About Therapy

“People don’t need to be forced to grow.
All we need is favorable circumstances: respect, love, honesty, and the space to explore.”
― Ellen Bass, The Courage to Heal

Rose Thomas EditedWhat kind of stress is it?

Someone walks into my office, and the distress is palpable, if quiet.

That distress might have no words but a stream of unbearable thoughts; an irritable confusion about what’s happening with a friend, lover, or coworker; or a hardening sense of loneliness.

Stress robs awareness of what happens inside. It hollows us out.

If you’re like the many people I’ve worked with, you also know that things haven’t been exactly right for a long time. You worry about how other people would treat you if they knew the wounds you carry and how you got them.

It’s like a tiny pebble stuck in your shoe: too little to stop and get rid of but too annoying to ignore.

You can go on. But you can’t ignore it anymore.

There’s no peace in the land of Avoidance.

I can see your exhaustion.

Your energy goes to all the places that catch the day’s debris, the recycled rubbish, and the doubt you’ve been trying to ignore all day. It keeps you up at night, helpless and numb. It abandons your confidence and snipes at those closest to you.

It’s so much work.

Fatigue seeps into your joy and dampens it. Like you don’t deserve it. Like joy was never yours to keep. That was someone else.

Rose Thomas EditedYou no longer have to hide or pretend.

Good therapy makes hard places visible and unbearable places forgivable. With me, your wounds are held sacred. They are the secrets you no longer have to hold alone.

Covering up your secrets, the rage and fear, with excessive work or bravado – or that stoicism enshrined in some stony self-reliance – can be in your past.

It seems like there’s always time for pain, doesn’t it? So there must be time for healing – if you’ll allow it.

The path to inner tranquility is rooted in pain. Now, as you weigh your choices, the path from pain to peace depends on you, on your decision to do something different and risk changing life as you know it.

You can live with a fixed mindset that you are all you ever were or will be and that suffering is all you’ll ever understand.

Or you cannot only live your life. You can savor it.

Therapy helps you choose healing, safety, and transformation.

Now is the time when I come in, where you and I will work at our best. This process is when we tap into the power of the “one wild and precious life”¹ inside you.

I’ll help you break free from looping patterns of doubt that distract you daily and kill sleep by night.

I’ll help you recognize the path you instinctively took to get where you are. Your intuition wasn’t a sham. It was your superpower.

Therapy helps you absorb the truth that you are not your thoughts, your body is not your enemy, and you can retrain your brain to process information adaptively.

There’s no magic. Acceptance, compassion, patience, care, and skills – yours and mine to free you from a hall of mirrors.

Therapy helps you follow the wisdom inside you. It’s your choice to seek it out. It’s your choice to savor your goodness.

Choose now to connect to the good within you.

¹ The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

About Me

Rose Thomas EditedShall I save you the trouble of looking me up on LinkedIn?

Just kidding. There’s more to me than the most recent list of workplaces and an essay or two. But many of my clients later acknowledged they “looked me up.” So let me tell you some of what’s not there.

I had a lot of living to do before training as a psychologist. I’ve worked for the government, a small consulting firm, a tech company, and a law firm. I’ve performed as a singer and actress.

I lived briefly in a foreign country, worked on college campuses and at a seminary, and transplanted myself to different cities. I’ve volunteered with antiracism groups and in homeless shelters and advocated for survivors of sexual trauma when they needed it most.

And I grew up in a world that didn’t make sense.

I grew up in apartheid America.

I was drawn to psychology to understand people and the choices we make.

Psychology is a science that helps explain who we are. It covers human development, decision-making, the physiology of mood and thought, social cognition, aging, interpersonal behavior, and so much more.

I respect scientific methods, evidence, and precise problem definition for meaningful problem resolution.

In practice, that means the starting goals of therapy are often like a test. My client shows up and declares a problem but really wants to know, “Can you see through me?” “Are my secrets visible?”

When this happens, the work means making it safe to touch on what’s true as the next step into growth.

When the goals are clear, the work is about making it safe to become you – only better: transformed, grounded, and accepted.

20friendI offer a strong foundation of training.

My methods are grounded in empirically tested approaches that decrease anxiety, panic, and trauma, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, psychodynamics, developmental psychology, and HeartMath™ peripheral biofeedback, along with well-researched practices in hypnotherapy.

My commitment includes regular study and consultation with experts in my field, especially when my client’s issues do not conform to a “textbook” presentation.

I know psychotherapy is not a forever project. The research is clear on the benefits over time for single-issue therapy. Different people have different needs, and I attend to and collaborate with you on whether your needs are met and your progress over time.

I’m grateful for the fine minds that shaped my own during my education at Tufts and the University of Michigan and for teachers and mentors over my professional career. See my curriculum vitae.

Living a full life…

When I’m not ‘nerding out,’ I enjoy my son and his family, including a grand cat, wogging, hiking, biking, French TV and movies, and jazz.