What is DEEP?
I am driven by a passion to practice and teach therapy that creates meaning. Therapy that makes deep changes that matter.
I often say that good therapists change the world 50 minutes at a time. I believe that when we help people become all of who they are, more true selves cascade into the world, and the world becomes a better place.
That’s why I created DEEP:
To help therapists become people who change the world.
Therapists who change the world:
- are authentic, warm, and engaged;
- are respectful, nonpathologizing, and nonjudgmental;
- have the capacity to focus on the here and now;
- can read nonverbal signals, and have the courage to bring them into explicit awareness;
- facilitate new, good experiences in the therapy room, rather than “just talking about stuff;”
- help their clients create meaning; and
- do their own internal work so that they can know who they are and what they bring to the table.
DEEP (Dynamic Enriched Experiential Psychotherapy) will teach you to be one of those people!
DEEP is type of therapy that
invites clients into a lived experience of growth and change
within a respectful, nonjudgmental relationship,
from the very first moment of therapy.
DEEP therapists bring their engaged and authentic selves into the room
in professionally informed ways
to help clients expand into healing, meaning, and potential,
all while addressing current life concerns.
DEEP therapists are trained in such a way that
they receive the warmth and respect
that they are expected to offer to clients, so that
they feel supported and encouraged to learn and grow.
Because life’s most difficult struggles and questions transform into potent opportunities for learning and change in the safety of warm and affirming relationships.
That’s not just a sweet sentiment.
Contemporary developmental studies and neuroscience research continue to show that having a new, good experience of ourselves and our feelings in the safety of a supportive relationship leads to deep and lasting positive changes in security and functioning. I see it happen every day!
But since most of us therapists know that all the studies show the relationship itself to be the agent of helpful change, and that almost any good relationship can facilitate positive emotional changes, it might seem like I’m not saying anything new.
But there are a couple of additional, important things you should know about therapeutic relationships that can be the secret to both profound effectiveness and enhanced enjoyment of your work:
- We can actively initiate moments of change—Modern studies show that it’s visceral, vivid, embodied, alive moments of connection, in the here-and-now, between client and therapist, that rewire the brain to generate deep and lasting changes. And we no longer have to just hope that these healing moments will happen. Neurobiology and attachment theory show that we can actually call forth and augment moments like these. On purpose.
- We are called to be open, real, and undefended with our clients—Contrary to old traditions that tell us to keep our personalities out of the room, current science shows us something different. Specific, professionally guided ways of sharing and reading present-moment emotions and bodily experiences (while of course being self-reflective and able to manage our own emotions) bring to light the deepest and most hidden emotions that underlie most suffering.
I’m talking about the qualities of relationship that create those times…
You know what I’m talking about.
Those times when things are working with your client and you can see healing happening before your eyes.
Those moments when time ceases to matter.
Connection flows freely, without effort.
Your skin almost tingles as you witness your client feeling something you thought she’d never feel. And feeling alive in the middle of it.
You can see her almost literally expanding.
Order emerges out of chaos, and everything seems to make sense.
Gratitude flows from her eyes to yours and back again.
You have a hard time receiving the gratitude because you know in your bones that you two are part of something larger than yourselves.
Yeah. Those times.
. . . What if instead of tripping onto random moments like this, I could show you how to make them happen reliably and intentionally?
. . . What if I could help you find the courage and skill to be real and intimate in this way on a regular basis, so that your clients heal at bedrock levels, and you feel energized and enlivened by your work, every day?
That’s what DEEP is all about.
give you solid and clearly understandable theoretical underpinnings that help you to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it in your therapeutic relationships; and
support you to safely explore your own inner workings as a human and a therapist. (That is, receiving DEEP while learning DEEP.)
Because when you learn to both know yourself, and to offer your presence in purposeful ways, you will be fully in the service of helping clients to heal, to connect in relationships, to feel their full range of emotions, and to live authentic, meaningful, confident lives in the world.
And when you see how effective and connecting it is for you to use your deepest self to help others so clearly, you will find yourself expanding, healing, and growing in ways you could never have imagined.
The DEEP way of working is:
DEEP therapists create safety by engaging in warm, empathic, close-in, responsive, affirming relationships from the very first moment of therapy.
DEEP therapists work from the perspective of viewing clients’ painful old patterns through the compassionate lens of best efforts at adapting to their historic and/or present environment, rather than through the dirty old lens of pathology. DEEP also builds on and celebrates what’s already working and delights in clients’ expressions of true self. And DEEP welcomes, invites, and helps with true emotional expressions that have often been feared for a very long time. This (often surprising) sense of being seen as worthy of being cared about, helped, and celebrated invites clients’ true selves to emerge, heal, transform, and flourish.
In DEEP, each interaction with clients comes from a place of supreme respect, openness, and honesty. Therapists show up with inherent authenticity and transparency, creating a nonjudgmental safe haven. The work is never manipulative, secret, agenda-driven, or condescending, but rather relies on clarity, science, realness, and direct explanations for its effectiveness.
DEEP therapists approach each session with a profound, in-the-moment focus. By honing in on each and every second with intention, you’re able to initiate and facilitate a healing experience that goes far beyond the surface. Keeping tabs on nonverbal, bodily emotional experience and other right-brained avenues of communication, and focusing directly on the relationship as it unfolds in the moment, brings depth and meaning to your sessions and mindfulness to your words.
