Terry Potente, LCSW
United Behavioral Health
Little did I realize as a kid that the idle time spent watching old movies and observing the characters in my extended family would be such good preparation for the practice of psychotherapy. Becoming comfortable with a wide range of human expression and behaviors, coping methods and styles was great training for being with people in all kinds of life situations. I guess I learned to breathe deeply at a young age and then could notice repetitive patterns. Natural curiosity led me to wonder about alternatives for those who were unhappy, stuck, controlled by others or by life circumstances, and to look for the secrets of those who were less weighted down and more alive to possibilities.
Now research on trauma and brain plasticity is documenting the interplay of experience, biology, behavior, and belief in mental and physical health. While research is guiding the evolution of the practice of psychotherapy, the evidence is clear that connectedness to caring others, a therapeutic relationship, is integral to healing and growth. That we have the capacity to grow and change until we die is a spiritual and scientific truth full of possibility for anyone, in any situation, at any life stage and is dependent on relationship. Yup, just as I thought. When someone has a good connection to a caring calm other, relief will be felt. Isolation and avoidance make almost everything worse.
In my practice of psychotherapy I’ve been fortunate to be able to become skilled in techniques of EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and mind-body-spirit awareness to deepen the therapeutic process. While the therapeutic relationship fit is primary, therapeutic techniques guide the process of healing and growth, finding alternatives and relief for individuals, couples, and families. To participate in the process of enabling change within and between people is a great privilege. It remains endlessly fascinating and wonderfully rewarding. And breathing deeply is a wonderful practice.
Terry Potente is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW 28045). She can be reached at (415) 379-4591 x4.