Dana Anderson’s Philosophy

"Loving everything about yourself—even the unacceptable—is an act of personal power.  It is the beginning of healing."   Christine Northrup, MD

I believe healing occurs when we focus on our body, mind, and spirit.  Translation:  What are we putting into our body  This includes our mouths, ears, eyes, and skin.  What are we thinking?  And how is this manifesting in our lives?  And how are we nurturing and feeding our spirit?  This is most important.

To me, spirituality is broad and encompasses our relationship with that which connects us to something greater.  This can be a secular religious practice or a walk in the woods.  Yoga.  Gardening.  Introspection and action.  Time spent in peace.  When there is no more clutter and the inner voice, the spirit of your true self can come through.  The one that knows you are a good and beautiful person. I think it is difficult to hear when you are a busy person, on the ‘move’ as it requires solitude.  Just as physical exercise makes you feel good, hence you do it more—so does spiritual exercise.  And you want to do it again and again.  For the sheer joy. 

Though I openly admit, I believe true healing comes from a conscious connection with our true self, this is not meant to negate my field of clinical psychology where another type of healing occurs.  In my practice, I combine my beliefs in the powers of metaphysics and the concrete psychodynamic theory and treatments of Self Psychology.

Heinz Kohut, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, developed the theory of Self Psychology and in graduate school, it resonated with me the most.  His theory purports (very simply put!) that children need three things to develop a healthy ‘whole’ self.  First a Grandiose self, this happens when a parent mirrors the child. 

For instance, Joey says, "Look Dad, watch me throw this ball!

And dad watches and responds, "Great Joey, you are so good at that!" 

Children need constant mirroring. 

The second is the Idealized self.  This is developed by the child’s knowing the parent is greater than any frightening circumstance.  For instance, the thunder claps, the child feels frightened and runs to the parents.  The mom or dad reassures them that they will protect them and it’ll be okay.  And the child is soothed.

And the third is called the Twinship self and it encompasses the need to be like others.  The child goes to school and feels ‘like’ the others.  Has a sense of belonging. 

Any situation where a parent is not emotionally, or even physically, available (drinking, workaholic, travel, mental illness, narcissism, or just plain single parent with three jobs) and the child is unable to develop a cohesive self.  This is where therapy comes in.  The therapist provides the mirroring, the idealizing, and the twinship.

In my practice, I combine Self Psychology and Metaphysics to help my clients.  Guess what? It works!  I have seen major transformation and healing in my clients and I am so very proud of them.