ABOUT DR. PAUL SMERZ
Hello, my name is Dr. Paul Smerz. I am a clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst with more than 30 years of clinical experience. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, and while I have lived in other places for my education, training, and work, I ultimately returned to Milwaukee to raise my children in the area of my psychological home and extended family.
For many years, I studied and followed the developments within the field of mainstream psychology, trying to bring current research to serve the people that I worked with. Staying abreast of new developments in the field was, and continues to be, important in the evolution of my work. However, as I grew older and more experienced, I came to realize that something was missing. While my clients were feeling and functioning better from our work together, I believed that true change should address deeper issues in their lives that might lead to a more transformative change.
Following much personal work and further training at the C.G. Jung Institute in Chicago, I found the insight, inspiration, and depth that enabled me to understand how individuals change, and the resources that each of us has within us to draw upon when we challenge ourselves to grow. Although my skills are broad and not limited to one approach, I found that Jung’s view of the uniqueness of each person inspired me much more than the clinical psychology of our time, which is often pathology-oriented, solution-focused, and insurance-managed. I also found that our own ongoing development does not come merely from our individual inner work, but can be best served by being in a trusting and committed relationship. There are very strong transformative elements that come through in a committed relationship, if we pay attention and do our work. I believe that my work with couples is rich with potential for transformative growth for each person within the relationship.
One final thought…as a therapist, I always enjoy seeing clients become energized and inspired, especially when relationship issues are involved. While I continue to work with individuals, I believe that human beings are made to get most of our fulfillment and sense of meaning from how well we relate to others. Coupling is archetypal. We seek out partnership. We have no choice. I believe that committed relationships provide the ideal container for our own individual development.
I also participate actively in the Chicago Jungian community, teaching in all three of the Jung Institute’s program – the Analyst Training Program, the Jungian Psychotherapy/Studies Program, and the Public Program. I enjoy serving on many of the Institute’s committees, and currently serve on the Board of Directors and Analyst Training Program Committee.