come through to the other side more capable and wiser. Powerful treatment for addiction focuses on the addiction and on the deeper root of the disease.
Voices, Visions and other Unusual or Extreme Experiences (often called psychosis or
Perceiving the world from outside of consensus reality can be, at best, difficult and, at worst, life wrenching. Still, it is possible to integrate these perceptions and live a productive and fulling life. Many people emerge from psychosis stronger and wiser and this is made more likely if the proper support, skills and hope from others are available.
We live better and are more fully alive in proportion to how much we are able to bring our attention to our embodied state and the present moment – that is, the more we can be mindful. Mindfulness is a practice and a way of being in the world where we can learn to live from our authentic selves rather than only reacting to external and internal stimuli. We do not have to keep repeating the same patterns over and over.
We have great potential and the possibilities for growth are endless. At the same time, there are very real limitations and difficult issues that we must grapple with throughout our lives: death, meaning in life, choices when the future is always unknown, and connection with and separation from others. Existential psychotherapy sees that we can create movement and growth around these and other issues through bringing our attention to our subjective experience and living from this authentic place. In therapy, it is the relationship that is created by the therapist and the client working together that creates the possibility of change.