Stephen van Beek MA, RP, DCTP, Guest TPS, Member Lacan Toronto

"We make art from the quarrel with ourselves, mere rhetoric from the quarrel with others."- W.B. Yeats

Welcome! I created the Toronto Therapy Network in 2004 to make it easier for seekers of personal change to find the therapist whose approach and personhood works best for you. Please take some time to explore our many experienced and understanding therapists and its information about how psychotherapy/therapy works.

I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. The focus of my work is to help you become you at your best. Each of us has specific talents and strengths yet we often underplay them. We need to expand into our lives, not be ‘shrunken’. Such growth occurs when align our abilities and reconnect with our deeper life purposes to choose happier, more creative, and more fulfilling lives.

The puzzle of human interactions largely resolves itself once we have grown closer to who we are through a mindful process. This process helps us acknowledge the power of our feelings, thoughts and sensations and then to regulate the balance among them. You too can learn more and more how to interpret your thoughts and emotions from a reflective position. You will be able to respond, rather than just reacting to events. Such a change means a shift on the psychic plane comparable on the physical plane to growing more, and finer, muscle tone.

Being who we are is critical to happiness. That particular who is what we are meant to be, and yet all too often it gets neglected in life. A while back an old chum surprised and delighted me when he remarked that despite the many variations in my work life, it seemed to him as though communications always played the key role in my life. I hadn’t really noticed that, I was just busy doing what came naturally to me.  I’ve worked as a teacher, a consultant, an organizer of different ventures (like this Toronto Therapy Network website) and for many years as a therapist, but the same fundamentals have applied. I think each of us has a life theme, an authentic psychic destiny that represents our aspirations and grounds us in existence.

Much of therapy is about recovering that authentic psychic destiny. Advances in brain science continue to confirm the true value the power of meaningful authentic inter-subjective dialogue between humans as a reformative growth channel that fundamentally re-structures the physical brain.

My Approach

My approach to therapy is explorative, expressive and meaning-focused. It includes the mindful analysis of core life patterns and the development of creative ways to overcome them in practical daily life, as well as psychodrama, and somatic work through the use of trance.

As we learn about how the past, present and future interrelate, we experience new freedom to make fresh choices that are creative and aware. Your therapy will be unique to you and about the things that matter to you - love, gain, loss, pain, joy, fear, failure, success, longing, anger, sorrow, and all the rest of it. My role is to be your guide as one who has some 'maps' to share as we travel your path together. It’s a private shared conversation unlike no other.  From this journey arises an ever-flourishing inner strength that is authentic, not merely based on social power differentials.

Many people have come to work with me on such issues as anxiety, depression, anger, relationships and creativity with good success.

Recently I have posted some short articles describing some of my own discoveries through the therapy process that may interest you.

Some Areas of Special Interest

Over the past twenty years I have had the good fortune to work with many creative personalities from many paths of life, and have developed some interesting and useful ways of helping those with creative issues unravel their own 'balls of string' and optimize their talents and potential.

The relationship between the mind and the body continues to fascinate me. As I noted earlier, the complex interplay between physical sensations, emotional feelings, and the thoughts and ideas we call 'imagination', is at the core of our being. It's highly useful to explore on these different levels of experience. I studied the Alexander Technique for many years along with Hatha Yoga, later qualified in the Trager Technique, and for twenty-five years have studied Yang Style Martial Arts T'ai Ch'i Chu'an, along with Pilates and the Feldenkrais and and the Franklin approaches to physical re-integration and re-development. In the past five years I intensively engaged in Gyrotonics with a gifted teacher.

All these approaches call forth our free and active imagination, rather than simply strenuous effort, and so are very similar to the process of a deep psychotherapy. The integrative capacity of Trance, which integrates sensation and insight, makes it an especially useful therapeutic modality.

Recent Studies

For a long while I have been interested in Existential Daseinsanalysis and Self-Psychology because of their capacity to help us understand to develop a personal stance that is not flooded by the normalizing codes of socially-ordained language and behaviour.

In more recent years I have been intensively studying the post-structuralist Lacanian theories of Jacques Lacan, arguably the most influential (and controversial) successor to Sigmund Freud in the past century.

Lacan's many insights into the nature of desire, the lost object, subjectivity, sexuation, jouissance, transgression and the on-going struggle of what he called the divided self to be responsible for determining oneself in a world of unstable values, have led to many advances in understanding what it is to become more individually human. I am a founding member of the on-going study group Lacan Toronto, recently formed in 2011.

You may be surprised at my including money as a focus of analysis, but how we relate to it as a social 'fact' as well as a tool and a symbol, is highly significant for our way of becoming more fully ourselves.

Feel free to contact me by email or by phone to discuss what you need. I am centrally located at Bloor & Spadina on the subway line, handy to the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. Easy access by public transport, bike,and car. Here's a map.

The psychotherapists appearing on this site are independent. They are not employed nor controlled by therapytoronto.ca. therapytoronto.ca is acting solely as a listing service for the convenience of those seeking the services of psychotherapists.