Why Psychotherapy

Teaching you to fish

My approach to psychotherapy is best summed up by the adage, “Give a man a fish he has food for a day, Teach a man to fish he has food for a lifetime.” My goal is always to teach you how to look within yourself and use what is within you to heal emotional wounds, find meaning and purpose, and become who you are meant to be. I do this by providing you with a secure environment in which I join you, sometimes as a guide, sometimes as a follower, on your path to connecting with your deeper, truer self. In effect, “teaching you to fish.” As a Jungian psychologist, I believe the source of nearly all psychological suffering is a disconnection from who we really are, a disconnection from the deepest elements of our psyche. The treatment, therefore, is reconnecting to that truth. We already have the ability to find healing from and meaning in the difficulties of life, but we often get stuck in harmful patterns due to fears, hang-ups, habits, or wounds that overwhelm us.

By seeking a relationship with your deeper selves you “learn to fish.” You become connected to a wealth of internal support and thus get better at connecting to healthy sources of external support. You get better at understand the balance between the pleasant and the unpleasant in life and within yourself, and therefore become more able to accept yourself for your strengths and limitations and treat yourself with compassion. This in turn significantly improves your ability to handle stress, solve problems more easily, overcome despair, and generally improve your relationship with yourself and thus your life.

Psychotropic Drugs

Your autonomy is a paramount force in your therapy. Making your own decisions about how much focus you put into your therapy, whether you make the necessary changes in your life, and how you approach your personal experiences is a key factor in determining how effective psychotherapy will be for you. Many people today choose to alleviate their symptoms by using prescribed (or unprescribed) psychotropic drugs. This is your right and your choice. Because of my treatment approach, I do not make referrals for psychiatric evaluation or medication management. My patients who seek out this type of relief typically get referrals from their primary care physicians. Because of my treatment style, many people come to me because they are seeking treatment without using medication or have been on medication and want to do the psychological work necessary to come off of their prescriptions. This should not be taken as exclusionary. If you take medication and have found benefit from it, and you are still interested in working with me, your work with me would be no different. Connecting to the truth of who you are remains the goal, whether you use psychotropic medication or not. 

Therapy isn’t for everyone

Psychotherapy is not the only way to improve your life. It is merely one path to connecting with your deeper self. Faith, healthy relationships, creativity, nature, and community are just a few of the other paths you can take to connect to yourself and give your life meaning. In fact, balanced “mental health” is best achieved through achieving a combination of these things. Also, therapy can be very difficult, especially in the beginning when patients are telling their story and often reliving their pain, grief, or trauma. While this is an essential part of my approach, this process may not be helpful for some people. This is one of the reasons I offer a free 30 minute consultation. It is important for us to meet and for you to decide if you would like to work with me. Because therapy is such an intimate journey, choosing the right therapist for you is key.

How to choose a therapist

The relationship that you form with your therapist will be the key ingredient in your growth and transformation in psychotherapy. Therefore, finding a therapist that works for you is probably the most important first step to psychological growth and healing. As the patient, you retain the right to stop therapy, change therapists, or seek second opinions. You should seek out the therapeutic style and philosophy that best fits your goals. Engaging in psychotherapy will be one of the most important investments in your life.

That being said, I recommend keeping a few key things in mind. In your search,  you may find that many psychologists don’t take insurance. This is because the security and confidentiality of your treatment is of paramount importance. Your trust in your process requires that you feel secure that what you discuss is protected and confidential and remains between you and your psychologist. Insurance companies become a third party that has undue influence over the course and length of your treatment. When a third party becomes involved, that confidentiality becomes limited. We understand that this makes the cost of treatment daunting, but remember, this is likely one of the most important investments you will make for yourself. You should also familiarize yourself with the different levels of education that therapists can possess. It is important to understand that there are therapists with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degrees. Each comes with different levels of training and supervision and competency requirements which can have an effect on your therapy.

This whole process is about you. If you feel like I would not be a good fit, I will not be offended or hurt. I only want you to have an experience in which you find growth, healing, meaning, and relief. If someone else helps you find those things, I can only be happy for you. 

Please feel free to contact me at 720-272-0565 or pepe.santana.phd@gmail.com if you have any questions.