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What is Restoration Therapy?

Restoration therapy is a counseling theory that is based on identifying the aspects of our identity that create problems for us in life.  Developed by Dr. Terry Hargrave, it starts with the fact that our two core emotional needs are love and safety.  Love is related to our identity—who I think I am and whether I am worthy of love.  Safety is about trustworthiness in relationships and whether or not our relationships are safe.


Whenever we are treated in a way that makes us feel violated in these two areas we develop what I call "core pains".  These are things I come to believe about myself due to the way I am treated that leave me in pain.  I might feel that I am unloved, unworthy, abandoned or insignificant.  I may feel that I am not safe in my relationships with others.  


These core pains cause us to look for ways of coping with the pain.  These take many forms but come in four groups.  I can blame others for my problems or I can shame myself.  I can attempt to control others or my situation, or I can turn that control inwards and try to keep myself safe by people-pleasing, performing or perfectionism.  If I feel like I can’t manage I might use escape in some form like checking out, going away or numbing out with substances or activities.


When you come to a session I will explain these concepts to you in more detail and give you tools to help you figure out what messages about yourself you are saying to yourself and what ways you are coping with this pain that is negatively affecting your life and relationships.


Then we will look at ways to move you to a more healthy perspective, one that will directly address the pain that you are feeling.  In this way we will eliminate the behavior that is causing you trouble.

Restoration Therapy can be useful in addressing a variety of issues from relationship issues, to anxiety and depression and substance abuse. It can also help children with emotional difficulties learn how to regulate their emotions.

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