Imagine a life where your learn how to get your own desires met, your unhealthy habits and blocks are transformed, and your body, mind and spirit come into alignment.
Psychotherapy is a path of exploration where this happens by exploring and working through every level of what it means to be human.
In the early stages of therapy a “view” must be established that supports your transformation. Over and over, I have discovered with my clients a framework that accommodates the entire spectrum of the human condition, but for many it is difficult to digest at first. The view is simple:
Symptoms are road signs not pot holes.
Depression, anxiety, interpersonal struggle, and spiritual issues are life’s attempt to communicate to you an invaluable piece of information. When you learn how to get underneath the symptom and to listen to its source, magic happens and deeper aspects of your “true self” are revealed.
The “true self” allows you to experience more freedom, joy and prosperity. Why wouldn’t everyone want that?
The most common struggles people initially come to me for include:
- Relationship issues
- Medical Crisis and Chronic Illness
Others come wrestling with:
- Spiritual Awakening
- Psychological chaos
- Spiritual Emergencies
- Physical imbalances
- Historical Trauma
Whatever the “symptom” is that brings you to therapy, one of the most important components of change is you have to be willing to venture into unchartered territories within yourself. It’s a descent into the unknown where something new can emerge in your life.
In order to take that therapeutic decent safely and effectively a foundation is required.
The five key ingredients of a solid foundation for the decent include:
I have discovered in order to build that foundation and address the fullness of your needs a truly holistic method of psychotherapy must be used. I have been studying, participating and executing elements of this holistic perspective over the past two decades.
People typically ask me when we first meet, what does all this all actually look like in the therapy office and how do I will I actually make tangible shifts in my life? Truthfully, the answer is somewhat different every time, because the subtleties of change is different every time. But It is not necessary to have to wait for years and years of talking about change for change to happen. When we initiate transformation through a multi-faceted approach nearly anything is possible. Humor and play is key. It’s an ancient medicine and simple to extract. Well, not always simple. I use a number of modalities from my studies and personal exploration over the last two decades to work with you.
1. Clinical Assessment and LIfestyle Review
Your therapy process usually starts with a through assessment of your current needs, how they developed and what is the best course of action. Some clients do not want or require this because they are coming in with a very specific goal-oriented approach to their process. However, the typical client does require a assessment so we can determine the best course of action. For example, we may talk about nutrition, sleep hygiene and exercise habits. For others, we may focus on birth trauma and the loss of a parent in early childhood. It depends on your condition and your current presentation. If you are suffering with severe symptoms of depression, anxiety and other types of issues that may have a bio-chemical basis we will explore a course of action together that works for you. I refer many clients for other supportive services when necessary such as conventional psychiatry, integrative psychiatry, naturopathy, acupuncture, etc.
2. Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy
I use a mindfulness-based approach when working with thoughts and feelings. This means that we are looking at the nature of thoughts within oneself from an observer. It takes time to recognize this inherent capacity, but mindfulness can reduce tremendous amounts of unnecessary suffering. It is also within this context that a spiritual view can be explored if you feel drawn to this.
3. Traditional, Gestalt and Attachment-based Psychotherapy
I do use traditional talk therapy. It’s hard to put a percentage on how much time is spent in this area. Talk therapy usually refers to the client (you) talking in order to analyze aspects of who you are. We often go back and forth in that analysis trying to gain a sense of how your identity developed, and what types of protective mechanisms keeps you from achieving what you want. In terms of communication in your relationships and behavioral patterns that you struggle with, I use a combination of relational psychotherapy and gestalt. Relational psychotherapy explores the relationship between client and therapist as a useful medium for identifying patterns and imparting change. I hold a warm, nurturing space while also challenging and giving feedback to you when appropriate. I help you identify the way you bond and attach to others. This is typically something that was learned in early childhood. Sometimes we need to resolve those early patterns of bonding in order to be able to have healthy adult relationships. Gestalt therapy treats the therapy office as a laboratory. It is creative and typically focuses on utilizing the present moment in some fashion. An example would be standing on one side of the room and noticing what happens as you narrow the distance between the client and therapist.. There are countless examples of what we can do. I’m always tracking what your comfort level is and what will work for you.
4. Body-centered Therapies
I utilize my background in body-centered modalities like yoga and massage, helping people navigate their internal sensory experience. I’ve trained in beginner level Somatic Experiencing which is a trauma modality but also has adaptability to helping people become more embodied and able to working through intense inner states.
5. Shamanic Traditions
I sometimes integrate my training and experiences in shamanic traditions. This may include dreamwork, guided visualization, divination and ritual prescription. Dreamwork is a powerful tool to access the deep layers of your unconscious mind and the unseen world. Visualization can be useful to tease out various aspects of the self including a person’s gifts and desires. Divination is a form of working with the unseen world to gain an understanding of what a person’s purpose is and any obstructions along their path. Ritual prescription can be a simple approach to helping you work with the natural resources around you to help gain balance and equilibrium.