We want happiness, health, and abundance in all areas of life;
The tendency for most people is to focus on what we don't have or what we don't want. Unfortunately, this seems to attract more of those things. What we focus on, grows. What we resist, persists (Carl Jung). I can help you clarify what you DO want and then clear away things that are blocking you from achieving your dreams and goals.
I believe strongly that therapy can help people solve short-term difficulties and resolve long-standing patterns or habits that interfere with optimal health and life satisfaction.
I specialize in treating the following human difficulties:
~~Trauma such as childhood abuse, accidents, medical trauma, chronic illness, sudden loss
~~Relationship counseling including family, couple, premarital, and sexual difficulties,
~~Depression, anxiety, anger management, addiction problems
~~Sports Psychology and Performance enhancement
~~Body image difficulties, eating disorders, and addiction problems
~~Grief and loss
Traumatic events change people in ways that are hard to describe and yet are absolutely life changing. Some people experience terrible accidents or medical problems that change their lives forever. Others experience abuse or neglect from people they should have been able to trust or even randomly from strangers in completely unexpected ways. Trauma makes you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. Many people experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) without even realizing it. They may be jumpy and easily startled or experience sleep difficulties like insomnia and nightmares. They may feel significantly anxious or depressed, and they may obsess about the traumatic event or avoid anything that reminds them of it. Sometimes people feel fundamentally defective and struggle with self-hatred or low self esteem. Some have perfectionism, poor body image, and disordered eating. Many feel isolated in the belief that they can trust no one and oftentimes not even themselves.
My work with people who have been traumatized, whether as a child or in adulthood, is gentle and slow. I work at the connection between the mind, body, and energetic levels to address the ways in which the trauma has impacted physical health, interpersonal functioning, and essential self-care behaviors. I utilize a combination of energy psychology (see www.energypsych.org), mindfulness, mind-body awareness, and cognitive-behavioral techniques to address the myriad symptoms that arise subsequent to trauma and to restore a sense of aliveness and joy.
There is no doubt that maintaining a long-term relationship is challenging. In a society that is increasingly supportive of just moving on when things get difficult, it can be very difficult to get the support you need when your relationship has become stressful, unsatisfying, and painful.
When two people build a life together, it is inevitable that their individual needs will at times collide, which can cause serious misunderstandings, pain, bitterness, and resentment. Inevitably, the sexual aspect of the relationship is negatively affected and this can compound the difficulties already in motion.
My goal in working with couples is to explore the current problems in an effort to address major breaches of trust that may have happened, to clarify misunderstandings that have led to arguments and withdrawal, and ultimately to restore positive feelings and optimal functioning in all aspects of the relationship. In addition, many people have childhood experiences that make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships today. I believe that it is possible to heal the past through addressing and healing the present difficulties. I primarily operate from an Emotion-Focused Therapy modality assuming that we all have a fundamental need for attachment to our loved ones and that when we become detached from them, we feel a variety of painful emotions and act out in self-protective and often harmful ways (Johnson, see http://www.iceeft.com/home.htm for more information on Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples).
I also offer premarital counseling in order to start couples off in the best way possible.
Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Addictions
It may seem strange to see Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, and Addictions addressed in the same category; however, I think they are all indications that a person has an overactive nervous system.
We are hardwired to react to difficulties or situations that seem threatening with the fight, flight, or freeze reactions.
Many people suffer Anxiety symptoms when they believe they are incapable of solving the problem or handling the set of circumstances they find themselves in (the flight reaction). Others react in anger (the fight reaction) as they experience some threat to their self esteem, their sense of safety, or their relationship with someone important. Still others find themselves freezing or withdrawing (Depression) when life feels overwhelming.
When people have difficulty regulating the level of emotional reactivity (whether anxiety, anger, or shutdown), they can feel overwhelmed and this often leads to behaviors, like addictions, that cause problems for themselves and others. After clearing the sources of these negative emotions and problem behaviors, I strongly believe that people can learn emotion regulation skills that will eventually lead to greater equanimity and improvements in their relationships, in their job or school performance, and in other important areas of life.
Sport Psychology and Performance Enhancement
Athletes experience a lot of pressure to perform at their top level, not only during practice, but also during competitions. They feel pressure from themselves, from coaches and trainers, family members, friends and fans alike. Success often creates the expectation for more success, again and again. Some coaches and trainers use humiliation and aggression as a tactic to motivate their athletes to work harder. Many sports include falling or being hit as a regular part of practice, learning new skills, and competition; for example, gymnastics, equestrian sports, baseball, football, soccer, wrestling, ice skating, etc. Each time the athlete is injured creates a trauma in the body made up of things like the physical memory of the pain, the emotional memory of disappointment and sense of failure, and the relational memory of embarrassment or shame at having shown weakness in front of others.
These sports-related traumas cause athletes' bodies to tighten up and their minds to be distracted. All of which increases the likelihood that they will make mistakes...resulting in physical injury and negative emotions. This usually leads to significantly diminished performance. In order to return to the previous level of performance, these sports-related traumas need to be cleared out. Brainspotting (see https://brainspotting.com) is a revolutionary treatment shown to be effective at resolving trauma and allowing the body-mind to return to its natural state of flow and optimal performance.
Body image difficulties and eating disorders
There is no doubt that our current society overemphasizes the idea that a “perfect” body shape and size is the key to happiness, popularity, and love. Unfortunately, most of the human race cannot possibly fit into the model that magazines, movies, and television portray as the perfect body. And yet, so many people are caught in the destructive belief that they are not worthy enough, not beautiful enough, not strong enough, not skinny enough, not good enough to be loved and accepted unless they have THAT body.
And the result? The obsessive attempt to cultivate a body that will hopefully meet approval and acceptance, but doing it in ways that result in damage to the body, to the soul, and to one’s relationships with self and others. Practices such as the use of laxatives, starvation and restriction, bingeing and purging, over exercising, strict diets, denial of pleasures, and worst of all, self-disgust and self-hatred. Unfortunately, when one begins this process with the belief that “I’m not good enough”, then these compensatory behaviors and even the weight loss are never enough to restore a sense of well-being and self-acceptance.
I understand from personal experience the pain involved in all this. I listen to each person’s story to gain understanding of the origins of the body image problems, and then we work together to create healthy coping skills, to inspire self-acceptance, and to increase self-care, and to improve relationships with significant others.
Grief and Loss
When we lose someone important, it can throw us into a crisis of grief and loss. Some people wonder if they can carry on living without their recently deceased loved one. Others find themselves with all kinds of unresolved emotions about the recently deceased, especially if the relationship was complicated. Still others find themselves emotionally shut down after the death of a loved one and can't seem to find their way back to fully living. It can be difficult to discuss these issues with others which results in a sense of isolation and loneliness. I create a safe place to discuss fully all aspects of grief and loss so that the living can live fully.
In addition, I can help those who are nearing the end of this physical life to prepare themselves emotionally and relationally for letting go and dying well.
Chronic pain can be debilitating and affect all areas of life. Prescription medications can sometimes dull the pain enough to function but doesn't restore the body to wholeness and health. I can help you dissolve the emotional and psychological roots of chronic pain which can significantly diminish the experience of pain and restore a sense of aliveness and wellness.
Your perception will only become clear when you can look into your soul.
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakes.
Awaken to yourself
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.
~Carl Jung, MD
BEGIN THE JOURNEY TOWARD THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE VERSION OF YOURSELF
The road less traveled is the one full of adventure and discovery.