My Approach to Helping
As your therapist, I do so much more than simply ask "And how does that make you feel?" My unique approach integrates mindfulness practices and somatic awareness with traditional psychotherapy. These techniques can effectively help you gain relief from feelings of stress, depression, anger, irritability, and anxiety. People who have experienced traumatic events also benefit from working with me. My goal is to support your healing in ways that are transformative, and lasting. Surprising as it may be, my clients often describe their work with me as "fun."
Need help recovering from a relationship that was damaging to your emotional well-being?
Experience sensations of stress, such as muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, stomach upset, but the doctor says there is nothing physically wrong with you?
Yearn for connection with other people, but also find it exhausting?
React rather than respond to challenging interactions or events?
Get labeled "the problem" when you speak out about toxic family patterns?
Miss out on opportunities because you are too exhausted or preoccupied to take advantage of them?
Feel that despite your career success, something is missing?
Do you want to...
Be ready for fulfilling relationships and a better social life?
Remember what it feels like to relax?
Feel calm and strong enough to ask for what you need from others?
Feel better without relying on food, substances, medications, or excessive exercise?
Have a sense of purpose?
Enjoy life again, or for the first time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can help. Each person brings a unique life history, personality, and set of goals to therapy, and I strive to tailor each and every session to meet your needs. Therapy is an important investment, and I feel truly honored to be in a position to support you in making the changes that will lead to living your best possible life.
More Info About My Practice
I specialize in helping adults and children heal from trauma as well as grief and loss. According to Dr. Peter A. Levine, a pioneering researcher and practitioner of trauma healing, "Trauma is about loss of connection to ourselves, to our bodies, to our families, to others, and to the world around us." Trauma is not equal to the event, which can be as seemingly trivial as a minor traffic accident, or as clearly life-altering as experiencing a catastrophic natural disaster. Trauma resides in our nervous system and must be addressed at that level in order to be renegotiated. Our symptoms, such as depression, anger, and anxiety, are messages from our bodies, asking us to pay attention. Trauma is an everyday fact of life and yet provides an amazing opportunity for transformation.
Dr. Levine developed a naturalistic approach to healing trauma known as Somatic Experiencing(SE), which originated from his observation that wild animals, although routinely threatened, are rarely traumatized. Through his studies, Dr. Levine found that human beings possess the same innate capacity to heal as do animals. In our natural, untraumatized state, our nervous systems flow through rhythmic cycles of expansion and contraction. Somatic Experiencing can help restore these natural, healthful patterns, which can become disrupted through incomplete processing of traumatic activation. The successful reintegration of traumatic experiences allows us to function at an even higher level of awareness and engagement with the world and people around us. Please feel free to contact me to discuss how this approach can help you heal.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
The purpose of psychotherapy is to help people feel better, in particular, when it comes to their psychological well-being. My approach integrates gentle mind-body techniques associated with Somatic Experiencing, in order to help you heal as a whole person.
My Role as a Therapist
My role as a therapist is to assist you in rediscovering the innate wisdom and capacity for healing that we all possess as a human birthright. Too often, people are convinced that they must live with pain as a condition for existence, or that they must receive healing from an "expert". You are the expert in your own life and about your own body, and my job is to help you develop the awareness and tools to access that expertise to achieve your own goals.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
Although I prefer to focus on strengths during the healing process, in order to ensure that I am providing a high standard of care, I do a thorough assessment during our initial meetings. New client forms are available for download from my website, which can be brought to our initial meeting, or we can go over the information in person--whatever is most comfortable for you. This information includes medical, family, and personal history, and other information that might be relevant to a particular person.
I strive to get to know my clients as whole people. Beyond the problem saturated story, I want to know what people enjoy, areas in which they feel competent, and what sparks their creativity and passion. The more we explore these topics, the more I can help my clients do more of what makes them feel fulfilled.
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
As a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, a fundamental principle of my work is to avoid overwhelm. In your work with me, you will be gently supported to process the issues that have brought you to therapy in manageable amounts. In this way, your experiences in therapy are more likely to be integrated in a way that supports lasting change. As my teacher, Steve Hoskinson, would say, we will take the "scenic route to enlightenment".