How does one define a person?
How would you answer that question about yourself? One common way to describe ourselves is through labels, as seen in the photos above. But where do labels stop? Not only am I a husband, father, son, brother, etc., but I'm also a car owner, tax payer, wood worker, play therapist, homeowner, pig and chicken farmer, trauma survivor, reader, dad jokes expert (self proclaimed), and an endless list of other labels, all of which give a very incomplete picture of who I am.
One reason labels are inadequate is because what I think of when I hear father, uncle, skier, etc, is guaranteed to be different from what you think of when you hear these words. And we haven't even begun to talk about the deeper layers!
How do I sum up all the less tangible stuff, which is equally part of me but doesn't typically make it into a photo albumâ€”such as the way I respond to conflict, my work ethic, my sense of humor, or my value system? Or how about the moments I feel depressed, lonely, inadequate, or hopeless? How can I possibly describe those and a million other meaningful moments that are part of me?
The question of "who am I" is not easily answered
But I will say this: I'm sincere in my desire to share, connect, and grow together. I believe deeply in the process of healing and growth that I'll be sharing in this podcast and community forum. And most of all I 100% believe in the capacity within each of us to find our own solutions.
For nearly two decades I've been supporting individuals, couples, and families learning to know and accept themselves. In so doing, they have found greater peace, joy, and fulfillment in their lives and relationships. This work has been and continues to be guided by the core values of courage, curiosity, compassion, creativity, and connection. I hope we can continue in this vein as, together, we learn about the complicated and layered stories in our journey of growth together.
As sometimes it's helpful to get to know a person through the eyes of others who know them, here are some statements from current or former clients that may be helpful:
Finding a therapist was difficult for me, someone with serious trust and abandonment issues. I lucked out when my partner's therapist recommended Daman! It had never occurred to me that someone with deep experience treating traumatized children would be a great fit for a 50-year-old woman who had grown up in a dysfunctional family. For the six years Daman and I have worked together (both face-to-face and virtually), his expertise in therapeutic listening with an open heart has been the source of unwavering, empowering support. Daman is knowledgeable and trained to treat trauma, depression, and relationship issues (and constantly continues to educate himself about human beings from every conceivable angle). But his true talent lies in bringing that intellectual training together with an appreciation for the emotional realities in our lives. I've referred several people to him, knowing that his flexible and non-judgmental practice will feel welcoming and safe.
I started working with Daman at a time when I was struggling to care for myself, and feeling very depleted from caring for an adolescent child who was struggling with mental health issues. Daman helped me see that my own self care wasn't just a want, it was a need, and that if I was to be the kind of parent I knew I was called upon to be, that my own gas tank â€” my stores of patience, love and compassion â€” simply had to be full. I finally came to understand that being a good parent was the same thing as being a good human, and that I couldn't be either unless I insisted on making myself part of the equation. It was a wake up call, and my life, and the lives of those I love, are better for having finally figured it out.
I've been doing therapy for a really long time. I always felt like other people were the root of my problems and Daman helped me realize that a lot of my external struggles were internal. Through meditation and mindfulness, he helped me learn how to redirect my attention and energy and handle situations in a much more positive way. My only regret in my time in therapy is that I didn't run across Daman sooner! My life is so much better, my relationships are stronger, and I am so much happier.
My wife and I started working with Daman when we enrolled our 14-year-old daughter in a therapeutic boarding school. Our family system was broken and our relationship was suffering after years of increasingly difficult parenting. We had worked with another therapist previously, but it was not productive. We needed a professional to help us dig in and start to understand and address the old, counterproductive patterns that had taken hold in our relationship and in our parenting. It quickly became clear that Daman knew the work and would be able to get us where we needed to go. He is insightful, engaged, and focused. Daman has been able to keep us on track and making steady progress during what has been a very challenging time for us. Our sessions have been of uniformly very high quality, and have given us a much more solid foundation for our marriage and for our daughter. We have been very fortunate to work with Daman, and highly recommend his services to any individual or family in a similar situation.