Not Measuring Up
 

I have spent my career working with people who feel like ‘outsiders’--people who have been treated by the culture like they are ‘alternative’, inadequate, abnormal, or psychologically unhealthy.

 

Everyone is welcome in my practice. My office is a space where people can feel safe to be exactly who they want to be without shame and make the choices they want without judgment. One of my missions is to provide an affirming therapeutic relationship where one’s sexual and gender identity is understood and their relationship choices are supported. My work is not based on judgments about experiences that are pathological but on your deepest desires and hopes.  It is important to me that therapy be a space where those tiny, quiet voices of desire and preference can be spoken and where they can find the space to sprout and grow.

Failures, Imposters and Broken Identities

 

Unlike some other therapies, our conversations will not be centered around all of the things you are doing wrong and how to help you fit into the norm. I believe that most people are highly aware of what they feel are their ‘failures’. Our culture and environments are constantly pointing out where we are too much--too emotional, too lazy, too fat, too worried, or have too much desire.  Or where we are not enough—that we don’t have enough desire, self-esteem, ego strength or ability to handle stress. Most of us have a constant voice in the back of our minds telling us we should be embarrassed by our inadequacies (we feel like if anyone knew who we really were they would be horrified!) and that we need to fix these shameful imperfections in order to be happy, healthy, and loved. I believe you should not leave therapy clearer about all the things you are doing wrong, you should leave feeling a sense of relief and like you have determined a direction and getting on with your life in the direction you want to go.

Identity

 

I believe all therapy is identity work. It is easy to see ourselves as a certain kind of person (“I am weak.”, “I am a bad person.”, “I was born with this disorder. It’s in my genes and I will always be this way.” “I am broken.”) But we do not have to be defined by our problems and I have seen people make incredible, dramatic life shifts in therapy. We are not powerless, no matter what we think or have been told. The future allows us the opportunity to be more than we have been. 

Ali Borden, LMFT: 310.845.5440