First & Foremost
The very first goal is for you and your loved ones to feel understood, respected, and safe to be yourselves and to be honest about your concerns. These three experiences are crucial to successful therapeutic outcomes from the first session to the last. Our work together starts here—every client, every issue, every session.
You have a confidential space to talk about what's going on as we get to know you, your concerns, and how you would like help. We'll listen to you and help determine what constraints may have the biggest impact, and present a plan for making some changes and goals for therapy. If it's a good fit and you like the plan, we’ll move forward.
We usually meet every week and work towards your goals. We'll check in at the beginning of every session to see how you're doing individually, relationally, socially, and overall. We'll also check in at the end of the session to see if you felt understood, that we worked on what you wanted to work on, that our approach is a good fit, and how it was overall (ORS & SRS).
We developed Relational Self Discovery Therapy (RSDT) under the umbrella of a meta-framework called Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST) and on the foundation of several individual models of therapy.
IST is a perspective on therapy that transcends the limitations of many individual models and is strongly linked to Common Factors research. The aim of IST is to respectfully consider the unique and complex factors that influence every client system (mind, body, brain, relationships, and social systems). It builds on the best evidence-informed knowledge available about the resolution of human problems. Click here to learn more.
Relational Self Discovery Therapy (RSDT) is a unique application of the IST framework to emphasize the interconnected cycle of healing, connection, and self-discovery. In RSDT, relational development and self-discovery mutually inform one another.
Below are models of therapy integrated into Relational Self Discovery Therapy:
I am not all knowing. Therefore, I will not even attempt to be.
I need to be loved. Therefore, I will be open to loving others.
I want to be more accepting of myself. Therefore, I will with wonder and awe allow other people to illuminate my world.
I know so little about the complex intricacies of other people. Therefore, I will allow others to teach me.
I learn best from and impacted most by my personal struggles. Therefore, I will join with others in their struggles.
I sometimes need a refuge. Therefore, I will provide a refuge for other people.
I like it when I am fully accepted as the person I am. Therefore, I will strive to experience and appreciate the person of the other.
I make mistakes. They are a declaration of the way I am – human and fallible. Therefore, I will be tolerant of the humanness of other people.
I react with emotional internalization and expression to my world of reality. Therefore, I will relinquish the grasp I have on reality and try to enter the world as experienced by other people.
It feels good to be an authority, to provide answers. Therefore, I will need to work hard to protect other people from me!
I am more fully me when I feel safe. Therefore, I will be consistent in my interactions with other people.
I am the only person who can live my life. Therefore, I will not attempt to rule another’s life.
I have learned most of what I know from experiencing. Therefore, I will allow others to experience.
The hope I experience and the will to live come from within me. Therefore, I will recognize and affirm the other person’s will and selfhood.
I cannot make other people’s hurts and fears and frustrations and disappointments go away. Therefore, I will soften the blow.
I experience fear when I am vulnerable. Therefore, I will with kindness, gentleness, and tenderness touch the inner world of the vulnerable other.
Robert Dunn, MMFT
*creed adapted from Gary Landreth’s Principles in Working With Children