I have learned from and been shaped by many theories and approaches, by talking with many skilled clinicians and mentors and - probably most importantly - by the individual clients I've worked with over the years.
They have taught me varieties and potentials of life experience that have deepened my understanding and appreciation for how we build and shape our lives. My work has been informed by psychodynamic perspectives of the many confluences that inform our development. I have studied and been influenced by Gestalt therapy, James Masterson's work, the somatic therapies, trauma theory, the harm reduction movement, Buddhism and the social influences on self that came from my work in community based treatment settings for over 20 years.
More recently, I have become interested in myriad approaches regarding the complex impact of trauma on our body-mind system. The study of dissociation has challenged my assumption that we live with a unitary consciousness. I've come to see how we adaptively form 'parts' of ourselves to respond to the traumas, curveballs and stresses that our life presents us with. Developments and thinking regarding the neurobiological, somatic and psychological perspectives on trauma have influenced my understanding and approach to treatment in recent years.
Some of my teachers, mentors and inspirators have been Patt Denning, Allen Schore, Bessel van der Kolk, Francine Shapiro, Pat Odgen, Issan Dorsey, Karla Clark, Janina Fisher, Richard Swartz, Maggie Phillips, Jakusho Kwong and Leonard Cohen. A bow to them all!
photo © Paul
Brown, 2009, www.thequietpath.org