I approach mental health from a wellness lens, meaning that while I am aware of pathology and trauma, I work to help individuals bring out their own basic goodness. In my training at Naropa we called this Brilliant Sanity. Brilliant Sanity is the idea that all people’s fundamental nature is that of openness, clarity, and warmth. Often this basic nature becomes clouded by our experiences and challenges in life, but it still exists within us. My goal in therapy is to help individuals get back in touch with this basic nature of Brilliant Sanity. I trust in the basic sanity that exists within each individual.
The work I do in session depends on the individual and their needs, and I often work to develop in-the-moment awareness of emotion and bodily sensation in my clients. This helps people to carry greater awareness of their experience with them outside of the therapy room. Depending on a client’s needs, I may also offer practical tools for decreasing anxiety or managing strong emotion, but I take an individualized approach. I am always open to feedback from clients about the ways I may or may not be meeting their needs. This is often fruitful territory, and can lead to authentic communication of needs and desires. If after exploration I am not providing a client with what they need, I can make a referral to another provider.
What is the Meaning of Red Door?
First, on a personal note, several years ago when I began thinking about opening a private counseling practice, I got a sketchbook to use for brainstorming and discernment. The first thing that came to me was an image of a red door, which I quickly drew in the first page of the notebook. Several years later as I searched for a name, that image returned to me.
Doing a little research to make sure I wasn’t picking something too crazy, I learned that in the Western tradition a red door is a symbol of hospitality. In America, a red door was a sign of a home that was safe for travelers. In the Eastern tradition, red is considered a lucky color, and many doors are painted red before the Chinese New Year to allow chi (vital energy) to be drawn into the home.