Welcome to Ellen Oler's Therapy Page
Going for my masters in social work in 1979 was a logical step in becoming credentialed to be who I already was; my friends used to call me their "therapist" saying they found me easy to talk to, a good listener, and often able to provide valuable perspectives on issues they were facing. I love being a therapist as it allows me to do day in and day out what I love more than anything - connect deeply and genuinely with people. My therapeutic style is consistent with who I am as a person - relaxed, non-judgmental, supportive and personally open.
My theoretical orientation has evolved over my 25+ years in practice. It is based on the combined influences of Imago Therapy, Relational-Cultural Therapy, family therapy, 12-Step Recovery and Gestalt Therapy.
I invite potential clients to begin the process by approaching the first session as a consultation in which we can discuss the issues that are bringing you to therapy and you can get a sense of how I would address those with you. You may ask me any questions you have and we will have a chance to experience each other. Isn't that essentially the first step in any relationship? And for help thinking about whether I might be the right therapist for you, please see Choose the Right Therapist.
I specialize in working with couples who are at any stage of a committed relationship. I studied Imago Relationship Therapy with Harville Hendrix from 1989-91 and am a certified Imago Therapist and Workshop Presenter.. For those who are unfamiliar with this approach, let me briefly say what it is. In Imago Therapy, the couple's relationship provides the context for healing and growth. Couples learn to understand and be understood by each other, even as differences in opinion and approaches to life's challenges may persist. Partners maintain and deepen their connection even as they work through the issues that bring them to therapy.
In addition, my couples therapy has been influenced and informed by the work of John Gottman, Daniel Wile, Terry Real and Jeffrey Young, and I have received training in their approaches over the years. Each couple is unique, and I am experienced at devising a course of treatment which incorporates a blend of these approaches that fits each couple.
My role is that of teacher, facilitator and coach. The ultimate goal of therapy is for the couple to internalize their growth and learn tools to help them continue to grow as individuals and as a couple.
I am firmly grounded in my spiritual life and ongoing journey, which draws from many traditions, and I strongly support a client's own spiritual path. Some come to therapy with a clearly defined spiritual tradition, some come searching, some have never considered the spiritual dimension in their lives and are not interested. I do not believe there is any right way. And I do not seek to influence anyone in a particular direction, though I do offer a safe space in which a client may feel comfortable talking about this aspect of their lives if they wish.
©2003-2008 Ellen Oler. No reproduction, retransmission or web distibution without prior written permission.