Stephen van Beek MA, RP, CTP Dip, Guest TPS
"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 enable you and others to select the therapist whose approach is right for you. Please take some time to explore the site and its many experienced and understanding therapists.
Now some words about myself and my work. I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. The core of the work I do 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.
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. I have investigated many means of enabling this recovery and I am especially pleased to be working with the Striving Styles Personality System, a highly effective and valuable adjunct to traditional ‘talk therapy’. 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. SSPS makes this vitally easier to nurture.
My approach to therapy is explorative, expressive and skill-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 aned 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 been longer on this journey and 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 and not merely based on crude power.
Some Areas of Special Interest
Over the past seventeen 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 '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 many years have studied Yang Style Martial Arts T'ai Ch'i Chu'an, along with the Feldenkrais and and the Franklin approaches to physical re-integration and re-development. In the past three years I intensively studied the Pilates Method. Recently I qualified as a certified Pilates Matwork 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.
My special interest in Existential Daseinsanalysis and Self-Psychology stems from their capacity to help us understand how we may develop a personal stance that is not flooded by the normalizing codes of socially-ordained language and behaviour. In recent years I have been reading more of the works of Jacques Lacan, whose insights into the nature of inter-subjectivity and desire have led to many advances in understanding what it is to become more human. I am a founding member of the study group Lacan Toronto, recently formed. You might be surprised by my including money as a focus of analysis, but how we relate to it as a social 'fact' 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 (free parking spot). For your convenience I accept cash, Interac, cheque and credit cards. 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.