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“As a hurt child refuses comfort
We hide from one another, fearing to be hurt again
Should we give love or receive,
Vulnerable each time one small green shoot
Breaks through the hard wood
The years have ringed the heart with:
Where love, there pain."

Kathleen Adams, Ph.D.First and foremost, I will try not to ask you to walk through any doorway I haven't walked through myself. Therapy is not just a profession for me: it's a commitment to depth, to life, and to hope. Being and becoming fully alive are what it's all about. In order to be able to open to joy in all its manifestations, we must also be able to face all the not-so-joyful feelings that we've walled off for one reason or another. I believe that all suffering bears embedded gifts, if we look hard enough. I have found that discernment is at the heart of wisdom: part of therapy is learning about the choices we make and why we make them. Ultimately, we begin to make different choices.

Pain, both physical and emotional, exists for an important reason: to make us pay attention. So many of us, myself included, have spent much of a lifetime trying not to hurt. As a result, we compromise our integrity, our hearts and our sense of self, on some misguided mission to be invulnerable, to please, to care-take, or just to belong.Somewhere along the way, our vision of ourselves loses focus and we settle. Therapy can help create a new template for living. Research shows us that the brain can actually re-wire itself in the context of a secure relationship, developing new capacities for self-soothing, obtaining perspective, and being intimate. Thus I tend to lead with my heart in therapy, interweaving my fierce passion for growth with my intuitions and hunches about what I am sensing from you. I am extraordinarily patient, because change comes about very slowly. My style is candid, gentle, and authentic. At times, you may catch me being ironic. You won't find me going 'one up' on you for we are all equals on this journey of self-discovery. We will laugh, we will cry, one human being to another.

Diving with turtles in St. JohnsThe ambience of my office is uniquely pesonal. Most people experience my office as a soothing haven, a refuge. Here we do the hard work of unwinding developmental trauma and facing the profundity of preverbal disruptions in our sense of being. A fresh water  acquarium and a fountain helps us regulate our nervous systems as we explore hard materia together.

Psychotherapy has a deeply spiritual component. Questions about the meaning of life and suffering have been with us since the beginning of time. What lies beyond and within us? How do we connect to sacred experience in our everyday life and relationships? How can we be fully alive in the present, savoring each precious moment of life's gifts? Ritual and transformation are both explicit dimensions of the psychotherapy experience. Sometimes when we are immersed in darkness, we forget that hope is a gift of grace. In our despair, we turn away from the light. Choice is what empowers us to embrace life in the midst of struggle. Paradoxically, it is in the struggle to preserve hope that we actually develop internal resilience.

Kathleen Adams, Ph.D.
512- 327-8311
3355 Bee Caves Road # 611
Austin, TX 78746

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