My Approach to Psychotherapy

My approach to psychotherapy is deeply rooted in my belief in the boundless resilience of the human spirit: our ability to not only survive hardships but to use the pain as a springboard into healing and achieving a rich, balanced and meaningful life.

I believe that people do the very best they know how to deal with the painful life experiences they encounter. We learn to adapt and survive in ways that make sense at the time but can later lead to unhappiness and hardship. I see disconnection from our own selves and from others as the greatest contributor to emotional distress.

Healing takes place in the context of supportive relationships based on trust and respect. I work collaboratively with my clients to create a secure environment in which to explore and work through the pain that fuels self-defeating patterns and beliefs.

I use my professional training and personal experience to help guide clients to a place of greater mindful self-awareness, and to reconnect with their ability to respond non-judgmentally, non-reactively and compassionately to their thoughts and feelings. I have been trained in a number of therapeutic approaches and am most influenced by psychodynamic theories, particularly attachment theory, and mindfulness psychology. Some of the primary tenets of these theories include:

  • We are born in relationship, we are wounded in relationship, and we can be healed in relationship.” (Harville Hendrix, Getting The Love You Want: A Guide For Couples, 1988)
  • Recognition that past experiences, especially early experiences of attachment figures (our primary care-takers), affects our relation to, and experience of, the present. (Jonathan Shedler, American Psychologist, 2010)
  • Healing and growth is built upon awareness, non-judgmental acceptance and compassion for the human condition.
  • With insight into the destructive patterns in our lives, we open ourselves to new possibilities for change and growth.
  • The therapeutic relationship has a large effect on successful therapeutic outcomes.

In addition, I draw from several short-term approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused therapy, which emphasize gaining more control over one’s mood through having more command over one’s thoughts, as well as acknowledging and building upon one’s strengths.

Because awareness creates choice, therapy can help clients discover, and often rediscover, their innate abilities to heal and thrive. People are much greater than their struggles, and I am humbled and moved daily by the courage I witness in my clients as they create the relationships and lives they desire.

Call me with any questions you have about beginning therapy.

Emily Margalit, MFT – Relationship Counseling, Mindfulness Psychology and Mindfulness Psychotherapy, Attachment Theory, and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Danville, CA, California