Holistic Depth Psychotherapy - Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC

Notes from the Chrysalis

The Courage to Sketch Your own Selfhood:

"A certain day became a presence to me: there it was, confronting me-a sky, air, light: a being... it leaned over and struck my shoulder as if with the flat of a sword, granting me honor and a task. The dayís blow rang out, metallic-or it was I, a bell awakened, and what I heard was my whole self saying and singing what it knew: I Can."
~ Denise Levertov

A Horse of a Different Color

"There are a few metaphorical characterizations that can sum up who I was and how I operated in the world when I began seeing Nicole for psychotherapy. I felt like a quivering Cowardly Lion afraid of people and afraid to ask for anything for myself. I behaved like a forever toiling Sisyphus, constantly helping others and putting myself last. I shouldered more than my share of the relationship burden thinking if I could just do more to make the people in my life happy then they would treat me better and love me more and then I would be happy too. I thought of my life as an empty Etch-A-Sketch that was waiting for the people in my life to turn the knobs and outline a picture that would show me who to be and what decisions to make. At the time I wasn't aware those particular characterizations applied to me, but, by the time I did realize it, it was eye-opening information that ultimately helped to change my life.

I began therapy at a time in my life when I was overwhelmed with personal crises. I was separated from my husband and living back home with my parents. My father was dying from terminal cancer. I was anxiety ridden, in denial about an out-of-control eating disorder, working at a job for which I was over qualified and underpaid. I was entangled in messy, uncomfortable relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

Despite all that I had never thought of myself as someone who needed 'psycho' therapy, and I can't say that I even particularly wanted to take the time to do either an in-depth analysis or the work of healing. I just wanted someone to quickly fix the problems in my life so I could be happy. After all, my problems didn't seem extraordinary or any worse or much different from what most people go through. What I didn't know and hadn't wanted to recognize was that the chaos in my life had been created from within me. It stemmed from my earliest history of dysfunctional family relationships and deeply buried pain-filled experiences that left scars and wounds that I didn't want to remember, think about or deal with.

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V. Yalom

In the beginning I met with Nicole weekly and received support, encouragement and guidance enough to get me through a divorce, the death of my father, into a new job and able to stand on my own two feet again. Once my life was in a semblance of control, I was finally able to start looking back and see how my past contributed to the mess my life had been. And that is when the work of depth psychotherapy really began.

Cowardly Lion

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I have spent years working with Nicole in individual counseling sessions. I was also privileged enough to be part of a small therapeutic depth group that Nicole facilitated. These two different forms of therapy really created a nearly perfect growing and learning experience for me. The best way to explain it is to think of it as kind of like having a science class with a lab. In individual therapy, I had one-on-one time with Nicole to learn, explore, and analyze. In group I got to experiment and practice what I had learned with other people who were committed to doing the same process. In group therapy we had love and anger, fear and bravery; we compared and judged, criticized and complimented, laughed, cried, shouted over each other and sat in silence. We celebrated and grieved and we grew to know each other so intimately within the safe physical boundaries of Nicole's office.

Somehow Nicole was able to help me navigate my way through it all, and I ended up changed for the better. I learned how to face and overcome some of my fears and become stronger. I learned to recognize and trust my feelings. I learned what it takes to be really present in a relationship with other people and with myself. I learned not to demand perfection of myself or others. I learned to be more confident, and I learned how to truly take care of myself. I don't mean taking care of myself in a physical way. I mean emotionally and mentally take care of myself in the sense that itís alright to stand up and be proud of who I am and what I do. I learned that itís good to say 'No' sometimes and that setting limits and standards for yourself can be the best gift you give to yourself and to the people in your life.

I think I can say that through my work with Nicole and my relationships with my co-companions in group, I have earned my badge of courage, put down my boulder of anxiety and unnecessary burdens and am now sketching out my own picture of what my life will be."

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." ~ Judy Garland

Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC, Holistic Depth Psychotherapist

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

Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut