Holistic Depth Psychotherapy - Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC

Integrative Therapeutic Approaches

Buddha Sculpture

N Ditz

"Rather than existing in a state of reactivity, fighting against reality or clinging to it as it inexorably changes, the Buddha discovered that relaxing into his own being permitted him to relate to the world with an openness and acceptance that had been missing... With my eyes closed, I began to listen to the birds whistling in the country air. The notes stretched out all around me, points of sound erupting like raindrops splashing in a vast sea... My attention was gathered, not distracted, in those moments, and the world opened itself to me. There was a recovery involved in this listening, a recovery of what is sometimes called celebration, or magic, or awe..."

~ Mark Epstein

Transpersonal Psychotherapy:

As a holistic psychotherapist, I naturally bring to my therapeutic relationships a transpersonal dimension that is either explicitly or more subtly expressed depending on the unique needs and desires of the individual client. Transpersonal psychology is an integrative and academic school of depth psychotherapy that synthesizes conventional psychological knowledge with wisdom from a variety of spiritual traditions to create a framework for the exploration of multidimensional aspects of human existence and the expansion of consciousness. Transpersonal psychology thus aims at supporting the deepest and most comprehensive level of human growth and full person awakening. This approach encourages human transformative possibilities on all levels of being: cognitively, emotionally, somatically, psychologically and spiritually.

Transpersonal psychotherapy concentrates on a variety of issues relevant to psycho-spiritual development. A transpersonal focus includes such topics as the study of higher states of consciousness, mystical experiences, transcendence of ordinary ego functioning, East-West spiritual and contemplative traditions, indigenous worldviews and healing practices, intuitive and non-rational ways of knowing, peak experiences, and practices such as meditation that are concerned with deepening states of awareness and moving toward enlightenment. Transpersonal approaches can powerfully help to facilitate individual attainment of exuberant mental health as well as to support the person in surrendering attachment to limited and painful notions of self. Transpersonal psychology is proving to be a useful and complementary path to traditional psychotherapy in that this field provides many methods of furthering people's freedom from emotional distress and supporting their quest for Wholeness.

My relationship with transpersonal psychology is, in keeping with my general approach to psychotherapy, broad minded and inclusive. I find value, truth and interconnections across myriad spiritual belief systems, metaphysical and postmodern perspectives, and non-conventional methods of fostering self development and healing. I believe that the addition of a psycho-spiritual lens can significantly deepen and enhance both the therapeutic process, my own level of empathic presence, and the client’s integration of more substantial and lasting states of well-being and personal transformation. I have worked over the years with a very diverse clientele ranging from Catholics, Christians and Jews to Hindu Sikhs, Buddhists, Pagans and Atheists. I have found that a psycho-spiritual focus can be successfully adapted and woven into the therapeutic work regardless of the person's religious background or chosen spiritual orientation.

The psycho-spiritual dimension of my work includes such processes as the exploration of spiritual beliefs and practices to help clients understand and cope with trauma and emotional suffering as well as to support them in the creation of a larger purposeful vision for their lives. My transpersonal training guides me in assisting others in their spiritual development, in effectively responding to an array of existential crises, and in helping people to experience a greater sense of sacredness in their everyday existence. In some therapeutic journeys, my attention has been focused on encouraging the development of meaningful spiritual practices such as ritual, ceremony, meditation, sacred arts, social activism, the study of psycho-spiritual texts and physical spiritual practices such as yoga and mindfulness walking meditation.

Bleeding Hearts

N Ditz

"In Buddhist psychology, mind and heart are often described by one word-'citta.' This heart-mind has many dimensions. It contains and includes all our thoughts, our feelings and emotions, responses, intuition, temperament, and consciousness itself .... The emotions themselves are rarely a problem; it is our lack of awareness of them or the stories that we believe about them that create our suffering. Without awareness, painful feelings can fester into addiction or hatred or degenerate into numbness; eventually we can lose touch not only with what is felt but also with our heart's essential wisdom."

~ Jack Kornfield

I introduce varicolored transpersonal concepts and practices, compatible with an individual's particular inclinations, to enhance his/her recovery and self-realization. Some of these approaches to transpersonal growth include the following: psychosynthesis, work with integrating sub personalities and the Higher Self;   archetypal psychology or "soul-making";   contemporary mytho-poetic Jungian therapy, focused on the growth of individuation; women's spirituality;   Ecopsychology and nature based spiritual practices; Buddhist Psychology, a psycho-philosophical system for understanding the deeper nature of reality and the human mind.

In the last several years after obtaining clinical training in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, I have been utilizing many empirically substantiated mindfulness oriented interventions in my psychotherapeutic practice. The central practice or heart of Buddhist psychology, mindfulness meditation, is also sometimes referred to as vipassana and insight meditation. A simple definition of mindfulness is awareness of one's experience in the present moment with acceptance. Mindfulness meditation is a great addition to depth therapy in that it can significantly help people to develop a skillful, calm and focused moment by moment awareness of the flux, flow and flurry of their internal subjective streams. It supports us in being with ourselves in an accepting, nonjudgmental and friendly manner while loosening our entanglement in conditioned and habitual ways of viewing our inner and outer worlds that perpetuate emotional suffering and dim our aliveness.

Practicing mindfulness helps me as a therapist to cultivate my own inner garden of open-mindedness and open-heartedness and increases my capacity for deeply engaged presence and compassionate understanding. These qualities allow me as a therapist to relate to and care for others in a manner that is inherently more enlivening and healing. My intention is to follow a bodhisattva path of service to the souls of other sentient beings. My true desire is to scatter and plant seeds of loving-kindness and wisdom and to contribute in my own small way to the metamorphosis of human awakening and arising from the embodied psycho-spiritual chrysalis.

Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC, Holistic Depth Psychotherapist

Voice Mail: (401) 573-6396  Email: info@holisticdepththerapy.com

Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut