The Heart of Darkness

The foundational point upon which my practice is founded upon, is that life is suffering.

This is a basic buddhist idea, one that states that being born guarantees suffering. It starts with the pain of being shoved through a much too small hole, and continues to saying good bye to everything and everyone you loved – when they die, and when it’s your turn.

Buddhism, for some reason, stops short of saying that we shouldn’t have children. I don’t stop there, I’m an anti-natalist (I had two kids before I had the choice or awareness to concretize this view).

My modality borrows from the Existential psychology movement, which focuses on key life things related to death, suffering, and meaning, but also makes operating assumptions that there’s a lot of pain in those themes and in daily life – and emphasizes a focus on that pain.

This point, about life being full of pain, and of willing to acknowledge this head-on, is what sets my approach apart from many other therapists and healers.

So much of the content you encounter online and in self-help books, aims to sugarcoat life. Some terms used to describe this include “spiritual bypassing” and “toxic positivity”. It’s the attitude of “life is great, let me share it with you”, and “every day is a gift”.

Bullshit.

I make no such claims.

Life sucks, a lot of the time, and I see a value in calling out the bullshit, internal and societal.

Yes, my goal is to be as happy and fulfilled as I can be, and to help others achieve that. But to me, this requires going against our natural instincts for comfort and our attaching, as the Buddhist calls it, to craving and aversion.

Much of Vipassana meditation, which has transformed my life and which I strive to teach all my clients, instructs you to ‘focus on life as it is, not as you want it to be’.

I believe this is the starting point of all personal growth. Being able to experience the discomfort of yourself as imperfect, the wounds from your past, and the brokenness of humans who have brains that are far too big for their own good.

Much like going to the gym, where you increase your stamina and learn to power through pain, nay, eventually love the pain, I try to do the same on an emotional level. To increase the stamina of things you’re willing to explore, the amount of life’s weight that you can carry, and to expand your emotional pain tolerance so there’s room for more of you.

There are vast parts of our selves that we’ve cut off, that we refuse to experience, because it’s too painful to conceive of. The things we’ve done, the things others have done to us. We’d rather not think about it.

But, if we choose to think about it anyway, or, more accurately, if we choose to feel about it, we can reunite our fragmented selves.

This is Hishtalmoot, a continuous process of becoming whole again.

Start Your Healing Journey

Book a free consultation today to learn more about Hishtalmoot and see if it’s right for you and your situation.

Read More

Single Session Therapy: The Case for Brief, Intermittent Sessions

Single Session Therapy: The Case for Brief, Intermittent Sessions

I have long known that my therapeutic approach with Hishtalmoot has been rather unconventional. I typically let clients book with me when they want, by giving them a link to my scheduling calendar. There is no assumption as to how frequently they will return to see...

Preventative Psychology

Preventative Psychology

For much of its history, psychology has focused on solving emotional problems. It started with Freud, and his hilariously cynical goal to convert his clients “from hysterical misery to common unhappiness”. Even more optimistically minded people like the jovial Carl...

The Case for Decentralized Psychology – DePsy

The Case for Decentralized Psychology – DePsy

One of my many interests in life is the world of finance. While many people’s eyes gloss over as soon the talk of money comes up, I love personal finance, economics, and understanding the complex and creative ways in which money makes the world go around.  One of the...