radical presence

1º 2 º 3 º 4º // Robert Irwin, 1997

“What Irwin manifestly wishes to do is to slow the viewer down, to prepare him, in effect, for an encounter. A certain measurable duration of time is necessary before one can even see what there is to be seen…the medium is not the message.  They explore a division…between the art-object and the art, between painting and the experience of art.  What stays in the museum is only the art-object, not valueless, but not the value of art.  The art is what has happened to the viewer.”

–Philip Leader, 1966, reflecting on the art of Robert Irwin

If you’ve spent much time looking for help then you already know, there is a no shortage of people willing to take your money and no limit to the methods, means, plans, devices, tools, tips, and tricks that they will assure you can bring the relief you’re looking for.  Counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other types of physicians, personal trainers, fitness enthusiasts, life hackers, chiropractors,  naturopaths, life coaches, wellness consultants, priests, pastors, psychics, ministers, mediums, and more — in a culture like ours, what’s the difference?  Not much.  All tend to approach things like this:

Problem (provided by you) impacted by Solution (provided by them) = Desired Outcome (provided by you working with them)

It’s all very linear, straightforward, and predictable.  And with very little exception, not at all related to reality.

In the Frank Baum classic, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and company eventually discover that the “Great and Powerful Oz” is in fact just an old man with a smoke machine and a projector.  Through tears, Dorothy exclaims, “You’re a very bad man!” to which Oz replies, “Oh no, my dear.  I’m a very good man!  I’m just a very bad wizard.”  The same is true about us and our efforts to help you – we are very good people, but we’ll generally make shitty wizards.  We have no magic wands.  We cannot see through walls or lies.  We have no ability produce 100% turnaround.  We cannot erase troubled pasts. We cannot eliminate the suffering that is endemic to being alive.  We cannot make you anyone but who you are.  We aren’t able to stop life from being life. 

But we can be with you. 

Radically, Authentically, and Honestly, including in moments where friends, family, and intimate partners might have trouble telling you the truth. 

  • We can help you make progress on a continuum of change.  Progress is measurable even before it is complete or when it looks different than what we expected — each step matters.
  • We can guide you to a real understanding yourself and your world.  Things are different once you become willing to look at the whole of your life (good, bad, ugly) — you’ll be able to form a coherent picture of your real, lived experience, and that makes real change finally possible.  
  • We can clarify the immense confusion that surrounds interpersonal work.  Clarity comes if you simply persist in being honest with yourself —  the rest is just about piecing together the puzzle based on your newfound vision.

More specifically, through the concept of Radical Presence, more than anything, we will emphasize the primacy of our relationship with you as the vehicle and driving force for making new discoveries in your life and pathways toward healing.  This is meant to strongly contrast the sea of pills and promises offered to you in both popular culture and the healing arts that claim to be “backed by science” — a claim which is more often than not simply a way to distract you the sterile and transactional nature of such approaches, or a way to keep trying to convince you that research and evidence-based practices that don’t prioritize relationship can make you whole.  Radical presence acknowledges the plan and simple truth that we are hurt and lose our way in relationships, and, we heal and find our way back in relationships as well.

Finally, it means that you’re going to meet us as we really are, no hiding, no cloaks of power and mastery and degrees and documents — just us, in a helping role, as our real, vulnerable, and true selves.  What we present on the outside will be congruent with what’s happening for us on the inside.  In that sense, Radical Presence is always invitational — you are invited to show up as your real, vulnerable, and true self too, and to tell us what’s going on for you not just across your history and your family of origin, but in real-time as well.

If anything could bring healing, wouldn’t that be it?


close. nearby.




San Diego, CA


(858) 227-7719