Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
–Carl Jung

Caroline Sabi - licensed professional counselor in Portland, OregonMy focus as a relational and existential-humanistic psychotherapist is to walk the path of healing into wholeness with my client. It is my honor and privilege to be a companion and a guide to whomever decides to take the chance to venture on this journey to self-transformation.

The pathways on this journey will be complex, multilayered, circular and even mysteriously numinous. There are several aspects to my healing philosophy that I would like to go over in this section.

The Therapeutic Relationship

The first and most important aspect is the quality of the therapeutic relationship. When functioning at its best, the therapeutic relationship will foster a corrective, secure and reliable attachment in which the client’s earlier childhood emotional injuries can be discovered, expressed and resolved within a safe and nurturing space.

This unique relationship encourages the emergence of traumatic, repressed and/or dissociated memories so that they might be consciously interpreted and integrated, thus reducing their deleterious neural and psychological impact. Over time, the therapeutic relationship gradually fosters the client’s development of a more mature and authentic sense of self who is able to relate to him/herself and others with greater intimacy, honesty and integrity.

The quality of my presence during a therapeutic session is one imbued with care, compassion and an unconditionally positive regard for my client. It is my belief that the client sitting across from me is already a beautifully whole person at his/her core, just a bit burdened and scarred by insults and afflictions that were imposed upon him/her by unfortunate external circumstances. My focus is to help my client remember and reintegrate discarded or forgotten parts of him/herself; parts my client walled off in an attempt to survive earlier assaults to his/her personhood.

Integrated Therapeutic Approaches

The revival of hope, meaning and aliveness, which is my ultimate goal in any therapeutic encounter, needs more than just the application of conceptual approaches to insight.

It has been my experience that intellectual knowledge and rational explanations are not enough by themselves to undo lifelong, entrenched patterns of thinking and feeling. Insight must be energized by emotions that wear flesh, bones, muscles and nerves in order to effect deep characterological changes that endure. I use breath work, guided visualizations and body access tools to tap into the wisdom of the body in helping my client on this journey of healing into wholeness. Our psychological, mental and emotional processes are simultaneously experienced within our somatic self as energy, sensation, tension, breath, posture, movement and gesture. Trauma, emotional pain, conflicts and characterological defense strategies are expressed in various somatic organizations such as chronic muscular contraction and physical armoring, shallow or irregular breathing, collapsed postures, rigid or agitated movements, and psychosomatic symptoms. Through mind-body connection exercises, my aim is to facilitate a more balanced flow of energy within my client’s embodied self. Our health and vitality is directly related to a healthy and balanced flow of energy throughout our whole system.

My overall focus as an integrated psychotherapist is to bring vitality, health and a sense of wholeness to my client. Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom. It is my goal to create with my client an intimate choreography that supports the slow repair of psychological holes in his/her sense of self. It is my wish to support my client in creating, exploring and embodying that space between stimulus and response so that a greater sense of freedom and mastery is experienced.