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  Free Initial Meeting
Be Yourself
The Process
Sessions
Group Work
Intensives
How long does it take?

 

Free Initial Meeting

A free initial meeting will allow us to see if we are suited and that this type of work is "a fit." If it is, we will decide on fees, length of sessions, frequency of visits, and a general program in keeping with the concept of the
four levels of involvement.


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Be Yourself

The essence of the work is simple - be yourself. Sound easy? It's not. Ever since we were tiny, we have been adjusting ourselves and the way we behave to such a degree that many of us don't know what we really feel. We are often afraid of exposing our real feelings and thoughts because we are used to being criticized and negatively judged for anything that does not suit our superiors or the group we are with. In session you will have the opportunity to express yourself freely. Everything that happens is confidential. You will have the time to discover for yourself that this process is safe and something you can trust.


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The Process

The therapeutic relationship that we develop together, so eloquently described by humanist pioneer Carl Rogers, is intended to be a safe container for the release and integration of the blockages that cause our problems. These problems have enormous emotional charge. For those committed to a deeper level of involvement, fully expressing their issues in words and actions will eventually bring up the old traumatic pain that lies at their root. This pain, which was blocked for so long, will finally be felt, released, and integrated. These emotionally connected events, or "primals" are often accompanied by tears, and sometimes by raging. These expressions are not dictated by me or any method, but arise naturally from the feeling and are appropriate to it. By discussing and journalling the connection of the primal to present-day problems, dysfunctional behaviours either dissipate, or are consciously replaced by more healthy actions.

Ingrained destructive patterns do not easily disappear. They are deeply imprinted in our brains and bodies, and even when the stored charge of a hidden trauma is released, the imprint remains, still available to be "triggered," though to a lesser degree. It takes persistent primal practice and a regular program of "re-learning" to develop a new and effective way of life. In this area of the work, meditation, diet, exercise, career development, and many other activities can be used to further growth.


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Sessions

At my centre, sessions take place in a comfortable, carpeted, sound-proof room. For cognitive sessions, you will likely find a comfortable place to sit and discuss your issues. For other levels of involvement, you may either sit or want to lie on a mat to help focus on your perceptions and feelings. Since traumatic material was blocked from full consciousness as a survival mechanism, you may not find it easy to let the material come up. If you "get stuck," I am there to assist by making suggestions that you can follow. You are always free to decline suggestions and can stop at any time. As your guide, I will often respectfully encourage you to continue with your healing process, but will never pressure you to do so. I am also fully aware that many people will say "yes" when they really feel "no," and that great care must be taken to be sure that the process is yours.

By continuing with the process of self-discovery in session - and at home through journalling and optional "home-work" - significant lasting progress can be made.


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Group Work

There are times when it may be advantageous to continue the process in group, although the decision to participate in this type of work is up to you. Individual sessions are rich and exclusive, however, our full engagement of life requires involvement with many other types of people. It is also true that relationships bring our most problematic issues to the surface. In the process of self-discovery this is a real gift, but one we would often prefer, as Scrooge said, "to indefinitely postpone."

Groups in my practice can consist of anywhere from four to eight people. Their style will vary according to which level of involvement the participants are in. If they are a Cognitive group, the time will be spent sharing thoughts and feelings. On the other hand, if they are an Expressive group they will often be supporting group members as they work through strong issues, or breaking into singles or pairs to process whatever emotion charge is "up" for them. Groups can be wonderful for allowing the emergence of personal confidence and for creating bonded friendships that extend beyond session. Group work can lead the way for the growth of a feeling community.


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Intensives

For thousands of years, people have worked through crises or made shifts in consciousness by entering into situations where they can focus on themselves and their quest. Lao Tzu, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Black Elk, Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, and all aboriginal shamans did it. Many still do. The intensive, whether a wilderness Vision Quest or a meditation retreat, is a long and rich tradition. Classic primal therapy often begins with a three-week intensive, but I feel it is more destabilizing than helpful. Unless a person is already a veteran primaller, I would not start our association with an intensive. It seems unnatural to expect a person to drop their defenses, and trust immediately. I prefer to develop the relationship and the session style first. If a client's process would benefit from an intensive, I am well equipped to provide various types and lengths.


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How long does it take?

It all depends on what you need and how deep-seated the problems are. The
four levels of involvement offer different degrees and styles of process. Clients who choose the Cognitive level will likely take less time than those who choose the Integrative, for instance. Some people may come for a few sessions, carry on the work at home, resolve a few issues, and continue on with their lives. Others are sick and tired of the way things are and want a complete overhaul. Remember that if your problems are the result of a whole life of neglect or abuse, there is no method that will turn things around quickly. There are many programs that claim a quick fix - from drugs and diets to brief therapies and religion - but all they appear to do is focus on the symptoms and cover up the real causes.

Primal Integration is a process that leads toward a healthier, more integrated life. It is an opportunity to "come to your senses" and find your own personal way to transform issues without being overwhelmed or controlled by them. This then continues throughout life.

For some, the work they choose may take a few sessions, for others a few years. If it is reasonable to spend a few years to get a college degree, it seems reasonable to spend a few years to heal your life. Deeper levels of involvement require more time and greater financial commitment, therefore my intent is to allow people to develop their process to the point where they can continue it on their own - with buddies, peer groups, and friends. The purpose of the work is to gain emotional independence and be free of costly professional relationships.

A better idea of the length of time can be offered during our initial meeting.


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