In this episode of Women In-Depth, Gary Alexander shares his insights on the experience of therapy through the lens of depth psychology. Gary shares how he was drawn to depth psychology; and how it informs his life and the work he does with clients.
Gary Alexander has been practicing psychotherapy for over 15 years. He has a BA in Psychology and MS in Counseling from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and completed his doctoral course work at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Originally from Las Vegas, Gary now practices full time in Portland, Oregon. He also teaches graduate counseling students and supervises post-graduate counseling interns.
Gary works with a wide array of issues for individuals and couples, infidelity, chemical and behavior addictions, co-dependency and the health and development of the sexual minority community.
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Listen in as Dr. Viado and Gary Alexander discuss:
- Therapy and depth psychology.
- Growing from our unconscious self.
- Symptoms as a starting point, or messengers from soul (psyche).
- Working within the unknown and learning how to be in the space of uncertainty.
- What is involved in a depth psychotherapy session
- Importance of “no preconceptions” with clients.
2:27 – Hi Gary and welcome.
3:42 – What drew Gary to depth psychology
5:59 – Accounting for the unconscious
8:40 – Reducing his own anxiety as a therapist
10:19 – Learning to be in the space of the unknown
26:07 – There is a function to symptoms
34:39 – Process and what is involved in a session
42:09 – Growing and learning about oneself
5:59 “We are accounting for in some ways, in many ways the unconscious. In that unconscious for me was that deepening. Peeling back that layer with clients…”
8:28 “Part of what attracted me to it was wanting more and wanting to know that thing. But the beauty and the love of this approach for me is it did the opposite, and that, that reduced my own anxiety as a therapist and enriched and deepened the work that I was doing…”
10:18 “Learning how not to be in the space of the unknown, but in all fairness, what ends up happening is we get better at being in that space. We understand how that space operates and then it is known, in a sense.”
16:26 “To understand that there was something actually in who I was, that was going to be part of what was going to help heal…”
23:35 “We can very easily become so identified…and then just fixated on whatever that symptom may be.”
26:06 “The symptom itself, we want to be really careful to not shoot the messenger. They are messengers. There’s a function to depression. There’s a function to anxiety. There’s a function to addiction that in itself is not entirely wrong or bad it’s just not working for us anymore.”
33:57 “I understand that what I am bringing is enough. What my clients are bringing is enough.”
42:00 “I work with folks who are all over the spectrum of ‘caught between two places in their life that they need to grow through’… Still growing, still learning, and still needing to know themselves more fully; which again is a lifelong process.”