Holistic Depth Psychotherapy - Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC

My Healing Philosophy

The Revival of Hope, Meaning & Aliveness:

As human beings we can endure much privation, persevere through immense loss, and undergo enormous suffering. However, it is extraordinarily difficult to bear intense psychological angst without at least some glimmer of hope that one may someday feel better and/or that one will eventually be able to utilize one's suffering and the wisdom gleaned to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. As I described in my “Musings” section, as a child I held onto the hope that I could one day be helpful to others in their suffering, and this idea made my own emotional suffering a bit more meaningful and even endurable.

I have seen a great number of adults in my practice who struggle and suffer terribly under the crushing weight of trauma, past and/or present. Sometimes they experience the reprieve of intermittent flecks of joy, and other times they merely endure a seemingly continuous bleak lifescape of emotional pain, discouragement, loneliness, and an overall deflating feeling of being insignificant. This naturally results in disconnection from their core life force energy as well as varying levels of numbness, emptiness, depression, anxiety and even despair.

Red berries

N Ditz

"Then, and on my walk, and now, the summer berries
made/make a redness in my mind. The jar
presses light against my hip, weight
to hand to the grieving woman. This gift
to her, to me-being able to bear
the summer's berry light like that, like this,
over the ice…"

~ William Heyen

As an existential-humanistic therapist, a primary focus in my work is the creation of a feeling of evolving hope and meaning within the "emotional wreckage" of the person's felt sense about herself and her life. In many situations, I find myself carrying Hope for a time for others across their vast icy terrains of felt futility, emotional anesthesia, bewildered fear and even anguish. How this is actually executed is difficult to translate. I believe that one must personally embody a steadfast sense of lively and engaged presence, vision, light, and grounded confidence in order to help carry energy, encouragement and clarity for others when they are exhausted, overwhelmed, and face down in the snow.

Perhaps it is a strange wisdom attained during long and very rough travel in the outback of one’s own dark night of the soul, perhaps it is a gift that one is born with and can choose to share with others, perhaps it is none of the above. Whatever it is: this obstinate light, this persistent passion, this fierce determination, this stubborn trust in human metamorphosis and in the healing power of human connection-it seems that I emanate a certain innate vitality and tenacious belief in the possibility of human growth and change that often helps in the germination of hope as well as in the brightening of the life force of my clients, no matter how originally faint the flame.

Baby bird

N Ditz


"'Hope' is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops-at all-"

~ Emily Dickinson

I am, as some of my clients may attest, "relentless" in my enthusiasm to assist in the resuscitation of the other’s soul. When I invest myself in working with another, I do so seriously and with utter devotion to the individual’s robust recovery of radiance, holistic wellbeing, and full- figured personhood. I am unwavering in my faith in my clients’ capacity for continued transformation, regardless of the tenacity of their resistance or hopelessness, regardless of how many berries rot and roll away on the long bumpy road to bountiful Being-ness.

I find that there is something downright infectious about my belief in my clients' inherent potential for empowered aliveness. Indeed, I envision the person I am relating to as already Beautifully Whole, just bent, burdened and scarred by insults and afflictions that were imposed upon them by unfortunate external traumatic circumstances long ago. My job is to help them grow shiny, strong flesh and feathers to replace the scabbed, raw, and blistered skins that currently cover and pain their souls.

I think understanding that my belief is undergirded by continuous and rigorous study, research and thoughtful reflection on each individual and therapeutic session helps to build trust in the people I see. My clients know my belief is hard won and that I continually question and explore the innumerable variables that go into effective helping, elaborating on those methods and ways of being with clients that seem conducive to positive change and discarding or reformulating those that seem to hit up against rock solid defenses and lassitude. I pay attention to my clients far beyond my learned theories and methods. Psychotherapy is a human experiment after all. It is organic, always subtly shifting. Thus my work requires my full engagement and wakefulness.

Lest you think I am succumbing to a type of glib, new age-y and naïve optimism, let me emphatically set the record straight. Being a depth psychotherapist is a formidable process that demands everything from my intellect, my psyche and my spirit. This is why my late night bedtime reading more often consists of titles like Containing Rage, Terror and Despair than the latest New York Times best seller.

My exacting and rigorous expectation of myself to keep elaborating upon my own knowledge base and furthering my self-growth also extends to my clients. I passionately and consistently encourage their commitment to and resolute responsibility for their own healing journey. We are a collaborative team, and I cannot effect change on my own without their full participation and enduring effort. They, like I, must be fiercely dedicated to their own salvation.

It is a tender-tough, firm-flexible, stable-changing, often paradoxical nest-cocoon from which hope and meaning is awakened. Just when you think you have hit against the limits of your capacity for transformation, you catch the sparkle in my eyes. You sigh, hesitate, then stretch a bit further, one, then two, half-folded wings… knowing with both trepidation and tempered excitement that there is more of you still waiting to be born. I nod. I bow. I welcome all you are in this moment. And all you are becoming...

Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC, Holistic Depth Psychotherapist

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

Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut