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Hello, and welcome to my web site.

Regarding my work and my philosophy: Simply put, in therapy it is the therapist's job to facilitate therapy; it is the client's job to make themselves happy and to resolve the issues they present in the sessions.

The therapist works and gets paid; the client works and heals.

It seems straight forward; but it's difficult to understand from the perspective of a person who appears in my office with relationship problems, sex problems, various addictions, trauma and stress they've been struggling with for years. They often believe it's their fault—if only they'd tried harder.

An addiction is the disease that makes you think it's all your fault, or all someone else's fault. Neither is true.

I have experienced and resolved the issues that are so common among people who live with these problems. I counsel from a place of respect, with confidence in the people who choose to work with me. They are successful—they have managed to survive—but only at great personal cost. Getting recovered is that delicate process of creating, integrating, and maintaining:

  • a life with no addictions,
  • a deep and meaningful experience of choosing a personal standard of moral integrity,
  • an ability to gracefully detach from dislocation,
  • an ongoing competence, and an increasing confidence, in cooperating with the vicissitudes of Life; and,
  • a graceful celebration of the rewards of a sincerely spiritual lifestyle.

To re-experience and show our deepest wounds to another is a profound and courageous thing to do. People who seek help often sense this before hand and still, they undertake the difficult journey of healing. Not often enough do we acknowledge how arduous this can be.

Many addictions counsellors, therapists, doctors, interested outsiders, and people in twelve-step programs misunderstand addictions and twelve-step programs. They are unable (or refuse) to properly enroll the disciplines of psychology, medicine, sociology, and spirituality as partners in the therapeutic/healing journey.

For someone to establish abstinence, understand and complete the twelve steps, follow a spiritual path, negotiate through theories of psychology, participate in formal therapy, resolve the physiological complications from trauma, disengage from clinical codependence (which is relationship addiction), become medically responsible, remain abstinent, and adopt the five principles of spirituality—with the long-term result being freedom from addictions and being spiritually recovered—is profoundly complicated. To assist and support someone on this pilgrimage carries an added burden, and that role should not be taken lightly.

It is essential that the client do the work of changing their life and I do the work of being a therapist. The client's life and recovery will become theirs; their pride in their own effort will become honorable self-respect; and the credit will be theirs. They discover and become who they want to be, and I stay who I am. I believe this is the essence of a healthy, interdependent, contractual relationship between a counsellor and a client.





© Richard W. Clark, 2004.