Inner Journeys: Supporting the Quest for Consciousness
Oct 31, 2012 11:09AM
● By Beth Davis
At Inner Journeys, in Shorewood, Nancy Hornby and Susan Wasserman provide psychotherapy and counseling services to individuals, couples and children ages 8 and above. The women join with clients to resolve hurts, clarify desires and needs and help them develop compassionate acceptance of themselves as unique, evolving and complex beings. With 50 years of experience between them, they have found that a nurturing, trusting and caring environment provides the fertile ground needed for healing through mental health counseling.
Hornby began her career as an artist, earning an undergraduate degree in art. In the 1960s, she was active in social movements and even chaired a consciousness-raising group. Her interest in psychodynamic theories that focus on the inner workings of the mind inspired her to go back to school and earn a master’s degree in social work. She then underwent a two-year internship at Family Service of Milwaukee, during which time she was a member of a child diagnostics team. Hornby has been a passionately practicing psychotherapist and counselor ever since, for more than 30 years.
Hornby’s background as an artist allows her to weave creative and imaginative approaches into a strong foundation of psychodynamic and Jungian therapy. She uses dream interpretation and active imagination and helps others enhance their insight and creativity to manifest their inherent potential.
“I am interested in therapy that starts where the client is,” Hornby explains. “I don’t try to impose my values, but simply follow the person. I was in therapy myself for many years. I liked it best when I was followed, because it became a dynamic process of interaction.” She adds that each process is as unique as the individual seeking support. However, her strong belief in and respect for individuals that come to her remains constant. “It takes a lot of courage to share your life with someone, and I feel honored to be that person.”
Wasserman’s passion and dedication is congruent with Hornby’s, which helps explain their enduring partnership. She has been in private practice as a psychotherapist and counselor for more than 20 years, seeing individuals and couples that seek help with myriad issues, including depression, stress management, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief and relationship conflict. With humor and a warm and interactive style, Wasserman easily connects deeply with her clients to facilitate their transformation to authenticity.
Wasserman’s interest in consciousness began at a young age. As a teenager, she was enthralled by astrology, which she still incorporates into her work with clients today when appropriate. Although she had already earned a degree in early childhood education, it was not until she encountered her own personal need for help that she fell in love with the therapeutic process—so much so that she returned to college to study psychology.
Today, Wasserman is dedicated to establishing a trusting therapeutic relationship with her clients. “My job, in part, is to be a mirror back to my clients,” she explains. “I help them see what they may not see and to feel accompanied and supported outside of the session.”
“This work is very gratifying, very sacred. As we work with people that share their life, their struggles and their joys, we also get to witness their transformation.”
Wasserman says she has seen the benefits of integrating energy psychology, meditation, dream interpretation and guided imagery into her work, but more than anything, she understands the need to be consistently present. “With some clients, I hardly say anything. They just want to be heard.”
Both women have trained with Dr. Brian Weiss in past-life regression therapy, although Hornby does the bulk of it. The therapy is based on the premise that we are eternal beings that carry forward the experiences and lessons learned from one human lifetime to another. Hornby says that for many, the therapy puts life itself in a new perspective.
After so many years, their passion for making a difference has not waned. In fact, Hornby says it has only grown stronger. “We get people to open up their life, their souls and their hearts. How could you not respond with understanding and love?”
Wasserman agrees. “I feel that it’s a part of my purpose. This work is very gratifying, very sacred. As we work with people that share their life, their struggles and their joys, we also get to witness their transformation. My heart and my sense of compassion have grown infinitely over the years.”