My name is Ken Dvoren. Thank you for visiting my website. By exploring these pages, you will learn about my professional and personal beliefs and values, and how they inform my work as a therapist.
I have been a practicing psychotherapist, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California (License #8236) since 1976.
When I was younger I began to contemplate my place in the world and to consider the possibility of my own evolution. I realized it was possible to improve not only the circumstances and relationships in my life but more importantly, the way I experienced them. As I recognized the potential of my own growth, I became inspired to assist others in maximizing theirs. My personal and professional goals thus coincided, and the qualities I aspired to manifest in my personal relationships...openness, trust, empathy, acceptance, and authenticity...were the same ones I sought to establish with clients in my therapy practice.
The premise I hold for both myself and my clients is that we are not victims of our conditions or circumstances. We are not required to perpetuate the predispositions we were born with nor the childhood that molded us. Although we are influenced by our past, we have the power to determine our own future. We have free will, and are thus capable of learning from our history and choosing our destiny. This takes awareness, intention, commitment, and courage. My challenge as a therapist is to guide and support you along this awesome journey.
When I was a novice therapist, I armed myself with techniques and strategies to help people change. I was excited about the prospect of personal growth and I actively encouraged my clients to take charge of their lives. I assisted them to think more positively and constructively (cognitive component), to act more assertively and responsibly (behavioral), to become more aware of their feelings and permit them greater freedom of expression (emotional), to acknowledge a power and mystery greater than their limited selves (spiritual), and to have greater respect for themselves and ultimately experience enhanced self-esteem.
In recent years, I have balanced that quest for self-improvement with a recognition of the transformative power of accepting things exactly as they are. I have come to appreciate that there is something inherently meaningful and purposeful in what already is. If we are always in an improvement mode, then we miss the beauty right in front of us. If we treat this moment as only a stepping stone for the next one, we miss the magnificence of now. And in truth, now is the only time there is.
Paradoxically and unexpectedly, when we accept our situation and our response to it, there is a magical shift in our perception of our outer and inner worlds. When we feel our feelings fully instead of avoiding them, they are transmuted by our very willingness to meet and embrace them. When we experience our experience instead of trying to create a better one, it becomes the very experience we were seeking.
Self-acceptance does not finally arrive when we have manufactured the perfect self, but rather when we recognize the potency of accepting ourselves exactly as we are. How long must we wait, how much more must we endure, before we allow ourselves to love ourselves right now, just as we are? Our lovability isn't something we must prove, it is a reality we need only awaken to.
Before joining with another, we must reclaim our own lost self. If we look to another for completion, we will experience inevitable frustration and dissatisfaction. When we enter a relationship already whole, our gifts can be shared, and we will enjoy the dance and play.
When we are fully ourselves, we realize that the one who we are is the One that we are.
I wish you well on this adventure called life. If we should meet, it would be my privilege and pleasure to serve you and share it with you.
Below are excerpts from some of my articles. If you feel inspired to read more, click on the links in the light blue color.
"Blaming and shaming are ways to shift my pain to you so I don't feel it."
"We have shame about having needs in the first place, judging ourselves as 'needy.' We wear a mask of self-reliance, creating a disconnection from our self and the other."
Needs and Feelings
"If we do not feel equipped to deal with conflict, we may deny our own needs and accommodate instead of collaborate."
"When we take the daring step of temporarily putting our own needs aside, we become allies instead of adversaries, attacking the problem instead of each other."
"While the incentive to utilize mediation may be to maximize the potential for producing a favorable outcome, additional benefits include broadening one's perspectives, learning valuable communication skills, and strengthening, as opposed to destroying, relationships."
"By accepting and welcoming what is difficult you illuminate what is divine."
We Sit Together
"As a therapist, I guide and support you to meet your experience instead of hide from it. I can create a safe space for you to reconnect to your disowned aspects because I have made friends with my own."
"We have a dual nature, being both finite and infinite. From an unenlightened perspective they seem to be separate and discrete, but in truth they are seamless."
"Find love by giving it and being it, rather than seeking outside for it."
The passageway to One Self is through the journey to one's self.
You are responsible for everything, and nothing is your fault.
Only healthy egos can be transcended. Unhealthy ones are begging for attention.
When we begin to recognize the emptiness of pleasure,
we will start to investigate the pleasure of emptiness.
Tidbits, Humor, Paradox