“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are”
I am an integrative practitioner, which means I incorporate a wide repertoire of psychotherapy approaches offering you what I believe is the best of all worlds and the most effective treatment. Over the years, I have found that many approaches on their own, while helpful, may not offer the optimal results that you may be seeking, therefore my work balances the best of behavior, insight- oriented, present- centered (humanistic/ existential) and body- oriented psychotherapies, complemented by mindfulness and awareness-based practices that guide you to value, trust and intimately know your inner self. I offer a very holistic outlook and if this is something you’re open to- I will gladly connect you to alternative practitioners – including nutritionists, healers, craniosacral and/ or movement therapists who can support our work together in your psychotherapy.
So for example, if you are struggling with anxiety, a phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder, I will not be working with you using an exclusively cognitive behavioral approach (CBT), because I have found that this often leaves out major dimensions of who you are and important understandings as to why these particular symptoms are coming up for you right now. Many people attempt CBT and find relief, but some find their symptoms either come back or they cannot even do CBT because it tends to only address the cognitive part of their dilemma- and not the underlying root of their stuckness which is also emotional and requires a functional understanding. Our work together will be more holistic, and will involve looking at how your symptoms relate to the larger person and context of who you are, where you come from and how your symptoms may offer you opportunities for major healing and awakening to your own liveliness.
Since I am also trained as a somatic psychotherapist, we will pay attention to your whole self- your mind, body and spirit by attending to your experiences in your body in the present moment. Together, we will heighten awareness of your feelings, sensations, breathing, non-verbal and habitual patterns which will enable you to learn more about yourself, including the areas where you thrive and struggle. In addition to gaining awareness, to get “unstuck” we also need to experiment with new patterns and ways of being both in and out of session so that behavior change will come as well.
Every person is different and needs a unique combination of modalities that tailors toward their personality and comfort level. We will discuss what you’re looking for and I will also intuitively draw upon the combination of approaches that will be most efficient and beneficial in helping you meet your goals.
Gestalt Therapy– is a holistic, direct and creative therapy which focuses on helping you connect with yourself and others in the present moment. It is an experiential, existential and experimental therapy and it is actually fun and enlivening! Gestalt therapy looks at the how, not just the why that is, how you keep doing certain things, how your unwanted patterns serve you (yes they do!) and how they come up in session. Gestalt addresses both verbal and nonverbal styles and involves helping you become more aware of your emotions through work with breathing, movement patterns, feelings and sensations.
In Gestalt therapy, you will learn to connect with with your emotions in the moment, something many therapies skip over, and experiment with new patterns rather than only analyzing your past. This therapy is very useful if you feel disconnected from your body and your feelings or tend to intellectualize your problems. It also helps many people who have been in other therapies but haven’t been able to make changes from intellectual awareness alone.
Psychodynamic Therapy– addresses the impact of early childhood conflicts on your current life by helping you become more aware of their unconscious influences. Uncovering these recurring patterns as they occur between us and with others, can help you avoid repeating them in your present life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) including Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) and Trauma- Focused CBT (TF-CBT)- addresses the effect your automatic thought patterns and actions have on your moods and behaviors. CBT often involves using worksheets and homework to help you identify and challenge your particular thought patterns. The behavioral component involves designing situations in and out of session (exposure therapy) which will challenge your automatic assumptions by having you face those situations that you fear. I don’t practice exclusive CBT, rather I adapt it to the ongoing work we are doing together as needed. I also prioritize helping you develop a strong sense of scaffolding and support before we embark upon any exposures together.
Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy– the premise of this therapy is that during the first year of life we each develop particular styles of moving and relating to our caregivers which continue to manifest in our adult bodies and in how we relate to the world. You hold your particular relational style and the story of your life in your body (for example in your gestures and expressions) and we will look at how your styles help and hinder you from getting what you want for yourself and from others. This work adds a very deep level of working through entrenched patterns and helping you become more in touch with your body and/or any physical or somatic difficulties you have. It can help you heal by introducing new ways to experiment with and/or modify your existing patterns in ways that may yield more satisfying results. http://www.somaticstudies.com/dsp.html
Mindfulness /Meditative Approaches-
Mindfulness is a way of paying very precise and compassionate attention to what we are doing in the present moment. We pay attention to our thoughts, sensations, reactions and judgments as they occur. By seeing our identification with our thoughts and feelings, we become aware of space that exists for new reactions, which ultimately can create new perceptions, new moods and new states of mind. Meditation reduces stress, strengthens our immune systems and helps us master the mental and physical terrain of our being, centering us and offering a haven when our life feels stormy and out of control. I have experience with a number of eastern traditions of meditation.