Jim Shere's
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Before we begin...

...I’d like you to know a little bit about myself, and the kind of work that I do.

Healing implies much more to me than the solving of certain problems that we may encounter in life. Ultimately, it must involve as well the discovery that life itself has, for each of us, an inherent value and meaning— a meaning that gives a clearer sense of our purpose for being here.

With this discovery, those problems that once had seemed overwhelming can be experienced instead in terms of human health and wholeness. When this is understood we become strong enough to contain, resolve, and outgrow those things that once had troubled us.

This is not meant to trivialize the problems of life— I know that wrestling with them is of great importance to our growth. I just don’t believe they are insurmountable.

In addition to therapeutic dialogue and deep personal inner work, I also pay close attention to the individual within the family system, because the home will always reflect and amplify the personal life that is lived there.

Themes that generally emerge can include such issues as self-esteem, career choices, relationships, violence and addictions, or the working through of different diffcult transitions in life such as youth, marriage, the bearing and raising of children, and the occasional encounter with legal or financial problems, serious illness, divorce or death.

The therapeutic hour provides an undisturbed focus and support that is needed to explore these issues at length. In sharing this very important time with you, I consider myself a companion to your healing process, a process that I recognize is born of your innate desire to know— and enjoy— yourself more fully.

The therapeutic relationship that we establish is a very special one, based upon mutual commitment and trust. The ethics of my profession require confidentiality, because the privacy of our work together is essential to its success. Only in the specific cases of legal exception (that is, subpoena of records, the contemplation of a crime, or child, spousal, or elder abuse) may I break our confidentiality.

Consistency is also important in the therapeutic process, with an initial agreement to a few regularly scheduled sessions generally recommended. You are expected to arrive on time for our appointments, or to telephone the day before if you must cancel a session. Otherwise the full fee will be charged— unless of course there has been an unavoidable emergency.

There is no charge for our first session together. This is a time for you to learn about me as well as for me to learn about you, in order that we can get a sense of one another and come to an understanding about the kind of work that we will be doing together.

My standard fee is $150 per fifty-minute hour, which begins ten minutes past the hour and ends on the hour. Although there is no sliding scale, the fee may be adjusted for those who donate services to their community. Payment is expected with each session; you may want to prepare a check in advance for the sake of convenience.

Many insurance companies cover psychotherapy; I would be happy to help you prepare a submission of claims for reimbursement of my services.

If you need to text me or speak to me in person I can be reached at (707) 935-3663. If I don’t answer a message can be left, and I’ll get back to you quickly.

Although my office is located in Glen Ellen at 13606 Arnold Drive, Suite #1, I do not receive mail there. All correspondence should go instead to PO Box 2108, Glen Ellen, CA 95442. I receive email at jshere@sonic.net.

How therapy will be concluded is important to understand from the very beginning. The initial decision to complete our work together may be either yours or mine; however, closure can be successful only if we have come to a mutual agreement that your purpose for therapy has been satisfied.

Usually this requires a final session in which a review of our work together may take place. We might arrange for an additional visit several weeks afterwards, to provide an opportunity for a more detached perspective and to see how your progress has continued.

The cabin that serves as my office was once part of a winery that was established more than a century ago, one of the first in the Valley of the Moon. The structure was built originally as a bin for collecting stems torn from the grapes as they were crushed. You will notice the steeply slanting ceiling that forms the floor of the upper story of the building, which was originally a bin with two hatches that open at the front to empty into wagons waiting below.

Like any historic building, this old stemhouse— now known locally as “The Tower”— brings a rich accumulation of meaning that asks in turn to be lived with deliberately, and conscientiously. Such houses are structures that provide a conscious relationship with nature, rather than appliances that would protect us from nature to make life “safe”.

As in any aspect of the examined life, we may make no assumptions. No lines are straight, no angles are truly square, and no surface is really level. The wood is old and uncertain, and the glass can be thin in places: please watch your step, and trust your weight against nothing.

I have chosen to bring my studies and my practice here, to the edge of a stream that runs year-round, to deepen my connection with nature and the life lived naturally. I welcome you into this special place as my companion, and trust that you can find what you are looking for as well in the time that we spend here together.

If in reading this anything is not clear to you, please feel free to discuss it further with me at any time— the purpose of our work together is, after all, to pursue clarity, and the peace that it can bring. Thank you for choosing to meet with me.