In counseling, my mission is to equip you with emotional, mental, and physical wellness skills. I want to help you become resilient in response to the stress, trauma, and dis-ease you encounter in your life. I help you connect with your inherent worth, wisdom, and wholeness. My approach is trauma-informed and eclectic. I weave together multiple theories and approaches and emphasize mindful awareness of the present moment. I enjoy working with clients on stress, anxiety, trauma, burnout, depression, and lifestyle issues. Below you will find theories, perspectives, and tools I incorporate into my therapy work.
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Key Characteristics of My Approach
Internal Family Systems
Internal Family Systems is a major factor in my approach. It is based on the philosophy of multiplicity. Multiplicity is the idea that we all have sub-personalities which serve different roles in our system. Each part has a different personality, role, and relationship to the other parts in the system. IFS will be helpful for you if you feel torn, fragmented, disconnected, or at war with yourself. It brings you to a state of harmony, integration, and self-love. This work may include working with the inner child, the inner critic, and all the parts of you which make you unique. It is an experiential, imaginative, and somatic approach grounded in mindfulness. It’s also fun!
To quote John Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Mindfulness is more than seated meditation. It helps you learn to be with discomfort and opens you up to the beauty of life as it exists in reality. It also helps liberate you from patterns which are not serving you. In fact, “mindfulness” is what psychotherapists have been attempting to do with their clients since the very beginning. Mindfulness helps you more aware of the unconscious and work with it to improve your life. It is something I use within the therapy hour to bring important information into awareness. I may also recommend it outside of sessions in formal meditation practice and in daily life.
Grounding means becoming more attuned to the body and its sensations, emotions, thoughts, moods, and patterns. Learning to
Trauma/Tension Release Exercises
Tension Release Exercises (TRE) activates a natural shaking or tremoring response. It releases stress and tension from both the body and mind, signaling to your body that it can relax. Because of this, it helps you release present-moment and past stress and trauma. I began my training to become a TRE provider in June 2018, and am able to teach a limited number of one-on-one TRE sessions, free of cost, during my certification process. Read more about TRE here.
“Somatic” means “relating to the body.” The field of psychology has long addressed suffering by focusing on the brain. Recently, however, somatic approaches to psychology are becoming more popular as they yield results which were previously impossible, especially for PTSD. These approaches are suitable for all therapeutic maladies. Becoming more attuned with the body builds the ability to stay present and regulate yourself even during intense emotional experiences. This helps you feel more whole and safe. It even catalyzes insights which could not be gained through talk therapy alone.
It’s difficult to heal from your wounds if you are beating yourself up. This may be easy enough to conceptually understand, but can be a challenge to live, especially if you have a strong inner critic. Compassion is a muscle you can build. It honors the suffering, disappointment, and failure which is unavoidable in life and offers kindness instead of judgment. Healing happens best in the context of a compassionate relationship, both with your counselor and your self.
We are profoundly shaped by early childhood experiences. Depending on whether we were loved and had our needs met, we develop ways of being in the world. Abuse, trauma, neglect, and lack of love and attunement can create patterns which may have served you in
I believe all human beings are fundamentally good and whole. We adopt patterns throughout life to survive. ALL patterns are adaptive or were adaptive at some point, even if they are now causing you unnecessary suffering. Some of these patterns are helpful, yet others such as self-harm, panic, and substance abuse are not. I prefer to re-name presenting problems as “injuries” rather than “disorders.” I see them as symptoms and not the problem. To understand what role they are playing in your system, I honor and speak with these parts of you. I then work with these parts to help them relax so that you can claim your birthright as a healthy, vibrant individual.
I create and lead psychoeducational workshops on topics such as mindfulness, emotions, compassion, boundaries, and perspectives. This material is best learned experientially, so I place an emphasis on experiential exercises, written reflections, creative activities, body-based learning, and peer dialogue.
Want to Learn More?
Press the “contact me” button to shoot me a message, or head to my blog to find more information on how I work and think and get to know me better!