Welcome, I’m Sherron Lewis, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a long-standing practice in individual, couples, and family therapy. I’ve also been a free-lance artist for over 35 years.
I’m Shelley Stokes, a licensed clinical psychologist, consultant, and university professor. My postdoctoral certification is in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with individuals, couples, and families.
Over the years in our clinical work we have come to see that our various states of being, comprised of many thoughts, beliefs, moods, feelings, memories, skills, and intentions, each bring a great deal of dimensionality to our lives and to our sense of who we are. We believe that authentic self-expression is one of the most fundamental needs and joys of being human. Having the courage to express oneself authentically and creatively through work, play, in personal relationships, and throughout many other aspects of our lives allows us to live with passion, inspiration, and a sense of agency.
© Lewis and Stokes (2019) Real-Self Expression
“Everything starts with a dream.” For the artist in me and the artist in you…whose childlike wonder lives on, in the recesses of our being: know that your inner child has a playful artistic imagination (contrary to what you may believe). This inner child feels abandoned and empty when we shamefully laugh, telling others things like: “I can’t even draw stick figures.” She or he shrinks in horror, each time we value the creations of others as being inherently better than his or hers, or when we brag excessively about his or her creative talents, taking away all of the playful fun. The inner child…
“It is a happy talent to know how to play” –Ralph Waldo Emerson Through imagination we can leave our routine everyday existence and fantasize about all the things that make life interesting. Our imagination provides opportunities to envision new possibilities. It enhances our capacity for deep self-expression and enriches the quality of our most intimate relationships. —from our upcoming book, Real Self Expression.
When we purposefully allow a time and place for artistic adventures, it may surprise and delight us to discover magic just beneath the surface of our everyday life: a world waiting to be uncovered and anticipating its rebirth into consciousness. We often fantasize about a world that would be more fun than the one we currently live in. Perhaps that is because we once lived there as children but were hypnotized into accepting a life that the ones who shaped us preferred. Because this dream may evoke anxiety and fear, in order to feel safe we return to the world we have learned to live in.