As a boy I would sometimes sit with my best friend on top of a hill in Philadelphia, overlooking a busy street with its continuing stream of cars going by. We first tried to identify all the new cars--what new models, what combination of colors, how fast they were going, etc. Then we would begin talking about the people who were in those cars. Where were they going so fast, what were they doing, what were they thinking, how were they feeling, where would their journeys take them, what were their stories? In a way this curiosity and care continued through my life of graduate school, teaching, volunteering, being a psychotherapist, and continuing to immerse myself deeply in training. Part of what I was doing then and what I continue to do was/is to develop as many "ears" and "eyes" as possible to hear and see all the different stories that people bring me. I use my own experience and also try to enter into the different worlds of others--each world with its own unique language and story.
Approaching and working with emotional pain is a highly personal task. My job is witnessing and recognizing what you express and enabling you to serve as a fuller resource for yourself. It is not atypical for people to discover within themselves strengths and capacities they didn't realize that they had.
Speaking one's story and processing one's experiences is often best done with another. For what has been painful and injured in relationship is often best healed through relationship. We will work together in understanding experiences that are both in your awareness--that have been pushed aside as too painful, or were never really recognized early on, but were lived out as part of an atmosphere that was never put into words. Part of our job together will be to become aware of those lenses through which you viewed the world, in order to consider their usefulness as well as what wasn't seen through their particular shades and colors. We will make use of your reactions and feelings in your immediate context as well as memories that may surface and also dreams that you bring in to explore with me.
My approach is to help establish a safe therapeutic space where over a sustained period of time we can understand and create meanings together; to consider experiences and aspects of your life that are part of your life as well as those that ordinarily wouldn't come up. In my experience, these stories and feelings that are part of "ordinary" interactions as well as memories and dreams will be useful to you in listening to yourself and living your life more deeply and fully.
Lane A. Gerber, Ph.D., A.B.P.P. 6500 50th Avenue N.E. Seattle, WA 98115 206/522-5514