My Approach to Helping
I blend tenets of Eastern Wisdom with Western Psychology to form a mindfulness based, trauma responsive approach to helping my clients move towards inner peace and contentment in their lives.
I believe that the quality of our life experiences is affected by our minds...our thoughts... In other words, it's not the experience or situation (per Se) that causes us to feel what we feel; it's our perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs about the situation that leads to our feelings about it. Our beliefs are based on previous life experiences. Our present psychological difficulties are rooted in our past negative, even traumatic, experiences. As you can see, our beliefs, then, are learned. What is learned can be "unlearned"...changed...for the better or for the worse. Awareness is the first step towards positive change. Becoming aware (mindful) of our feelings, our bodily sensations, and our thoughts (including mental images and memories) and what current circumstances triggered the memories that formed the beliefs is vital to moving towards improved wellness..mental health. Oftentimes, this mindfulness based cognitive work is enough, but sometimes it becomes necessary to dig deeper into core issues to work towards adaptively processing dysfunctionally stored memories that gave rise to those current beliefs. Doing so can neutralize negative emotions associated with past events and shift negatively held beliefs towards the positive.
Mental health therapy isn't essential for positive changes to begin to occur, but it can be extraordinarily helpful. What occurs in the therapy hour is just the beginning...change continues between sessions with new insights frequently emerging as processing continues naturally. "Homework assignments" can help this process along as well as help to alleviate specific problematic symptoms that one may be experiencing. For example, dialectical behavior skills and affect regulation can be learned and used to directly deal with distressing symptoms of anxiety and depression. These skills can begin to be applied immediately for quick relief of some symptoms. Deeper resolve may take a bit longer, but should prove to be well worth the time and effort because, "You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe deserve your own love and affection", Siddhartha Gautama.