“The turmoil you feel is, of course, a good sign. It means that some old patterns are dying (or about to die) and are fighting to stay alive, perhaps. And that new ones are being born. Whatever has happened to open you up, to deepen you, to expand you, will call you to a new destiny, which the old patterns will fight. However you resolve this struggle, I will be with you.”
(James Elliott, letter to Kathryn, 1989)
We’d like you to meet Dr. James Elliott, the creator of Anthetic Therapy and Founder of Anthetic Therapy Center. If you spent time with Jim, whether personally or professionally, you came to experience not only a wonderfully genial and loving man, but also the most deeply empathic man we have ever met. As he worked with groups, individuals, and couples over the 45 years of his career as a therapist, that empathy paired with his innate genius led him to see what was needed to relieve mental suffering. He saw that inside each of us is a negative influence that is responsible for 99% of our psychological problems. That influence is the Inner Critic. He developed strategies for recognizing its voice and for disarming its power. He published these ideas in his book, Disarming Your Inner Critic. He established Anthetics Institute first in Berkeley, California, then in 1989, in Lafayette, Louisiana. He presented these ideas at dozens of conferences in the United States and England, including the American Psychological Association and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. He also published his work in professional journals, including Journal of Mental Health Counseling and Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. He appeared on NPR and on KLFY TV-10.
He left us with the tools that fulfill the promise he made in Disarming Your Inner Critic:
“The more you are able to do this work, the more the inner process of your life will be free to unfold naturally, the way it was meant to. Good things will start happening in your life:
Jim had a passion for deep emotional connection. He taught couples the concepts and skills for handling very deep, intense feelings and for using their relationships for personal growth. He left manuscripts of these ideas, which we are in the process of publishing as both self-help books and professional books and articles.
We are committed to carrying on the one-of-a-kind work that Dr. Elliott created for setting people free and for empowering them in their personal and relationship lives. As each of us works with you who come to us for counseling, you will come to know Dr. James Elliott too.
Here is his message to you: “Yours is a natural struggle of a person in an exciting and painful growth process, and I cheer you on. There is something I can give you, something that will indeed strengthen you. It is the ideas, concepts, principles, and skills that I have learned in my work. They are designed expressly to give people strength and structure to handle very deep, very intense feelings. I want to give you these, if you wish. Come as you are; prepare to leave different.”