When someone comes to see me, they are frequently experiencing pain and unhappiness. Sometimes they are able to name the reasons why; often they cannot. Many do say they are confused and unsure how to alleviate the fear, sadness, anxiety and/or anger that weighs them down. They feel stuck and unsuccessful in their efforts to restore balance in their lives.
My clients have taught me such challenges provide the entry point into their inner world. Within a safe atmosphere of compassion and trust, we gently begin to explore their issues and pain. I ask questions which invite sharing of their past and present situation. As clients find parts of themselves that are burdened and wounded, we identify painful patterns and beliefs that impact their current life. Together we work to release the burden which opens the way to emotional health.
With 30 years’ experience as a creativity coach, psychotherapist and organizational consultant, I work with adults who face issues related to life transition, relationships, trauma, grief and loss. Though the journey may be challenging, I agree with Albert Einstein who said, "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
I love fairy tales and I love therapy – always have. Both passions came together in writing Isabella. Disney’s animated Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White mesmerized me as a child. Little did I know that I was intuitively responding to the archetypical heroine’s journey. I just knew I liked the clothes, action, drama, suspense and happy endings.
When I was forty I became a client of a life-changing model of psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems pioneered by Dick Schwartz. I discovered my own inner world of sub-personalities affectionately known as “parts” – young tender parts terribly hurt by a clumsy world of humans and their protectors who managed the external and internal world through control and fear or, when pushed to extremes, raged and lashed out. At the center of it all was a kind caring God Spark who could heal and lead all parts to wholeness and freedom. I was hooked and healed.
As a psychotherapist, I went on to train extensively in this model and brought it to my clients. What I discovered with client after client were internal worlds of fantasy and whimsy and creativity and danger and loss and heroism beyond belief. What I was on my knees grateful for was the amazing emotional healing experienced by clients using the IFS model.
So I combined my love of fairy tales and my love of therapy and wrote an IFS novel. Most readers have no idea they are reading a story of trauma and the subsequent process of emotional healing and recovery, or at least not consciously. I have been gratified by professional reviews and those of readers who state over and over Isabella is a great fantasy novel and, oh by the way, offers amazing insight into a young woman’s emotional growth and development. How wonderful – mission accomplished!
To learn more about the Internal Family Systems Model of Psychotherapy please visit Dick Schwartz at www.selfleadership.org or my webpage on PsychologyToday by clicking on the link on the left.