My Approach to Helping
I love having the opportunity to share with people that the therapy experience is exciting, exhilarating, enlightening, and fun. That being said, it also sometimes involves attending to old wounds and unpleasant feelings and experiences, but the result is greater self-awareness, self-appreciation, and improvements in relationships with other people, one’s self, and the world at large. It expands us, makes us bigger; it makes us better able to cope with all the vagaries of life as they arise. It allows us the personal power and confidence to trust ourselves to be competent to handle positive and negative situations with grace and calmness. It is a personal growth experience and I believe it is something everyone should experience.
I took an interesting path to the mental health field; I started my professional career as a physical therapist, doing extensive post-graduate work in manual orthopedics. I found that myofascial release work, cranio-sacral therapy, and acupressure work released old emotional residue in my clients who frequently spontaneously began sharing fears, experiences, self-doubts, and traumas while receiving hands-on bodywork. The mind-body-spirit connection was being vividly exhibited on my worktable on a daily basis. I found myself in the position of having to attend to mental and emotional wounds as well as physical. I was fascinated and returned to school to learn more directly about this mind-body connection so that I was able to address emotional issues as they arose. My career is now focused on the mental-emotional health issues of my clients, but I am always aware that what happens on one level, affects us on all levels. I look for interconnections and do my best to address the entire individual, not just a single presenting issue.
Working with others on emotional and mental stumbling blocks or even simple problems of daily living or life transitions demands that the therapist learn to deal with their own. This process is frequently blocked by fear; fear that having a problem means there is something wrong with us. I have learned that there is nothing to fear in this process and that our “lack” is usually a simple lack of knowledge in how to deal with our own insecurities and emotions. It is not taught in school. We have mostly learned to hide our deeper concerns from others and from ourselves. Mental health is about learning to face issues mindfully as they arise, so they do not become hidden or buried within our minds, bodies or spirits. This allows our available energy to flow freely through our bodies, hearts, and souls allowing us to embrace life. This includes the joys, the heartaches, and the challenges. Life can become an adventure; joy and happiness frequently arise from successful negotiation of life’s challenges and we become stronger and healthier in the process.