My approach to counseling stems from my own trauma history and 25 years of recovery. My advanced clinical training guides my work so that I can offer clients the latest technologies in healing. I use evidence based treatments, such as Mindfulness and EMDR, which were experimental 25 years ago. Both are powerful tools for a survival kit. I'm also certified in an experimental therapy called Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT), which is now in the research validation phase. Not all clients want to try something that hasn't been thoroughly researched, and that's perfectly okay.
Brief, solution focused therapy, to resolve a specific symptom, is appropriate in some cases. A client who wants to achieve specific, measurable goals - such as improving parenting skills - will benefit from implementing an action plan. Our work will address the one specific need --done and done.
However, if you find life meaningless and you're accustomed to living disconnected from yourself, miserably, our work will not be so simple. Sometimes, it is a failing relationship that brings on a crisis, or a series of losses that will no longer allow us to stuff down what we've always been able to before. If this is where you are, I have been there. It really sucks. Twenty five years ago, I didn't understand what was happening to me, and I didn't know if I was going to come out of that dark place. YOU ARE GOING TO COME OUT OF THIS.
All of our experiences are designed to help us be aware of what we think and feel. To come back to life, you will learn how to stay out of your head, get into your body, access your feelings in a tolerable dose, and start living into the process of reclaiming your life.
In case the above sentence sounds like a foreign language, here is more:
Like the roots of a tree, our unmet needs from the past --any distressing events of abandonment, neglect, enmeshment or abuse -- shape our present day experiences and emotional responses. The intensity of our emotions or body sensations can become overwhelming and we hear ourselves saying, "I don't know what is going on." The person we thought we were apparently went on hiatus. We barely recognize the out-of-control anxious or depressed person we've become. Healing can be achieved by working through the feelings and distressing events which may lie outside of your awareness. Self esteem and confidence come from your spirit - not behavior modification. Good Therapy is the process that allows clients to connect with their spirit and start feeling fully alive. To help you move more rapidly through the process, I recommend using EMDR and ETT, in which I'm trained and experienced in using successfully.
Throughout your therapy, you and I will look at the different aspects of your personality, your values, your spiritual beliefs, self-care practices, coping tools, any negative self-referencing beliefs, and how you functioned within your family system.
We will create a treatment plan, encompassing your goals, which will govern the direction of your counseling process. Through a variety of techniques, focusing on the here and now, our work will prioritize your safety, increase your self-awareness and your ability to respond to life demands (responsibility), and deepen your connection to your essential self. Success is measured in degrees of peace and joy.
What does it mean to live with an open heart? When I'm connected to my heart, I prioritize being relational. I show up for myself and others as an adult. I can affirm, accept, and nurture myself. Because I know how to keep myself safe with healthy boundaries, I can choose to trust and be vulnerable with others. Freedom from requiring another person's approval creates greater space for me to be authentic. I can love others as myself and allow them to be themselves.
If you desire to live a life of Creativity, Purpose, and Love, YOU CAN. In truth, it is your birthright. Our spirit constantly seeks expression. When new clients first make the call and enter my office, they've grown tired of managing pain instead of living. We live cut off from our feelings and all of a sudden we have an experience that rips the tourniquet off! I had a mentor who once told me, "People come to therapy because their ass is on fire." Some of us run for a loooong time, trying to escape the flames. But trusting that the therapy process will take you through pain and into peace and joy is almost impossible when you've never experienced it. I used to be a client - unsure if I would ever be free. I wanted relief from the difficult, overwhelming emotions and "neediness" I couldn't seem to control. Martha Beck writes in 'Finding Your North Star', that our essential self seeks MORE- more freedom, more love, more purpose and meaning.
How do we know when we're separated from our essential, authentic selves? When we're locked into any number of fear driven responses. See if you find yourself in any of the following: