Who is Emergent Inquiry for?
I work with people from all kinds of backgrounds and with a variety of interests and aims. No particular kind of experience is required. Perhaps the only prerequisite for working together effectively is an openness to being in the process of exploring oneself and one’s place in the world. This work is particularly useful for people who are interested in any one or more of the following areas:
Healing, growth, and self-knowledge
Deepening your understanding of your authentic path and your purpose
Opening to the core of who you are
Processing emotional challenges or pain in a powerful and transformative way and learning to work with this material more effectively
Freeing yourself from patterns that hold you back or cause pain, distress, or disruption
Responding with clarity to challenges, stress, and life decisions
Learning to welcome a potent meditative space without struggle or resistance
Self-inquiry, meditation, and deepening your experience of your inherent freedom and wholeness
Integrating the deepest parts of your inner life with your work and impact in the world
Additionally, two special populations I work with are those encountering Air Hunger and young adults (aged 18 and older) navigating the challenging terrain of discovering their authentic place in the world
Ultimately, this work acquaints people more deeply with their freedom, wholeness, and the depths of who they are, supporting them in cultivating the skills of living in authentic alignment with the core of who they are. It is this foundation that is the basis of the healing, transformation, and growth that unfolds in the work.
Is this psychotherapy?
Emergent Inquiry is not psychotherapy, and I do not practice as a psychotherapist. While I have training in psychotherapy and counseling and I was once on a clinical psychology track, I made a conscious decision several years ago not to pursue licensure as a psychotherapist, counselor, or clinical psychologist. I made this decision in light of the differences between how I saw myself being most effective in working with people and the typical orientation associated with psychotherapy.
I believe that an excellent psychotherapist can be an incredibly valuable asset to people who are looking for therapy, but it’s different from what I do. One simple way to say it is that psychotherapy's orientation is primarily therapeutic, while my orientation is primarily developmental. At the same time, it should be noted that working on a developmental level—such as in Emergent Inquiry—also necessarily includes a component of healing, because often it is the places within us asking for healing that are the primary impediments to our latent flourishing and growth. Furthermore, working on a developmental level is usually in and of itself a very healing experience, since furthering one’s depth, awareness, and capacities can often have a profoundly beneficial impact on one’s well-being and one’s ability to naturally heal and integrate unresolved material.
I’ve done a lot of talk therapy before. I’m still in therapy, and I find it helpful. Would EI be useful for me?
I work with people who are also seeing a therapist, and EI can be a powerful complement to this. In this context, the emphasis in EI is on developing capacities and skills that enable deeper contact with your inner life and your ability to live in a transformative relationship with your depths. This direct approach can be very beneficial as a complement to therapy.
I’ve never been interested in or enjoyed talk therapy. Could EI be useful for me?
EI can potentially be very useful in this situation, since it moves directly to the underlying, felt material associated with what wants to shift or emerge in your inner and outer life.
Do I need any experience with meditation or that kind of thing first?
No experience is needed. I work with adults of all ages (18 and over) and all backgrounds.
Is it best to bring difficult situations in my life into my EI sessions, or can we work without any particular situations in mind?
Either way works well. We work with whatever is arising and most alive for you at this moment. Life challenges and situations are often part of the fuel for our ongoing opening and growth. In fact, working with the deeper dynamics of challenges is one of the most direct routes to transformation and opening. At the same time, working from a place of relative contentment also allows for its own opportunities for shifts and for being surprised by what wants to emerge. Either way, we’re working with what is most pertinent at the time and allowing this to be the fuel for awakening to our depths, while also building the capacity for our responses to life to arise from this more integrated and aligned place.
Where are you from?
I grew up in New Zealand. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 22 and lived there for several years. I later spent seven years in New York City before moving to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, where I’ve lived since 2015.
Have you seen Flight of the Conchords?
Aren’t those guys from New Zealand?
Aren’t New Zealanders called Kiwis?
Why are you named after a fruit?
Kiwi is actually the name of our national bird—a flightless, nocturnal bird.
Why are you named after a flightless bird?
New Zealand is full of flightless birds (well, it used to be, before many of them were killed by introduced predators—hard to escape when you can’t fly). I guess the kiwi is unique and quirky, just like us.
But are you from New Zealand or Australia? Aren’t they somehow the same thing?
No. They’re distinct countries separated by a sizeable sea.
Sorry. It’s probably really offensive that I just asked if you’re Australian, right?
Don’t worry. It happens all the time. I really don’t mind, and it’s completely understandable given the cultural similarities and geographical proximity of the two countries.
Wasn’t The Lord of the Rings filmed in New Zealand?
Is the country really that beautiful?
Did you know that you look a little like Elijah Wood?
So are you a hobbit?
Now we’re bordering on offensive. On the other hand, I think The Lord of the Rings is brilliant both as literature and cinema, so perhaps being likened to a hobbit is a high compliment.
Do you prefer people to avoid asking you these questions? Is that why you’ve included them on your FAQ page?
No! I’m totally happy to talk about any and all of this! Please feel free to chat. I just can’t help myself whenever I have an opportunity to play around and write something for my own amusement. Especially when I’m in the middle of writing new pages for my website.