Positive psychotherapy has a different focus than traditional psychotherapy. Rather than a focus on our problems, it focuses on our strengths, our capacity to grow and thrive.
When we focus on problems and "problem solving" we can end up amplifying problems and get even more caught up in them! Positive psychology doesn't ignore our issues, but shifts us to our creative and healing resources to solve them. We learn to reconnect with our wisdom, creativity, goodness and love that is sometimes hidden within.
We don't ignore the issues, but expand to include resources within you that you may not be in touch with to provide solutions.
People often come to psychotherapy feeling empty, bogged down and confused, unable to find a way out of their predicament.
They've tried to solve their problems rationally, but end up going in circles, repeating the same patterns again and again. Or they avoid the offending person or situation...by moving away, divorcing, etc.
But then the same issues/persons shows up in the next person or job.
Some people see the problem "out there" in another person or situation. "It's their fault."
Others see the problem as deep inside of themselves...something that can't be fixed, a fatal flaw or handicap that will forever keep them unhappy and unfulfilled.
Both views hold a seed of truth but keep us stuck in a never ending repetitive pattern of pain.
The truth is, our problems do show up out there and are held deep within. The solution is also deep within.
The way out of our repetitive cycles of pain is to give space and loving awareness to our struggle, and those parts of us that are hurting. It is here that we discover the light and love of our true nature. And in this discovery is healing and an awakening to new aliveness. Here we find peace, deeper understanding and compassion to ourselves and others.
This is the path to deep, lasting change.
Sometimes the journey in can look frightening or impossibly difficult. This is especially true when confronted with challenging, "dark" emotions...anger, grief, fear, insecurity.
Here is where a good guide can be helpful--to shine a light so you can find your way to your own healing, intuitive, creative resources. We each have a vast but often untapped reservoir of wisdom within us.
I do not focus on pathology, on what is wrong with you. Nor do I use diagnostic labels I learned in traditional mental health counseling.
Rather than a disease focused medical model, we turn in the opposite direction, to seek out, find and emphasize that which is health and life giving in each person. This is a positive psychotherapy approach. It's spiritual healing in the sense that all we need is within ourselves.
My training in Transpersonal psychology, meditation, bodywork, creativity and spirituality goes well beyond most counseling approaches. I look at the whole person, including a wealth of resources within you that you may not be acquainted with.
I view our bodies and minds as interacting, mutually supporting energy systems. Our thoughts and feelings show up and can be worked with, not just in our brains, but in our bodies. This is body-oriented therapy.
Within our issues, within the pain that we feel, is hidden gold.
This gold is a true source of unlimited renewable energy, our own unique resource of pure aliveness.
I've found it helpful to discuss positive psychotherapy as a two-part process of Getting Your Act Together and Taking It On The Road.
Getting Your Act Together
In the early part of psychotherapy we explore where your life energy is stuck or draining. Your issues are like holes in a bucket, draining your energy and awareness. Unresolved relationships, trigger issues in your life, anxiety and stress—all these can suck your life force out of you.
As these issues are transformed, we work together to find new resources of vitality and excitement. We might use tools and techniques drawn from Transpersonal (beyond the "normal" ego) psychology, depth psychology and spiritual traditions in our exploration.
Taking It On The Road
Then we explore how you can manifest your dreams and live life fully on a daily basis. Here we look at road blocks, connecting with allies and angels and practicing the "Skills of Loving." We will work to develop greater inner strength, self love and stronger relationships. Our positive psychotherapy work might include grounding exercises, guided imagery, and coaching tools.
In positive psychotherapy I put a special emphasis on Emotional Wellness. Unexpressed, stuck emotions hold our reactive patterns/belief systems together. They are like glue, tying repetitive thoughts and fixed perspectives about ourselves and others in a knot. These are held in our body as tension and pain.
We often suppress our emotions and try to think our way out of problems, but this rarely works, it is too "top heavy."
Emotional work is so important that a whole section of this website focuses on healing emotions. We explore the alchemy of transforming anger, fear, grief, depression and other feelings into pure radiant life energy and enlightened awareness.
Transforming stuck emotions is the big work of life, and brings us home to ourselves, to the power of our true Love.
It all comes together at our Emotional Intensive called Breaking Free of the Old Story.
For a discussion of Fear, Anxiety and Change, including 5 Keys to Help With Change click here.
I offer Positive Psychotherapy at my office in Northampton Massachusetts. The initial session takes about an hour and 35 minutes and costs $225 and has three parts, including an energy assessment and some hands-on work that is done on a body table. Additional sessions cost $175 for an hour session. For clients not local there are several options using the phone or Skype.
Contact me using the form below to set up an appointment. I will call you to answer any questions and together we can choose a time. For the first session I ask for payment ahead of time, which can be done by credit card, PayPal or Venmo.
The most effective way of working through some issues is to go beyond our normal thoughts and thinking mind, and learn to trust the process of our lives.
I offer a variety of approached beyond talking. As part of positive psychotherapy I sometimes include Energy and Deep Tissue Bodywork that can speed up our letting go of old patterns of thoughts held in the body. Many people can also benefit from Meditation which has numerous positive effects. I also offer an Anxiety Protocol that includes a variety of useful tools for people experiencing panic and anxiety.
For more information on my perspective on emotions take a look at my Grief Page or How To Deal With Anger Page.
For a positive psychotherapy perspective on Relationships go to this page: 4 Core Relationship Skills. You might want to also view Characteristices of Healthy Relationships.
And don't miss Building Loving Relationships.
For information on intimacy go to this page.
Jon Terrell offers positive psychotherapy for individuals and couples at his office in Northampton, Massachusetts and downtown Manhattan. He does not take insurance. For more information or if you have a question, contact him using the form below.
Jon Terrell, M.A.
25 Main Street, Suite #342
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
"Previous therapists I have worked with took months to grasp my situation and understand the personal hell I was in. Within minutes Jon was able to completely understand the personal turmoil I was in and I felt understood.
Thanks again Jon for everything, I had been meditating, praying, reading for months trying to ground myself and get my empowerment back, but I just couldn't do it on my own. I appreciate your help!"
Sarah M. Pennsylvania