Bottom line: You get to be real. Clients learn to be real. True selves connect in that place that’s larger than any one of us. Meaning emerges. Healing flows.
Those profound times of connection and growth? Become frequent and inevitable.
DEEP blossomed from an integration of time-tested and cutting-edge theories:
DEEP is like a strong, healthy body standing on firm, solid, soul-nourishing ground.
The ground under the feet of DEEP is the timelessness and expansiveness of Depth Psychology. (I know, I know. It’s kind of corny that “DEEP” and “depth” are from the same root, so to speak. I didn’t actually set out with that similarity in mind, but it’s a fitting parallel that my unconscious must’ve reached for. Anyway…) The ground of Depth Psychology, especially the strength-affirming, true-self-individuating view of the human condition elaborated by Carl Jung, is solid, lasting, universal, and rich. Without a ground to stand on, a body will free-fall. The body of DEEP stands proudly and steadily upon the soul-filled ground of Depth Psychology.
The skeleton, the bones, of DEEP, the theory that keeps it standing upright and tall, is AEDP. Diana Fosha brilliantly observed and documented the phenomena that demonstrate the universal ways attachment and emotion emerge and flow in the safety of relationship, and how the innate self-righting tendencies of humanity engage, once they’re recognized and called forth. Her theory provides a reliable and cohesive core that gives direction and structure to other theories. Without a skeleton, flesh and skin will be mushy and lax and without aim. The strong skeleton of AEDP allows DEEP to stand upright and balanced, heading in a sure direction.
Without blood and muscle and skin, a skeleton is thin and lifeless. DEEP fleshes out the skeleton of AEDP that stands on Depth Psychology with the richest of time-tested knowledge, and the most cutting-edge applied therapy theories. DEEP weaves together wisdom traditions, cutting-edge therapy theories, and existential ideas that elaborate bone-level emotions. This integration makes DEEP fully alive, agile, and strong.
- Depth Psychology—The Ground Beneath DEEP’s Feet: The most basic foundation of DEEP is Depth Psychology. Three aspects of Depth Psychology are fundamental to DEEP:
- Depth Psychology’s non-pathologizing, strength affirming view of symptoms and the human condition.
- Depth Psychology’s view of our deepest therapeutic purpose as helping people to discover and actualize the soulful potential inherent within their true selves.
- Depth Psychology’s incorporation of exploring both the inner landscape and the outer world that invites discovery of a potent sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Depth psychology provides a strong basis for a foundationally nonjudgmental, healing-oriented view of the psyche and an overarching goal of true-self-actualization.
- AEDP Theory—The Bones of DEEP’s Structure: Because depth psychology is essentially a set of guiding therapeutic values rather than a practical way of working, DEEP’s structure for what to do and when is grounded in AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy). AEDP is a cutting-edge therapy model rooted in attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, emotion theory, and developmental studies that dovetails beautifully with depth psychology’s values.
- AEDP is a strong, clearly defined, science based, overarching therapy model.
- AEDP is:
- based on creating a new experience in the room within the context of a warm and engaged relationship,
- explicitly emotionally regulating, and
- focused on the innate human drive to thrive, heal, and grow.
- AEDP’s research-oriented focus on observable phenomena makes it extremely universal, effective, and practically useful in nature.
- At the same time, AEDP’s focus on phenomena, along with its roots in ISTDP (Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy) where efficiency and symptom relief are paramount, can lead the therapist to use the therapeutic relationship in a subtly removed way that pushes for an agenda that seeks results, rather than profoundly inviting and being present with true-self and meaning-making experiences.
So DEEP uses AEDP for a very strong and practical structure for what to do, when, and how, but goes further in expanding into additional theories for its foundational goals, and for fleshing out how to be and why.
- Existential exploration: Life is fundamentally hard at times, and so is therapy. DEEP weaves in essential existential ideas about the nature of suffering, and our role as therapists in attending to suffering, to provide strong support for how to be with people even at the darkest and hardest of times, where the deepest level of growth is possible. Awareness of emotions that push up from the bedrock of existence can help us to understand our clients’ feelings in a very vivid way.
- Cutting-edge theories that expand on how and why: Additional theories that make moment-to-moment therapy work understandable and explainable support and expand how and why we do what we do in DEEP. Practical application of interpersonal neurobiology and an expansive understanding of attachment theory, along with emotion theory, Porges’ polyvagal theory, Shore’s essential regulation theory and work with enactments, Ecker’s memory consolidation principles, and more, yield a rich repertoire of intelligible therapeutic tools.
- The body: DEEP recognizes the inestimable importance of the body in therapy work, incorporating techniques and ideas and theories from the specific body-based therapies of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, adding to what we do.
- Integration: DEEP allows for and appreciates the expansiveness of cutting-edge tools and techniques that exist in the therapy world today. DEEP is not dogmatic, and does not exclude other ways of working. Instead, DEEP shows you when, where, and how to integrate your existing array of skills into a solid foundation, understanding how, why, and when to use your well-practiced tools.
DEEP weaves all this rich material into a teachable, understandable package that teaches you to intentionally and reliably initiate moments of connection that matter. Yes, those moments—moments of profound connection that take you out of time and into the nourishing flow of life.
At the end of the day, DEEP teaches you to
invite growth, and
nourish true selves into blossoming.
DEEP teaches you how to change lives.
And changing lives? Changes the world. 50 minutes at a time.
To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right. — Confucius