I have a vision. As Co-Founder of Anthetic Therapy, I want every person who walks through our doors to then walk out knowing three things:
1. Your worth as a person is a given. Nothing you could do could take that away.
2. You do not deserve to suffer. Any emotional pain you experience is the result of an internal punisher called the Inner Critic.
3. You can have the relationship of your dreams. It takes skills, and I am here to pour them out to you.
I didn’t always have this vision. I’d been a counselor since 1978, when I received my master’s degree from University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana, Lafayette). During the first eight years of working as a counselor with individuals with emotional and substance abuse problems, I learned to listen to my clients, to empathize with them, and to love them. It was a great foundation for what I moved on to: that is, to train counselors, both as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Counselor Education at UL-Lafayette and as an LPC Board – approved supervisor.
However, my ability to help others was profoundly improved when I caught the vision from the founder of Anthetic Therapy, James Elliott, Ph.D. I met him in 1989, the first day of my Union Institute Ph.D. program. As soon as I saw him, I recognized qualities he had that I needed and wanted: strength, solid rationality, and a belief in himself. I wanted what he had so badly that after knowing him only five days, I made an outrageous request. I said, “I want you to inseminate me with your strength and with a belief in myself so that I may take it with me into my life.” He thought about it; said he could do it; and did symbolically inseminate me with the words that would begin my transformation.
Then we had to part to return to our homes 2,000 miles apart. But his teaching me proceeded in earnest as we began to write love letters to each other. In an early letter, he wrote, “There is something that I can give you which will indeed strengthen you. It is the concepts, principles, and skills I have developed in my work. They are designed expressly to give people strength and structure to handle very deep, very intense feelings.”
I spent the next 22 years mastering those concepts, principles, and skills. Yes, Dr. James Elliott continued as my mentor. And yes, he also became my husband. Through our work together as co-therapists and co-directors of Anthetic Therapy Center, I learned to teach individuals and couples those same concepts and skills. In 2000, we published Disarming Your Inner Critic, our book that lays out in detail these skills. Until Jim’s death in May 2011, we published our ideas in professional journals, presented at dozens of conferences, appeared on NPR, and on KLFY TV-10, and were featured in newspapers and magazines (Modern Bride, Good Housekeeping, Boston Herald, and Web MD). After Jim’s passing, I continued to bring to print even more of our ideas: The Kickass Guide to Happily Ever After; Hearts Entwined: The Love Letters of Therapist-Soulmates, Kathryn Elliott & James Elliott; and Creating Optimal Relationships: Use of the Voltage Concept with Couples.
The two most important things I received from Jim and that he brought to the world – and these are things you can’t get anywhere else – are:
Inner freedom: Freedom from the Inner Critic, that tormentor inside us that sabotages our lives. It is implicated in almost all the reasons people seek counseling, whether for anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem issues, lack of assertiveness, procrastination, or relationship problems. Dr. James Elliott devoted his life to developing skills to set people free.
Depth connection in our relationships: We have so often been indoctrinated to believe that love has to fade; that the best way to keep peace in our relationships is to distance from each other. Not so. Jim and I lived a depth relationship for 22 years and taught our clients how to do the same. With these skills, life and love can be soul-fulfilling.
Yes, I have a vision. It is to equip you, just as I have been equipped, to liberate strength, self-empowerment and love to meet the challenges of your life.
In the past several years, I have moved into a new phase of my life; no longer seeing clients. My journey is one of reflection and gathering; writing the stories of Jim’s and my life. Now, I have passed the torch to a new generation of therapists, grounded and trained in the same values and skills that Jim and I have shared. It is my great pleasure to recommend them to you as they lovingly help you grow and blossom.