What's in a Name?


The inspiration behind the name for “Focus Therapy” came from a couple of different sources; first being photography.

Photography has not only been my hobby, passion, second career and artistic outlet over the past several years, but it has sincerely been my therapy and my greatest teacher. I had an interest in film and photo when I was younger, but the hobby was a bit harder for a 16-year-old to pursue, seeing as digital cameras were not as commonplace, and developing film could get quite pricey. Ultimately, the interest sort of fizzled and I became more preoccupied with college and work.

Fast forward to 2010, I had recently turned 30, and everyone was suddenly walking around with a pretty decent digital camera in their pocket at all times. Oh, and I had just come up for breath after drowning in a sea of alcohol for the past decade or so (more about that at another time). At this very fragile place in my life, I was so overwhelmed with anxiety and uncertainty of the future, that I began finding it helpful to get out of my little studio apartment and take off on foot to explore downtown San Diego. Honestly, at the time, the sole purpose was to wear me out so I could actually sleep at night. But, eventually I began documenting my daily walks (like 8 miles a day sometimes) by taking pictures on my iPhone. After my walks I’d use various new apps (anyone remember Hipstamatic?) to edit or manipulate the photos, and before I knew it I was hooked.

A major milestone came when a friend suggested that I enter a contest for photos taken only on the iPhone. I submitted five or six pictures for a $20 fee (which at the time was an insane amount of money for me) and one of my photos was actually chosen to be displayed in an exhibit on “iPhoneography.” This was the first time, in a very long time, that I had felt some sort of mastery over anything in my life. This thing that had begun as more of a practice in mindfulness was starting to become something that made me feel alive and confident again.  Photography became the metaphorical carrot dangling in front of me that drove me to keep pushing forward.

The rest is sort of history after that. I saved up for a decent camera, which was a slow process that was slowed even more when I had to spend all of my savings on a new alternator, and began to attempt to cross the threshold from hobby to paying gig. One could venture to say that this was one of the major moments where my life seemed to be “coming into focus”.

The second source of inspiration for the name is sort of self-explanatory after that lead in. Looking at my own story, as well as the stories of the numerous people I have had the opportunity to share conversation with, I've realized that all of our lives get a little out of focus from time to time. I’m sure many people reading this have either felt this way at some point, or currently deeply resonate with this notion. I feel, as a therapist, my job is to collaboratively work with my clients to bring things back into clarity. 

And, there you have it. "Focus Therapy" is born. It's not a type of therapy, or a theory of any sorts. Just a fun play on words and a name I chose for my practice related to some meaningful aspects of my life. 

**Below are some pictures I've taken over the years. The first four are the actual images I entered in the contest (the first one being the picture that was chosen). The last four were taken within the last year or so. If any of this speaks to you, please feel free to comment. I'd love to hear from you. But, please keep in mind that this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes, and is not intended to treat, diagnose or be interpreted as a substitute for therapeutic services.**