Beth Stevenson MA, DT, CCC
“Myths are very important…They are metaphors that allow us to know things we otherwise could never know.” -Joseph Campbell
So here you are, having taken a deep breath, perhaps shed a tear, felt a tightness in your stomach or a lump in your throat…you have realized that you need something to happen, that something has to change, that things just don’t seem right…and maybe someone out there has the answers you seek.
You are entirely correct about most of these things, otherwise you wouldn’t be here…However, about those answers…Those answers actually lie somewhere within you. The real challenge is to have the courage to take that journey of self-exploration.
Luckily, by engaging in psychotherapy, you won’t be alone on your journey. You will have a guide, a companion, someone to be a second pair of eyes, ears, and also a voice to help express what until now has been hidden, misunderstood, or fallen on deaf ears.
You will enter a safe space, a liminal environment in which one can explore freely and without consequence, as your experiences, thoughts, and emotions will be allowed to surface naturally, to be held and treasured, and explored in a manner that you are comfortable with.
This is not to say that it will be easy, that your therapist will not challenge you…but as you develop a therapeutic relationship a genuine relationship your inner world will be revealed, reflected, validated…perhaps for the first time. Your therapist will not be making interpretations or judgments, but look to you to disclose as well as discover your own unique meanings, as YOU are the expert on your own experience.
You will be able to encounter difficult personal material creatively, as it is through creativity that we can truly discover ourselves. When we are creative, we act spontaneously, acting on instinct, instincts which reside at the core of our being. It may be difficult to access this creativity, as our society teaches us boundaries, limitations, how we ‘should’ behave, think, express ourselves (or not). Your therapist will teach you, and discover along with you, ways in which your true self can emerge, whether it be through writing, drawing, painting, music, dramatic play, role-play, embodiment, or simply in having the experience of being heard.
You will begin to develop new relationships to problems and obstacles, gaining new perspectives and alternatives. You will become more aware physically and emotionally, no longer feeling so overwhelmed or ‘stuck’. You will develop a stronger sense of self, self-acceptance, and autonomy, allowing you to reach your full potential, a potential you probably never thought was possible. You will discover tools and coping methods that work best for you, as well as improve communication skills with both loved ones and new acquaintances.
Most importantly, you will learn to forgive yourself, to realize how necessary our defenses and destructive behaviours can be to our survival; until we are able to heal, at which point we no longer need them.
Who am I?
I am a psychotherapist who believes that in order to heal, one must gain insight by embarking on a journey of self-discovery, to not only discover the roots of one’s ‘problems’, but also the many branches that have intertwined to shape one’s life. Insight gives us permission to feel the way we feel, rather than how we ‘should’ feel, and sets the stage for real change to occur. Once we have permission, we can separate the past from the present, we can be open to new experiences, learning that we can trust ourselves, our emotions, our reactions... They are necessary for our survival if we are too afraid to listen, we are in danger of not living.
I believe that healing is a gradual process, controlled by the client, resulting in an experienced transformation witnessed by the therapist. The path is unique for each individual, and is both exciting and scary, but always traversable. My role is to support, encourage, and engage my clients in a way that may be uncertain, yet remains safe.
I incorporate elements of Emotion-Focused Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy, Drama Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Existential Therapy, embracing projective and distancing techniques such as fiction, metaphor, myth and fairytale, in order to overcome resistance and enhance creative impulses.
I currently work with both adults and children, individually and in groups, in areas of sexual abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, post-traumatic stress, social isolation, suicidal ideation, hyperactivity, and developmental delay. I have worked extensively with the Eating Disordered population, with inpatients and outpatients, adults and children.
I myself suffered from an eating disorder for 10 years of my life, and have undergone my own therapeutic and creative process in order to heal, and will probably continue on that journey for the rest of my life. My dream is to help my clients find nourishment in places that have probably always been there, but just needed to be uncovered.For more information about my work, please feel free to visit my website.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss your needs, although, ironically, discovering what one needs is one of the main goals of therapy! My office is centrally located just above Yonge and Eglinton (2409 Yonge St. Suite 200) across the street from Futureshop. Here is my map. I look forward to meeting you!