Linda Friend, MA, MFT
P.O. Box 1228
Healdsburg, CA 95448
My joy as a therapist of 32 years is in facilitating opening of the heart and
the subsequent unfolding into the deep recesses of one's true inner being, the human soul, with
all its loving and creative potential. Childhood neglect and or abuse, adult losses, addictions,
grief, and trauma, when understood with compassion, begin to open our hearts.
Love, joy, creativity, spontaneity, curiosity, and enthusiasm about life are often compromised
when one has not experienced sufficient openhearted acceptance, particularly in the formative
years of childhood. Our hearts and souls contract and we develop defense mechanisms which allow
us to function and to cope, but all too often, paradoxically, also keep at bay our deepest dreams
Therapy is a collaborative process, based on trust, built on a heartfelt positive regard
between client and therapist. With this bridge established, we can tenderly dismantle the no
longer appropriate life-disruptive defenses. Then we can replace those defenses with a more solid
sense of self, based on a deeper experience of trust and belonging. From this core relationship
of trust and regard one over time internalizes this self-acceptance and it becomes one's own
inner gyroscope of self-love.
This then can transform everything one's life touches. As we have internalized a positive
relationship with our self, our relationships with others are more heart based. The self-esteem
generated allows our creativity to come into bloom with our partner, children, family, and
friends. Also, our work is infused with new life and our true vocations are realized. Stymied
creativity is released, allowing us the fulfillment of our thwarted dreams.
Our psyche (our inner being) naturally knows where to go inside to heal when it feels enough
acceptance and safety to explore our interior life. This world must be felt and addressed to bring
liberation from being run by our past. Dreams become more accessible. I use art therapy and
journaling and dreams as tools to explore our inner landscapes.
Along the journey we build emotional muscle as we come to terms with our losses. This allows us to
reclaim lost parts of ourselves, which can then be integrated into a more whole experience of
being human. As we gain strength in our inner, feeling world, we process deeper and deeper
through our own darkness and light, which brings integration and wholeness, and unleashes joy,
love and fulfillment.