Liz Kalman BA, RP, CTP Dip., Member CAPT
“How’re you doing?”
I’ve learned that in our society, there seems to be an implied expectation that only a positive response to this question is invited.
So if we’re all “good” why are many of us actually feeling bad? Why are an unprecedented number of people taking medication to take the edge off the anxiety they’re plagued by, or the depression they’re trying to keep at bay?
In my practice I have worked extensively with:
- Family/Relationship issues, including those involving blended families
Embarking on the process of psychotherapy provides a space to give voice to what you are truly feeling. In the unique environment of the therapeutic session there are no distractions or interruptions and you experience a freedom from everyday constraints to explore the beliefs and assumptions that may affect the choices you make in daily life. It is a place to reflect in the company of another caring person, a place to attend with care to your concerns.
With friends or family you may perceive expectations and may edit your speech to the point where you obscure your own voice. Your voice may become so muted and dim that it becomes inaccessible even to yourself. With a therapist you have a space that is free of judgement or expectation -- it's like arriving to the peace and quiet of the countryside. You hear yourself more clearly without the clamour of noise and static that crowds everyday existence. Being still with someone listening can uncover what is beneath the clutter of the everyday. A therapist draws attention to what you may not be listening to within yourself. You are invited to hear yourself with more compassion and awareness. A therapist listens attentively, without incessantly questioning, quietly alert and ready to draw attention to areas which call to be examined and explored.
People often seek therapy when their level of anxiety or depression has become intolerable. In my many years of training and practice I have gained deep respect for the unique essence of every individual and for the creativity people draw on to deal with the circumstances they are presented with in life. However, they may reach a point where they are faced with limitations in relationships or difficulties with family relations. Or family circumstances may have changed marriage, a new baby, stepchildren, divorce, ailing parents and they may be confronted with challenges they feel unprepared to handle. They may feel frustrated with their work or career or feel their creativity is blocked. Or life may just feel stagnant, dull, and constricted.
Through the process of psychotherapy we can explore what may be limiting you in life and discover new possibilities that may be outside of your awareness. In my work it has been most rewarding to see clients’ horizons expand as we discover some of the sources of their limitations. Psychotherapy is not necessarily an easy process, but it is ultimately liberating.
In contrast to those who medicalize suffering, I look at the struggles of the individual in a world where many of us lack support. It seems that so much in our world serves to make us feel insignificant by distancing us from ourselves and from each other. Our individual voices are overshadowed by a profusion of manufactured sounds, imposing expectations and drowning us out. In a myriad of ways, large and small, we are confronted by situations that diminish our sense of agency in the world and the sense that our voice matters. More than ever before, we are surrounded by enticements (computers, television, radio, phones) that draw us away from deeper connections with other people or connection with our inner world.
Many of us lack the community support that, in the past, might have sustained us. In therapy we honour the struggle and the work it takes to remain connected and engaged. A therapist holds us with ourselves and holds what we are saying, sharing in our experience so we are not alone. With a therapist who listens a client learns to explore dark corners safely, to pay attention to their own voice, and to reflect upon thoughts creatively. Through this process areas are illuminated which were lying in darkness before. We listen and attend to the parts of ourselves that have been silenced and dismissed. Over time we become more firmly rooted in our own reality and can live in the world more fully. As we grow stronger in our individuality we also become deeply aware of our shared humanity and how we belong in the world.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. I trained at the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy. My work is deeply influenced by my study of existential psychotherapy and my work with dreams. My particular interests include postpartum depression and blended families. I am a member of the Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy and of the Daseinsanalytic Society of Canada.
Clients have described me as “empathic”, “patient”, “warm”, “supportive”, “non-judgmental”, “sensitive”, “clear” and “intelligent.
I am a mother, married, with two daughters and two stepsons. My other language is Hungarian.
My office is here on the east side of Broadview just south of Danforth Avenue, a few minutes walk from the Broadview subway station, and a 10 minute drive from downtown. I also provide online therapy, via Skype or VOIP.
I look forward to meeting with you for a free consultation, or you can contact me if you have any questions.
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