Philosophy

Central to me is an individual’s authority over his or her own life tempered with compassion for others and the recognition that there are many different ways of living an authentic life. Therapy is about making a deep connection with another human being on a path of exploration and understanding about how best to live that life.

For me, this philosophy developed as an outgrowth and mix of temperament, background, education and lifelong travel. Extraverted, curious about people, and living overseas as a child, I developed an ease with other languages and cultures, along with a respect and comfort with diversity and transcending categories.

I began these explorations as an infant. We moved to the UK when I was six months old and I was one of the youngest transatlantic passengers in the early days of international airplane travel. I lived in Brazil during adolescence. After university, I became a flight attendant, course developer and trainer in communication and intercultural communication for an international airline, combining service, travel, grad school and eventually a psychotherapy internship in the San Francisco Mission District. I also worked in healthcare, trekking to remote mountain villages in Nepal. Hence, from a young age, I was exposed to a wide range of humanity and found universal connections to the world and its people. I also learned how to negotiate comfortably in other people’s spaces and cultures.

I developed a love for listening to people’s stories, narratives of their lives, their adaptations, responses and in many cases, resilience, in sometimes very difficult situations. I began to appreciate certain universals among people, the capacity for love, empathy, wisdom and the importance of developing an internal compass to negotiate the inner and outer landscape of a life. Along the way, I learned there are many ways of seeing the same thing, and that no individual, group or culture has the last word on how best to live a life, especially someone else’s.

Along with that interest in people, I also developed a fascination with synthesizing and building theory as well as applying integrated and new theory to practice. This interest has actually served me in various milieus, whether adapting counseling theory to course development for international flight attendant training, applying contemporary male gender identity development theory to statement of philosophy and strategic planning for boy single-sex education, or adapting assumptions underlying psychodynamic theory to fit transgender people’s lived experience.

Most importantly, however, is the benefit of the love and wise counsel I’ve received from others along the way. I’ve had many good teachers, both formal and informal and I continue to have an excellent and varied education. I spent 12 invaluable years in Jungian analysis with a kind and brilliant man. I am especially indebted to the wisdom, insight and encouragement of author, activist and analyst Jean Shinoda Bolen M.D., who has been my mentor and consultant for the past 20 years.

These experiences and values are, of course, brought to the therapy relationship and my primary interest remains doing therapy. I have an extraverted attitude, apparently unusual for a Jungian, and the best fit, I’ve found, in my practice, is with people interested in long-term depth work who are engaged in finding meaning in their lives.

Most likely due to my background, I am not particularly focused on pathology and instead strive to understand. I am deeply interested in the narrative and the connections in a story, both conscious and unconscious, and the overall arc that makes sense of and provides an anchoring point for a life. I am comfortable with mystery and and can easily sit with the sometimes-long vicissitudes and repetitions of the psyche.

I like working with people’s strengths. I am in awe of the courage, love and commitment I witness everyday. I am daily blessed by the remarkable people in my practice.

Winnicott’s comment, which rang true to me when I first read it, captures the flavor of the process as I experience it. Winnicott writes “Psychotherapy is not making clever and apt interpretations; by and large it is a long-term giving back what the patient brings. It is a complex derivative of the face that reflects what is there to be seen. Even when our patients do not get cured, they are grateful to us for seeing them as they are, and this gives us satisfaction of a deep kind.”(from Playing and Reality, p.158).




Dr. Lin Fraser
204 Clement Street @ 3rd (starting 9/18/17)
San Francisco, CA 94118

415-922-9240
linfraser@gmail.com
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© 2017 Dr Lin Fraser