Holistic Depth Psychotherapy - Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC

Musings on the Metamorphosis of a Psychotherapist



"There is the solitude of suffering when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering."

~ John Donahue

The Cracked Chrysalis:

I began awakening to a very dark and terrifying revelation as a teenager: I was utterly alone to sink or swim. There was no 'other' I could cling to who could understand and care for me in the way I needed. My former childish delusions about the safety and succor of my family, the helping profession, and even the larger world shattered. I found myself surrounded by people who ranged from cold and accusatory to well intended but largely ineffectual with a great deal of indifference and ignorance stuffed like cosmic ear plugs in between.

Throughout my adolescence, I continued to be disillusioned with the glaring limitations of the psychiatric establishment that tried to pin me down like a butterfly under glass. Within the "venerable halls" of the "healing" profession, I discovered a dearth of genuine warmth and empathic concern for my emotional turmoil. My forays into various therapies and my intelligent and plucky determination to know and express the complexity of myself were often met with lackluster and detached interpretations, trite and sometimes insultingly reductive advice, and an overarching climate of professional remoteness.

From the psychopharmacologists who plied me with mixed cocktails of psychotropic drugs-some which gave me bizarre and frightening side effects- to the old school psychodynamic therapist who bestowed on me her blank silent analytic stares, I was left feeling diminished and largely unseen by the scorched terrain of these medical model and traditional "treatments." I stared lifelessly as the dull 50 minute hands of my latest cognitive-behavioral psychologist's clock ticked down his facile suggestions to a tidy closure: "You are a smart girl; you just need to think about life differently and you will be fine." A psychiatrist of high repute leaned back in his rolling chair, which squealed like a pig heading toward the slaughter house, as he leered and told me all I needed to feel good again was sex. I was not even inhabiting my own body, yet he thought it sage advice that I hand my house of flesh, minus a tethered soul, to another. This was definitely not going well...

The competitive, image-obsessed, and materialistic values of our Western narcissistic culture also left me feeling empty and enlarged my sense of futility. My scholastic accomplishments at a renowned high school were not gratifying as others told me they 'should' be. The treasured icons of white, middle class, post modern America eluded me on an emotional level. I held these hollow-heavy trophies and accolades like albatrosses around my neck with a tight, forced smile and a hidden aching heart. I did not belong to my subculture of teens. I felt like a foreigner in a strange and barren land in which the language was insipid, the customs superficial, and the relatedness skin-deep. I was shocked by the blind faith my female peers ascribed to the cultural brainwashing that dictated to girls and women: "you can never be too thin". A few teenage girls even went so far as to let me know they envied my emaciation, re-purposed in their imagination to be the ultimate accomplishment: a guaranteed ticket to happiness & self-worth.

Wooden clogs


"I'd think of all those people
with their love and understanding
How they wear it like they had it from the start
I must have been the other kind...
The kind with just a lonely mind and heart...
And from where I stand I am mostly on my knees
And though it's just a thought, It's such a saving shot...
For every person there's a rhyme and a reason
To decide to be the chosen one
to stand among the broken ones."

~ Ferron (The Chosen Ones)

As a teenager, I started dimly realizing that if I was to grow my wings and emerge from my angst at all flight worthy, I would have to take complete responsibility for my own process of healing, growth and wellness. This sober confrontation with reality planted in me the seeds of a drive to seek my own internal authority, guidance and comfort. Secondly, I resolved that if I were to successfully survive this ordeal, I would dedicate my life to trying to help others as they struggled to emerge from their own broken chrysalis of pain and confusion. Something of my strong life force: the taproot of my childhood passion for the glorious aspects of being alive and meaningfully connected, was pushing on and outward into my life, breaking through the frozen crust glazing the tundra of my heart.

Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC, Holistic Depth Psychotherapist

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

Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut