We at Safe Harbour Psychotherapy believe that human beings are born with the innate capacity to thrive when raised in a loving and nurturing environment. Unfortunately we live in an imperfect world, and most of us grew up in less than ideal circumstances.
Some of us were wounded in our own families of origin; some of us became victims of abuse at the hand of strangers; and others of us experienced accidental trauma. Perhaps we were lucky enough to have happy memories of our families and childhoods. However, we have all been impacted in some way by the competitive culture in which we live, where “average” people often struggle with low self-esteem for no apparent reason, perhaps because they have not achieved success as our culture defines it. We at Safe Harbour Psychotherapy do not define success as being rich, beautiful, famous or powerful.
In an attempt to avoid the pain of less than ideal circumstances, children are incredibly resourceful. They find ways to shut themselves off from the pain and thus are able to survive. These same defense mechanisms, however, can often hinder the capacity to form loving connections when they are adults. They can also prevent patients from accessing the inner resources and strengths they have to find creative solutions when stressed. Clients often enter therapy because they feel stuck in negative emotions they feel powerless to control.
In individual therapy, the patient and therapist work together to process these deep feelings in a safe and supportive environment. Instead of avoiding the feelings, clients are taught to feel and deal with these emotions through the empathic moment to moment processing of their therapist, who works to help clients heal from past wounds. This creates new experiences and positive emotions that help clients access their own strengths again. This transforms their view of themselves and helps them reconnect with past triumphs and positive experiences that were long forgotten in their focus on their problems. Witnessing this positive transformation in our patients is a deeply satisfying experience for those of us who work at Safe Harbour Psychotherapy. This inward emotional transformation then leads to changes in thoughts, behaviour and relationships.