Gestalt Psychotherapy in Dartmouth

Feel alive

This? Feeling alive? That requires feeling. Feeling beyond stuck. Feeling beyond depressed. Feeling beyond anxious. Feeling sad. Feeling happy. Feeling excited. Feeling angry. Discover how to deal better with feelings. Learn how to connect with yourself and others. Feel it all.

Let’s get to the what and how

People frequently come to therapy with a desire to understand ‘why’ things are as they are. The ‘why’ of it all is typically the easy part. Questions of ‘what, how, when and where’ often are more useful. This is therapy where the rubber meets the road. Time to change. Why? Because it’s time to change.

Not what you want not what you’re trying to do.

We start with what is real for you. A lot of what causes all distress in our lives is our ability to avoid life as it is. Sometimes life is miserable. Avoiding this fact is human. We’re wired to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. And you can have more than moments of muted anxiety and fear of judgement. You can experience it all.

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Here and Now

Together we can grow beyond fantasy. Beyond imagining what we do or don’t want. Or how life should or shouldn’t be. Together, we work to develop your own personal tool box to deal with life as it actually is.

What’s yours and what isn’t

A lot of the time people get confused about what is their problem and what isn’t. Knowing what we can change versus what we can’t change brings us up to our limits as people. This can be both liberating and painful. Working with me, you’ll learn to accept yourself as you are. Then you can chose to live differently.

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You might thing that you are either good or bad, lazy or productive. Us humans? We have endless capacity to see ourselves and the world as being one thing or another. Funny thing? Over time, though this work, you might discover that the word ‘or‘ can be replaced with ‘and‘.

All of this takes work and time.

How long will therapy last? Everyone is different. Period. End of story. Recent research suggests that therapy typically lasts for 15 to 20 sessions. For clients who attend weekly, this means that four two six months can result in lasting change.

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Who should go to therapy?

It depends. I use a wellness approach. It’s my belief that you are functional. When you are dead? You aren’t functional. Though your level of function may vary, together we build on your awareness of how your strengths can be weaknesses and how you may have some real power in parts of yourself you’re not entirely fond of.

How much does psychotherapy cost

Individual 50 minute long sessions are $125

Other options

Concerned about costs or indeterminate timelines? Check out some of our coaching packages. When you make an extended commitment to your growth, you can save over twenty percent.

Do you see couples?

No. Please refer to your family doctor, Psychology Today or Google to find someone.

Psychotherapy is for everyone

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Life can become overwhelming. Anxiety, depression, a stalled career, and relationship issues can take their toll on our ability to thrive every day. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve misplaced the ability to feel great – to feel vital and alive. You’re likely stuck and not sure where to turn.

What’s worse, mental health services here leave a lot to be desired. Long waiting lists, sporadic appointments, and inconvenient appointment times get in the way of getting help. Sure, there are therapists out there that you could see more quickly, but they cost upwards of $150 per hour. You don’t have insurance, nor do you have that kind of money. At the same time, you know that you want help. You don’t know where to find it.

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I know what it’s like to struggle

Twenty years ago I was in Toronto. Alone, overwhelmed, and disappointed by my life, I was struggling. I struggled to keep a job. I struggled to have relationships. I struggled to go to the post office to pick up my mail. Every day was a struggle. I didn’t realize that I had issues with anger, depression, and anxiety.

A mentor of mine recognized my struggles. They suggested that I might want to talk to someone – someone professional – like a psychotherapist or counselor. At first I was appalled. I balked at the suggestion. What? I’m not crazy. I don’t need a therapist… I slowly learned that getting help didn’t mean that I was crazy or broken. I just needed help.

So I opened up the yellow pages, found a psychologist and made an appointment. I went. It was terrible. She was terrible. She wore flowing clothes like a character from The Lord of the Rings. Everything was soft colors and floral patterns. Her voice was airy, soft, and kind of arrogant sounding. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. What’s worse? It cost me a hundred and fifty dollars – and that was twenty years ago!

The next day I went to the duty doctor. I figured I could just go and get some pills and feel better. The doctor started asking questions. I felt my face turn red. My eyes started to get wet. I kept talking, still hoping for pills. I was there in his walk-in clinic talking for half an hour. I felt exhausted. In the end, he took out his pad and scrawled on it. The words were not what I had expected to see. It was a phone number with the words ‘group therapy’ written below it.

No Pills?

No pills? I asked. No pills, he replied. He explained that he figured I might want to try talking to someone first. I told him about my objections to the first mental health professional I saw. He assured me this would be different. I objected to the fact that this would be in a group setting and that my story wouldn’t be private. I told him that I was really uncomfortable with the idea of group therapy. That’s exactly why you should go to group, he replied.

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So I went to group therapy to deal with depression and anxiety. My first thought on group therapy? It was affordable. It cost only twenty dollars a session. Sure, it was awkward at first. But, over time I began to appreciate the people in the group. Sometimes, they would notice something about me, or understand something differently than the therapist did. It felt great to be seen. Other times I would find myself irritated or ‘triggered’ by members of the group. This gave us all, me, the person, and the therapist, plenty to work on.

I progressed quickly with group therapy. Anxiety fell away. I woke up from my depression. I felt more comfortable in my own skin. My emotions, reactions to things and my ability to get along in life improved. I worked more. I began making more money. My quality of life improved.

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Now I’m a therapist

I work with people with anxiety, depression, and grief every day. I help people discover what they want and how they interrupt themselves from getting there. I use a ground up approach – beginning with sensations, moving to emotions then on to thoughts – to help people heal, grow and experience as much of life as they can.

Jim challenges you to look into the root of problems from a genuine place. Like any agent of change, he would not get a person to look squarely on at their trials and tribulations, fostering ownership of their frailties if he had not gone through that process himself. His own self discovery gives him the insight to push people to their potential, sometimes to uncomfortable places. Jim is at once curious and present. It is this infectious curiosity which makes people want to talk to him, but also makes him strive to find the ‘realness’ in every person and situation.

Lucy DeCoutere

This might be a fit if

  • You’re suffering from anxiety or depression
  • You’ve recently lost a relationship or a loved one
  • You struggle with anger
  • You have difficult relationships
  • You are ready to make lasting changes in your life

Jim has taught me that I am of value and that I have a voice that is worth being heard. He brightens a room with authenticity and enthusiasm; his willingness and acceptance to travel alongside me through my own growth have been a source of comfort I could depend on throughout many years. His passion for life reminds me that this is a life worth living. It seems evident to me that Jim’s approach to life is composed of both love and hard work and approaching both with dedication and commitment.”

Cristal Laberee OCT

This might not work if

  • Your mental health issues are such that you cannot leave your home
  • You are heavily medicated and under the supervision of a psychiatrist
  • You are unwilling to take responsibility for your life
  • You believe that therapy should be free and are looking for me to lower my rate for you
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