My Approach to Helping
At times you may need someone to listen and encourage you on your journey. My goal is for every client to feel seen, safe, and most importantly, heard, and understood. It takes courage, humility, and love to pick up the phone and decide to begin therapy. I believe making the choice to participate in therapy can be the first step to positive and lasting changes.
It is through this process of reflection that people can undergo transforming and fulfilling experiences. When facing challenging issues, I believe in working collaboratively with clients to identify healthy goals and a treatment plan, where everyone is heard, and their experience is valued in the process.
I like to say I am attachment-based and trauma-focused informed when assessing situations that are shared with me. I focus on a variety of concerns impacting the heart and life of those I see, including relational issues, marital counseling, parenting, stress management, anxiety, depression, and more.
We want to be heard but we also want to be less reactionary, explosive, or destructive in our relationships and lives, and these desires we have can feel irreconcilable and impossible to reach at times. It may seem counterintuitive to delve into these uncomfortable feelings knowing how we typically may respond. However, in doing so we get clearer on what we are really needing and become empowered in fulfilling that need in healthier and more constructive ways rather than destructive.
I believe wellness comes from the balance in all the areas of our lives: emotional, physical, social, mental, and spiritual. Often things come up that can tip the scales beyond what we can handle on our own. In counseling, we work together to help you find balance again, develop skills where needed, and work to move you into a healthier place.
As a former coach, consultant, and mentor to business leaders and entrepreneurs, my approach to counseling, at times, is very solution-focused and considers the obstacles, natural tendencies, and responses that may work against your overall wellness and balance in life. It may be simple, yet complex, life adjustments you are currently navigating, or it may be a “small” or “large” trauma you have yet to fully process that is holding you back from your full potential. You’re worth the investment to remove what’s keeping you off balance and missing what is possible for your future.
Couples and Marriage Therapy
Our relationships can be the source of our greatest joy and our greatest pain. When we feel connected and secure in our relationships, we can deal with whatever challenges life brings us. But when these connections are falling apart, we are miserable, no matter what success we are experiencing in life.
As humans, we are designed to need each other and to work through life together. When the person we need most is no longer responsive to us, we lose our sense of connection and become understandably upset. Couples often find themselves in distress as they try to connect but are unable to for a variety of reasons. One partner may get angry while the other shuts down, hoping to not make things worse. You may face challenges around money, family relationships, children, sex, health issues, stage of life issues, or some kind of betrayal.
Sex and intimacy are key parts of a healthy long-term relationship. Sometimes we don’t feel connected in that place, we don’t find the pleasure, fun, and desire we had hoped would be a part of this relationship. There may be a trauma or betrayal that makes this space particularly tender and difficult to talk about. Whether we struggle with physical challenges, anxiety, or cultural messages around sex, therapy provides a safe environment to work through these difficulties and can provide current information and resources to light a path toward healing.
I create an environment where these conversations can take place, where a path can be discovered, and healing can begin. A place where perspectives and felt experiences are shared, and where an alternate story and outcome can be written together, one that leads to a deeper connection.
Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) is designed to create healing experiences at a very basic level, creating a sense of safety from which trust and connection can develop. Through this process we work together to find those underlying emotions and needs that connect partners, enabling them to work together again and address those critical areas they want to improve.
I have completed several advanced training in both Gottman Couples Therapy and emotionally focused therapy (EFT), and I am working toward becoming a certified EFT therapist. Some clients have stated they feel a greater sense of connection, love, and resilience in their relationship after receiving EFT and Gottman therapy and learning how to better communicate their felt needs and repair the relationship after conflict and disconnection has occurred.
Trauma and Mindfulness (EMDR)
I also work with individuals dealing with trauma issues or struggling with depression and anxiety. I use a variety of techniques including mindfulness and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is an incredible tool used to help you reorganize the way your brain stores distressing memories. EMDR therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including posttraumatic stress (PTSD), obsessive compulsion (OCD), anxiety, depression, panic issues, chronic pain, addictions, sexual assault, violence and abuse, neglect, and other distressing life experiences.
EMDR is different from other therapies because it does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.
Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, they may not be processed without help.
Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.
I like to help people recognize the full life-limiting impact their trauma has had on them and then help them find the courage to slowly work through the traumatic memories in a “SAFE” way. This allows for reprocessing of the stored experience to be “rewritten”, leaving the person empowered with a new narrative that brings peace, joy, and some control over what happens next in life.
I have completed several trainings in treating trauma and I am working toward becoming a Certified EMDR Therapist through EMDRIA. Many clients tell me that they feel a greater sense of peace, hope, and resilience in their lives after receiving EMDR therapy.