Barry Johnston-Spooner, M.Ed., Registered Psychotherapist

Barry Johnston-Spooner View Specialties

  • Registered Psychotherapist
  • 40 Windsor Avenue in Wortley Village, London, Ontario, L6C 1Z7
  • Additional Locations:
      See additional office location: Richmond Hill, L4C 3P3
      29 Centre Street West
      Richmond Hill, L4C 3P3
      416 895 9414
  • Phone: 519 686 6822
  • Send A Message To Barry.
  • Session Fees: $80.00 per hour
  • www.FreedomExperienceTherapy.ca

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Things do not change; we change” - Henry David Thoreau

Hello and Welcome to this page...

My guess is that - among other possibilities - you may be reading here because you are challenged, that is: - Stressed - Lonely - Hurt - Hopeful - Anxious - Abused - Automated - Depressed - Confused or Sad. Perhaps you feel baffled by some relationship, say with a friend, parent, lover, boss, partner or child - likely someone you love, fear, dislike or hate (perhaps all of those) or else someone you’ve lost.

I'm a Registered Psychotherapist with the Ontario governing College for Psychotherapists (CRPO) with a Master's degree in Counselling from McGill in 1976. If the artificiality of these words on a screen get in your way, please feel to call or email me. It’s free and there is no obligation at all: try out whatever query you’d like. After this many years of doing this, to me it’s clear that there are actually no foolish questions about any of this >:}

A therapist overall for 45 years, I can say I’ve both helped people through a full range of all these types of issues - as well as having had my own share of them. I wouldn’t be writing this (or have been doing this for all this time) if I didn’t see that better options can indeed happen for clients I see.

Of course the challenge you face could also be life in general, your job, our perplexing modern world or some other source of distress. Each of us is different. So even though there are patterns to all this, there’s still a unique aspect to your particular pain.

What is similar in all that however is Change - and Life is indeed about Change, yes? After studying this both in myself and in others for all these years, I’d say it comes in two types.

1) Dealing with It: learning to embrace change that’s beyond your control - and that you do not want.

2) Making it Flow: creating good change that you do want - but which seems very hard to make happen...

So what can psychotherapy do about this?

It provides a location for you to examine how this is working (or not!) for you, then help you decide what to do instead. To build on what Thoreau says about change - neither therapist nor therapy "change things", it is a case of you enacting Change - as a therapist helps you!
 
See my website FreedomExperienceTherapy.ca for more details, but here’s the blunt overview:
 
We don't recognize how fragmented and consequently non-mindful we are. We expect others and ourselves to Be Whole, but Expecting It does not create That.
 
Our parents, societies, customs, mainstream theories, institutions and so on have failed to fully acknowledge two pivotal realities that underlie that:
 
1) We are often not really paying 'full attention'... Like Distracted Drivers, we live Partly Distracted Lives.
 
2) As we're often not paying Full Attention, we don't notice how we have an Internal Dialogue - disagreeing voices. So each of us can be like a small group that's In Conflict as to "Who is In Charge" ? !

It means we fail to really Notice how we have various sides, aspects, moods, tendencies and so on to us. They can at times cooperate and we hope that to be Normal. But at other points their conflict is then your conflict. So everyone on the planet has something like a set of internal family dynamics going on within them! Sometimes movies and stories do a good job of illustrating this - but not always such a good job of showing what to do about it.

Name a problem you have and I believe you and I could put a type of character profile on ‘who’ you are when struggling with it. I'm not saying this is you being weird, it is just what way we can each behave at times but don't recognize how it is happening. You find yourself being say “The Critic” of your wife, child or husband for instance. Instead perhaps you are "as if in a life play" acting out the role and routine of Avoider, Defeatist, Placater, Alarmist, Bully or the one who’s being Bullied - and so on. Any of these are just parts of the Whole of us. The names are not a truth about who you are, they are ways of putting a handle on any of this. But with these terms you then have a means to consider what other options you may have.

For instance, say I "have a problem" - emotionally, psychologically, interpersonally or in managing myself in some form. Whatever the issue, I suggest that as it occurs, I am not yet being fully mindful, thoughtful or else I'm out of touch with my feelings. In consequence, the ‘whole of me’ is not as fully available. I'm missing helpful resources such as flexibility, intuition, humour and capacities to integrate my thoughts and feelings in the moment. I am not cross-checking if how I'm handling things will be the best way to proceed. We all do this *far* more than is generally realized...

As Albert Einstein said: “A problem is not solved at the same level that created it.”

You can see this in examples where we fight with ourselves such as:
- a nasty side of me that emerges as I speak to my dad (wife, husband, child etc.)
- that defeated part of me that appears when I’m alone or in social situations or when I have to present at work, etc.
- this playful - yet out of control and overly risk taking kid inside me
- the overly romantic, longing for a perfect partner part of of me that sacrifices self for other - at times desperately.
- the implusive times I drink (smoke, have sex, gamble, avoid responsibilities, etc.) far more than is healthy for me.
- and so on...

The meditative type perspective that can evolve here then becomes a thoughtful-yet-feeling-in-the-moment attitude to life that you can learn through therapy. Now a much spoken of cure-all, known in one word as Mindfulness - it is actually a perspective not yet fully understood by our society.

From my viewpoint on this, that word Mindfulness is not an answer by itself. More accurately, You are the one with the answer for you! What I want to offer you is more than a set formula. It’s a ‘unique to each person’ framework. I look to help you gain your specific form of noticing: what routines and patterns are catching you, how to let yourself move beyond them. This is at the heart of all the various therapy formats I have trained in: CBT, DBT, Gestalt, Psychodrama, Transactional Analysis, Short Term Solution Based Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Psychosynthesis, Client Centred and Ericksonian Psychotherapy.

Please call me at 416 895 9414 or email me through the email form above. I’ll be happy to hear what you think, what way you’re wondering whether I can help you.


Barry Johnston-Spooner Reaches

London ON