Therapeutic ApproachCultivate emotional agility and resilience in a stressful world
My style is straight-forward and interactive.
I can help you look at things from a different angle and realize you can change habitual patterns. The observer viewpoint helps us relax the relentless critic and find choice points. Choices allow us to feel less reliant on the outside world to go the way we want and give us the trust and confidence needed to handle what comes our way. This is changing from the inside out.
Like most therapists, I draw from multiple theories and influences in my work. There are three theories that form the core of my work because they facilitate emotional growth and tangible change:
Internal Family Systems:
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a process for looking deeper into why we do the things we do. It’s more than a typical talk therapy approach. With a foundation in mindfulness, IFS works with the different parts of our personality to cultivate an understanding of our personal automatic patterns.
We all have a repertoire of behaviors we use to help us manage, aka control, our life experiences. Using this approach, a Centered, Curious and Compassionate way of relating to yourself emerges. IFS teaches us to treat ourselves kindly. If we are overly critical or caught in internal conflict, we learn to work with our experiences instead of expending energy trying to avoid or control the experience. This type of internally focused work helps us shift from reacting to responding. As a result, we believe we have the ability to make changes and we feel less reliant on the outside world to go according to plan.
The mind-body connection is well known. Most of us prioritize the cognitive brain and rely on logic to help us make sense of the world. But our heart and gut (our emotional body) are just as important. My body-centered approach draws from yoga therapy trainings and teaching certifications as well as 20 years of meditation practice. These practices are foundational for me and have helped me learn that our body is integral in knowing what we need at any given moment.
I can help you become more aware of your body’s wisdom which gives you access to self-knowledge that is less clouded by judgment or reactivity. Knowing what you feel and how to care for your needs increases self-trust and confidence.
Mindfulness and Self-compassion:
My culminating focus is creating curiosity, clarity, and calm. Calm is comprised of perspective, mindfulness, and the ability to respond rather than react. Practicing these leads to a caring relationship towards ourselves. Self-compassion is built on mindfulness. It entails an awareness of what is actually happening and learning to catch our automatic thought patterns before they take our emotional health for a ride. When I ask clients how they take care of themselves, most of them admit they either don’t think about caring for themselves or they automatically turn to numbing out behaviors like drinking or binge-watching Netflix.
We live busy and stressful lives and denying this reality can ratchet up our internal critic. Learning to acknowledge how stress impacts us and that we have limits is the thing that can help us manage stressors more effectively. Learning to be kind to ourselves as we navigate stressful and busy lives is a necessity.
Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.
Thich Nhat Hahn