Each chapter of Working from the Heart focuses on some aspect of therapeutic work that I feel has been insufficiently addressed in traditional training and supervision. Each could easily be the focus of an interview.

Wisdom of the Heart
I love my patients. It may be a kind of heresy to say that the love of the therapist for the patient is one of the most important aspects of effective psychotherapy, yet that is what I am saying. Working From the Heart advocates for a deeper understanding that the therapist’s expressions of non-sexual, non-romantic love are a core ingredient in the healing that occurs. Working in a heart-centered way, we can feel freer to be both professionals and loving human beings.

At some point in therapy, every patient describes something for which they need to forgive themselves. Yet traditional training acts as if forgiveness is considered to be in the realm of spirituality or religion and therefore is not considered to be a part of psychotherapy. My own life experience taught me about the process of self-forgiveness and ways of helping patients to forgive themselves.

The Council
From my perspective, major life dilemmas cannot be resolved at the level of consciousness at which they exist. I have developed a technique called The Council which engages the realms of the heart and the Higher Self to provide a way of answering the question:  how can the conflicting parts of my personality work together to resolve this dilemma in a way that is in my best interests at this time of my life?

Small Heart, Big Heart
Day after day, month after month, for years patients enter our office filled with the energy of sadness, fear, anger, depression, anxiety. Oftentimes our small hearts, the emotional hearts of ordinary consciousness, feel so profoundly limited in their ability to be in the presence of these emotions for so many hours. How can we engage our big hearts in ways that enable us to be a compassionate presence to so much suffering.

Love Blocks 
One of our most important therapeutic jobs, perhaps the most important, is to help people increase their capacity for receiving and giving love. My particular focus is on receiving love. How can we help patients to let go of their oftentimes pervasive, usually unconscious blocks to being receptive to love?

From years of experience working with men in psychotherapy and in various workshops, I have come to understand that men, especially, need a heart-centered approach to this work. Changes in definitions of masculinity and femininity and shifts in gender roles have made men more open to exploring their emotional lives and their inner landscape. I find three aspects of my approach to be particularly helpful with men: educating them about the language of the heart; using self-disclosure as a form of modeling; and using traditional male images as a bridge to their emotional lives.