In this psychotherapy, we use the ancient practice of mindfulness to deepen into what is already here--which includes the mind and the body. This means that the talking usually associated with psychotherapy is intermittently halted and enhanced by the process of present moment awareness. Just as a microscope reveals more of the basic makeup of its subject, so too does mindfulness illuminate the fundamental parts of our nervous system and our psyche. We use this tool to systematically explore the depths of our experience so that we may find the roots of our problems and through gentle focus allow them the space to communicate with us. And what is often found is that our internal struggles reveal to us exactly what is needed to liberate them.
Mindfulness has been at the forefront of psychological research for many years now. What the Buddhists have known for two millennia is being scientifically validated and embraced for its ability to decrease stress hormones, promote relaxation, improve sleep, and manage physical pain. And its ability to aid in inner exploration is no less impressive.
Somatic psychotherapy is at the forefront of trauma work and nervous system regulation research. It is providing a bridge for many between psychotherapy and powerful body-based practices, such as yoga, exercise, and tai chi.
My psychotherapy brings both mindfulness and somatic work together in a client-centered way. This means that I let you direct our time together while I assist you in going further in that direction than you may be able to go on your own. And I do this through leveraging the power of the relationship we build. I fall back on techniques drawn from Carl Rogers's Person-Centered Therapy, Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing, Gestalt, and attachment theory. I work especially well with blocks to intimacy, trauma (developmental or acute), depression, and all things related to spiritual practice. Therapy can take place in my office or over video chat.
It is my hope that, through our time together, you will move into and through the old patterns that are keeping you from viewing yourself as you actually are: fundamentally good.
Caretaking is typically thought of in terms of physical disabilities: helping those unable to do the basic and essential tasks of everyday life. But we all know that those struggling with different levels of mental and emotional well-being also encounter problems with similar tasks. It is my job to pair up with you or your loved one and provide educated help tailored to specific psychological needs. This work is the ultimate pledge to nuero-diversity—the fact that we are all in different places and deserve to be compassionately met and aided in that place.
The content of this work may take various forms depending on the goals of the individual. For some, washing their dishes and making it to their appointments is a full day's work. For others, learning to ride the bus may be the hurdle to jump. Regardless of the agenda for each day, the underlying process entails helping you find your own strength in everyday life. This happens through the building of coping skills, and the establishment of a secure relationship with someone you learn to trust.
I have worked in this way with people experiencing PTSD, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, borderline personality disorder, and agoraphobia. I have also worked with those without diagnoses who are simply struggling to get certain aspects of their lives moving. Regardless of you, or your loved one's situation, I strive to bring gentleness and patience, as well as an experienced eye for safety and diligence, on our journey towards healthy everyday living.
My mentoring, like my psychotherapy, is client-centered with an emphasis on the power of our relationship. This means that you choose the direction of progress and make it with my help. But in the case of mentoring, the emphasis tends to be less process-oriented, and more decisive. So, while we certainly work to develop a close relationship, and to help you understand yourself more deeply, we constantly strive to use that understanding in service of your life goals.
This may take many forms. We could spend our time sharpening your executive functioning skills such as time management or organization. Or we may spend our time exploring the fear inhibiting your decision-making process. Or we may spend time working out why going on a date is so nerve-wracking for you. No matter the task, I am there for you both intellectually and emotionally.
Mentoring typically takes place in the community, or in your home. As it tends to be more action-oriented, I find it helpful to spend our time together in the environment where our research will be applied. However, special circumstances do happen and I can absolutely be available for mentoring both in my office, as well as remotely.