My Approach to Therapy is Integrative and Client Centered
I combine many different theories, orientations as well as my intuition when working with clients. Working at your own pace allows me to guide you in the natural direction that is being asked of you. I will help you recognize your strengths and resources that you can use to transform the obstacles and challenges that stand in your way of becoming your best self.
Clients describe my style as warm, compassionate, present and engaged. I also view myself as real and accessible, touched by both the painful and celebratory moments, yet sturdy and unintimidated by strong emotions or taboo subjects. While I am not a "blank screen," I hold the boundaries of therapy thoughtfully. Humor and imagination are often present in therapy sessions, as are all facets of humanness. All of you is welcome here…
Body, Mind, Spirit and Neuroscience
While I use an integrative approach to healing, the foundation of my work rests in the neuroscience of autonomic nervous system regulation. Regulation is the body’s way of being in a zone or “window” of feeling safe in the world, connected, passionate and at ease with the natural unfolding of life.
Our work together will be in discovering your ability to access and sustain your own unique “window” in which you can reconnect with safety, calmness and balance in your body, mind and spirit. Blending neuroscience with a holistic approach allows for many avenues of deep healing. Our nervous system is affected by many things including unconscious body memories, thoughts and beliefs (interpreted or misinterpreted by the mind) as well as conscious ways of bathing in the abundant beauty of life.
Knowing how to find and maintain the window in the nervous system that brings healing and the ability to enjoy life is empowering, gives you control and is life changing!
The body is always in the present moment and therefore is one of our greatest resources.
Somatic therapy is a holistic body based approach to healing that uses mindfulness and emphasizes the mindbody connection. Intellectualizing things is highly valued in our culture and as a result many among us live from the neck up. We think our bodies are for getting us from point A to point B with no conscious connection to it. Somatic psychotherapy helps bridge the gap between mind and body so that we can live our lives from a whole self perspective.
The mind and body are one. Unconscious memories get encoded in the body through behavioral impulses, affective experiences and sensations which come together as mental models. This is how our negative core beliefs get embodied and continue to run our lives. Somatic body psychology helps clients deepen into the internal landscape of their bodies to gain awareness of this process and to consciously create new embodied experiences.
A good part of my education and training is helping people with trauma learn how to regulate the mindbody. By using the latest research in neuroscience in regard to the autonomic nervous system I help clients access and come back into their “window” to be able to regulate and tolerate intense emotions which eventually pass. The “window” is where healing from trauma takes place. Recognizing sensations in the body and responding to them in a positive and adaptive way allows space to choose healthy responses instead of impulsive reactivity.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment using the senses without judgment. There is a difference between taking a walk and being “aware” that we are taking a walk. The cultivation of this “awareness” is what makes mindfulness so powerful. Mindfulness is a skill that can be developed through practice. When we are aware and conscious about making choices we have the utmost freedom and a powerful tool toward self agency.
When combined with somatics mindfulness allows us to develop the ability to listen to the important messages from our bodies. When we can slow down and listen to what is needed in the moment we gain invaluable insight toward self care. When we give ourselves the self care we need we can truly be present in our lives. When nourished and connected to ourselves we now have the energy and presence to be there for others or to achieve our desired goals.
Mindfulness can also help us manage and regulate our emotions by helping us be less reactive. We can learn how to “let the train go by” instead of always having to react by jumping on. Mindfulness also teaches us how to be curious rather than judgmental, a much easier way to be in the world.