Jason Seidel, Psy.D.
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Credentials: Licensed Psychologist (CO and NY)
Clients: Individuals, couples, adult families
Fee: $195 for 50-minute session
Hours: Mon 9-12, Tue 9-12, Wed-Fri 9-4
Many people think that psychotherapy is about "talking about your problems." Sometimes talking is like running on an endless treadmill. Connecting with feelings in a particular way is often more effective to generate authentic change. This takes practice and guidance.
I am trained in a variety of approaches but would probably call much of what I do "body-centered, relational-existential therapy." This approach is based on the common principles of a broad range of theories and techniques, and is individually tuned to your particular difficulties and goals. Here's a metaphor to explain:
There's a dark basement, where we store things that we are uncomfortable with. Everything would be just fine if things stayed quiet. Yet, the stuff down there keeps making noise and banging on the door, disturbing the peace of the house. You might have tried improving the sound insulation, or put on some loud music so you wouldn't have to hear all that noise. That was ineffective, or led to other problems like a headache, or constant tension, or despair. You don't want to go down there, yet something inside you says you must go down there. But how? And why?
So, you come for therapy, and we go down to the basement together, and we do one of two things: shine some light on what's happening so we can understand the source of the noise, reduce the fear, and see if there's a way to resolve it completely; or we invite what's been down there to come up with us into the light and join the rest of the world.
Goethe said, "You can never get rid of what is part of you, even if you throw it away." Sometimes, trying to throw "bad" parts of us away, or just "accentuating the positive," can be a major part of the problem. Joseph Campbell said, "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." Exactly so.
The body-centered part of the therapy is the method for going into the basement. The relational part is how we build the trust and safety between us so that we can open the door and work in whatever way may be necessary to help you get what you want from therapy. The existential part is the commitment to a kind of change or transformation that is felt clearly, and that is lasting and authentic: a process oriented to feeling and action--to attain congruence between one's inner felt-sense and one's ideal self-in-the-world. For couples therapy, it means a transformation in the way you connect, trust, and find solace in one another.
Another piece of jargon that expresses a lot of what I think therapy is about is "propriophobia." Propriophobia (PRO-pree-o-FO-bee-a) is Greek for "fear of one's own felt sense" (technically: "fear of one's own"). One might also translate it as "fear of the inner self."
It is the name I give to what I consider to be at the root of many psychological symptoms, including depression, addiction, and anxiety problems. This is not a new concept: We avoid that which makes us uncomfortable (including feelings and thoughts inside of us). In trying to distance ourselves from a felt truth inside us, we develop all sorts of symptoms and problems.
We wish to escape, but we are trying to escape something felt inside, and we simply cannot. Paradoxically, ceasing our attempt to get rid of the problem actually makes it possible to begin to get rid of the problem. A full embracing of such awkward or difficult feelings tends to dispel them. As with a horror-movie poltergeist that will not leave the house until it is acknowledged and respected on its own terms, such ghosts inside us must "get what they need" before they can "rest in peace."
Propriophobia is like a repulsion between different parts inside of us: an inner war between body and soul, our heads and our guts, between how we feel and what we think, or between who we are and what we're expected to be. Therapy for this consists of dissolving and moving beyond these tensions.
Who are my typical clients? The broken-hearted. The betrayed. The unmotivated. Overwhelmed parents. Struggling couples. Those with feelings that are too powerful. Those disappointed by ineffective therapy. Lonely and disconnected executives. The numb and alienated. The traumatized and deeply shaken. Those who are spiritually yearning. Those who are missing their inner compass or needing it seriously recalibrated.