"Wherever you go, there you are.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
Douglas Johns, LCSW
Portland, Oregon

Experiential Psychotherapy
Douglas Johns, LCSW

It's common to associate psychotherapy with intellectual activity. At first, talk-therapy (psychotherapy) may appear mostly about thoughts, ideas and insight. This is too limiting an understanding, however. It can lead people to reject psychotherapy as just overindulgent complaining. Even worse, we may reject people as "unqualified" for psychotherapy if they lack some subjective criteria for insight. But when we think of psychotherapy as experiential we take a broader view.

Insight is a type of experience. It's one of many kinds of experiences. Love and compassion, for example, are experiences that are under valued in our scientific culture but no less substantial. In fact, compassion may be the critical place to begin the pursuit of all knowledge, whether subjective or objective. There is a deficit of compassion, especially self-compassion, in our mechanized culture.

When we understand psychotherapy as experiential we delve into the subjective. Each person's experience is subjective. Understanding someone's unique human experience becomes the intent of psychotherapy rather than changing someone. Just being human becomes a shared empathic experience. Psychotherapy becomes an opportunity to experience oneself differently through the connection of the therapeutic relationship. Part of this new experience is learning to just be with yourself, without judgment, when things feel tough. This is called "staying with" or "holding on to yourself." Insight is experienced as something that now feels different. Change comes from the inside as the individual appreciates her unique life.

For more information, please call me at 503-252-3739 with any questions you have.

Accessing this web site in no way constitutes an implied or explicit contract for services between Compassionate Enterprises, LLC or Douglas Johns and any person. Documents are for informal information purposes only. Please speak directly with a qualified professional regarding any specific health concerns you have. Douglas Johns, MSW, LCSW ~ 811 NW 20th Ave., Suite 304, Portland, Oregon 97209 ~ (503) 252-3739