Pile of green and purple Italian Artichokes at the farmers market

Therapy Services

  • What are therapy services?
  • Who comes to therapy?
  • What does therapy actually look like?
  • How does it take place?

Therapy services, generally referred to as therapy, come in various forms and formats, each one fostering inquiry around a different layer of the issue at hand and exploration from a different perspective. Problems, challenges, internal explorations- call them what you like- these issues, topics of therapy, are made up of layers, and each layer can be viewed and explored from various perspectives, each perspective giving rise to important insights. Like peeling the leaves from an artichoke, when we look at those challenging places we start on the outside and go down deeper and deeper until eventually we get to the heart. This is the most succulent part, the essence of what is happening; but in order to get there we need to go step by step, savoring and taking on one layer at a time, taking in what each subsequent layer has to offer.

Therapy services Santa Rosa


Depending on the format of therapy, different layers get addressed. Therapy is actually for everyone, and depending on where you are in your life, you may be drawn more towards one format or another. Individual therapy will focus mostly on the layer closest to you. One might call it an egocentric layer as it deals in particular with the self, the individual, what is happening within you and between you and every aspect of you. We look at and work deeply with your internal connection. This layer is crucial; and it is from this place that you operate with others in the world, so we also look at you in relation to others and the world, but the focus is on you fully. Here you will become aware of and learn ‘centered-in-selfness’, which differs from self-centeredness. With centered-in-selfness you find your authentic sense of self, and become fully grounded and centered, balanced within yourself. From this place of strength and equilibrium you will interact in healthy ways with yourself, with others, and within the world.

Couples therapy may be thought of as another layer. This work focuses mostly on the relationship between the two of you, and how each individual impacts the other and impacts the shared relationship. This type of therapy may be thought of as ethnocentric – meaning a focus on tribe or group; we look at the couple like your immediate tribe; this is your primary ‘group’, the one that is closest to you. Someone who is ethnocentric might look at or assess other cultures or other people by the values and standards of their own culture or by their own values and ways of being. This is a natural AND necessary response- we look at things from the perspective of what we already know- AND it can limit us or get us into trouble sometimes. This point of view can prevent us from fully seeing, hearing, and understanding our partner.  In couples therapy, we work together to understand this dynamic and learn how to fully understand the other without judgement and without imposing our own filter. This is the place to start. Once you can see and hear the other as they truly are, effective, authentic communication can begin. From here, broader insights emerge, and a fuller, deeper, closer, and more connected relationship is fostered.

Worldcentric* means that one has interaction, care, and concern for all peoples. It is a more global focus, an awareness of others and of oneself within the context of the larger group of human beings. Group therapy helps you work with yourself and your own issues and challenges as they arise and play out within the context of the world. The focus of group therapy is to explore your participation and functioning in the larger group of the world- simulated by the therapy group. It represents another layer of personal exploration and a layer that is critical to our ability to effectively function with balance, happiness, and ease in our lives. Group therapy provides a safe, supportive, and powerful framework for inquiry and from this context you will come away with the ability to form deeper and more meaningful connections with others based on increased perspectives of yourself.

As your therapist, I help to determine the best format for you at any given time, and guide you through the process of exploration and inquiry. Together we experience and explore the diverse layers you confront, and we move through your process at your own pace. You have already begun the process by reading through this website. To move further into your exploration, I encourage you to click on the next pages about individual therapy, couples therapy, and group therapy. When you are ready, please contact me here: Susan Lourme

*The term worldcentric was coined by Ken Wilber who is a writer, philosopher, and public speaker in the areas of philosophy, sociology, ecology, developmental psychology, spirituality, and mysticism. His work formulates what he calls Integral Theory.