Styles of Therapy
My style involves an integration of traditional, relational psychotherapy with experiential and somatic techniques to support my clients in shifting patterns which no longer serve them and discovering their core self. I have been in the field of mental health since 2001, and have extensive post-graduate training in evidence-based, experiential, and mindfulness-based modalities.
I have Advanced Training in the following methods:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy that allows people to process and heal symptoms that are the result of traumatic or distressing life experiences. Bilateral stimulation of the brain (either by moving eyes side to side, or by tone or touch) are used as we target a memory or belief that is distressing. I will ask you to hold different aspects of that event in mind while we use the bilateral stimulation. Unlike talk therapy, the insights you can gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from your own insight and emotional process. I suggest and use EMDR when trauma or negative beliefs are impacting your health or progress in life. We can also use this technique to strengthen positive feelings about yourself, practice and enhance the effects of calming meditations, and to get unstuck from limiting beliefs, anxieties, or feelings.
Accelerated Experiental Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
Authentic and caring relationships can be a vehicle for change. AEDP is a relational therapy that focuses on creating a space where clients can feel valued, nurtured, and cared for. The therapist is affirming, attuned, engaged, and genuinely sees clients' strengths. Through this healing relationship, the adaptive defenses that we all wear in daily life are no longer needed and we can safely explore emotions which have previously felt overwhelming or too scary to face. Often, experiencing feelings in the company of a caring other is a new, positive experience. Through processing previously avoided feelings and material, transformation and growth can occur.
Gestalt Therapy is a creative, mindfulness based psychotherapy focused on the therapist-client relationship. The key elements of Gestalt Therapy includes assisting clients to: develop their own self-awareness of how they are in the present moment, working through unresolved business in order to live in the here and now (versus dwelling on the past and having regrets/worries/unresolved business), notice how we break or avoid connection in relationships (by using therapist/client relationship as a tool), accepting feelings, parts work (noticing or having a dialogue between opposing opinions/attitudes in yourself), awareness of physical sensations, and locating where emotions lie in the body. Gestalt Therapy is interpersonal, empowers connection and change, and has the goal of creating more aliveness.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT focuses on a practice of learning to tolerate and sit with rather than avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, sensations, behaviors, and situations that are unpleasant. We notice the present moment with curiosity and I support you to move in the direction of what is most important to you. We will discuss: What do you care about most in your life? What is getting in the way of you achieving these things? The more you can practice approaching the things that make you anxious and scared, the easier it gets. By identifying and clarifying personal values, you can be more conscious about the steps that you are taking in your life, act in accordance to what you want and what is important to you, and find more meaning in your life. Your relationships begin to change as you are more clear.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT works to create more secure, lasting bonds between couples and family members with the goal of increasing closeness, understanding, and connection. We explore the "dance" or pattern that tends to play out in daily life. Beneath the surface, every couple has their own emotional responses and insecurities. Partners often report wondering “Do you really love me?” “Am I important to you?” “Are you committed to our relationship?” “Can I trust you?”, etc. EFT helps couples address these insecurities so that they can learn to interact with their romantic partners in a more responsive, loving, connected manner. By sharing these vulnerabilities openly in a safe space, there is increased understanding and empathy about "the pattern" and about what is going on for each partner beneath the surface.
Yoga and Meditation
I am a 200-hr Certified Yoga Teacher. I completed my training at Kripalu Yoga Center in 2009. I also lived at Kripalu for 3 months in 2003 extensively studying yoga and meditation. I enjoy incorporating yoga and meditation into therapy sessions by offering clients helpful poses or meditations to do to recognize emotions, clear and calm their minds, relieve stress or chronic pain, and feel the connection between body sensations and feelings.