My Approach to Helping
Traditional psychotherapy works toward congruence in a persons thinking, emotions, actions, and life choices. Body-oriented therapy understands that the body is also profoundly affected by our life experiences. Identifying and releasing attitudes and old images held in our physical structure adds an important component to therapy. This promotes lasting change, allowing for free flow of life energy from within us so we can more fully realize our life, our joy.
More Info About My Practice
Licensed in Washington, Oregon & California, I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, the highest level of credentialing in my field. I have many years experience as a therapist working in a variety of private and public settings. I have taught clinical skills to students at the graduate level and am eligible to supervise students and therapists seeking licensure. After working as a therapist for over a decade I graduated from a four year training program in Core Energetics, Core Evolution and Core Soma in order to more deeply incorporate a body oriented/energetic approach to my work. Additionally I am incorporating the new understandings of neuro-biology to understand how to facilitate change. I use a wide variety of techniques uniquely tailored to your goals to promote emotional and physical health and well being. Along with a body-oriented approach, my skills include hypnosis, dream-work, cognitive, behavioral and psychodynamic therapies. I can include art & music, basic nutrition and herbal support, and whatever other interests you have to invite change into your life.
I am available for treatment of depression, anxiety, eating and many other disorders; I work with relationship issues, problem solving, self-exploration and personal growth. I work with children, teens, couples and adults in my practice in Seattle. I especially enjoy working with groups, teaching, and facilitating workshops.I have a variety of group programs including groups for Women in Transition; ongoing Process-oriented Therapy groups that combine movement and Therapy to open the body, mind, emotions and will. Group gives us the opportunity to explore connections with others that we all long for, and it provides a rare environment of authenticity and support that facilitates deep change.
My personal interests include my active dreaming community, yoga and sustainable living. I am a musician, artist, herbalist and active outdoorsman. All of these activities inform my practice. Come Find Your Joy!
NOTE: For therapists who want to specialize, the new Seattle School of Body-Psychotherapy is offering a training program for therapists and those who work with others. We incorporate the work of Wilhelm Reich and Core Energetics with contemporary therapies and indigenous practices. Students of SSBP gain a strong foundation from which to organize their body-oriented approach to clients. The result is as spiritual as it is psychological, opening the client's perception to the greater world around them as well as to their own unique offering which I call Referencing From the Self.
Theoretical Influences that Guide My Work
A therapist works with a personâ€™s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and body (via their symptoms and actions). These aspects of a person which I call levels of existence, (body, thinking, emotions, actions) function independently but they also work together. They are informed by one another and together they make up the whole person. They are formed by and affected by forces like genetics, culture, family history and personal experience; especially early life experiences that occur when we are vulnerable. They can be influenced and changed which gives therapy the potential to be fruitful. Body-Psychotherapy works on all of these levels in order have a strong chance for long-term benefits. I understand and take into consideration the developmental stage at which a person is impacted in order to discover how oneâ€™s experience leads to their present request for help. The same experience would affect a 2 year and a 15 year differently.
All of our experiences are recorded in the body as images. When an experience is not fully processed on all of the levels, blocks can occur and lead to distortions of perception in one of these areas, creating incongruence between the personâ€™s perception and what is really occurring in the present moment. Body-Psychotherapy is a fluid way of working between the levels to identify and release old images, attitudes and experiences that affect our current life choices and patterns.Body-Psychotherapy opens and energizes the system
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
I believe that therapy is co-created between the client and the practitioner. While a therapist needs to have a solid theoretical groundwork that guides how she understands what happens in the sessions, its function is to provide a map for the work. I use my knowledge in a way that provides a structure for understanding the therapy rather than dictates clientâ€™s experiences. I cannot assume to understand the experience of another. Therefore we need to stay in constant communication. The information helps clientâ€™s to see how they do whatever it is they do in their life, and gives me information to guide the session. Awareness of what we do internally, how we structure our energy, and how it affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, is a large part of what creates change. What comes up during the session define where we go next. The mental health system uses labels for identifying problems, and for reimbursement purposes, but it is essential to not let that lock the client and practitioner into a way of working that 1) gives the practitioner power over the client by assuming he knows more about the problem than the client; 2) limiting the exploration of the problem and the treatment process based on the label; 3) causes the client to identify with the label and the past experience rather than use it to facilitate change. We must be creative in the work and seek to find the deeper wisdom of the situation at hand.