Psychotherapy is a two fold process. Many people have had experiences which have left emotional wounds which prevent them from living fully and can result in symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The work of psychotherapy is to bring awareness to these wounds, to hold them compassionately, and, in so doing, allow them to heal. This process of emotional healing then allows new, more authentic ways of being to emerge and to be made manifest in the world. I will help you to get in touch with the impact of difficult experiences that have left their mark, but also to get in touch with your deepest, most authentic self. This self is free to emerge when there is a safe space to do so. I will assist you in living from this more authentic you so that your life reflects who you are in truth. Through this process, you may come to know yourself deeply and learn how to treat yourself with compassion and care.
Depending on your needs, we will make use of various methods to help you to transform including insight oriented talk therapy, Jungian dream work, EMDR (a highly effective trauma treatment), and mindfulness meditation.
Through a shared exploration, we will discover the patterns of thought and emotion that are not serving you. We will work to uncover the root of these patterns so that they are made conscious and can be transformed. Patterns are often formed in childhood and tend to make concrete what was once childhood experience with caregivers. For example, if a child was not treated well, the adult child may feel something like, "I am not loveable." The actual experiences of not being treated well tend to go out of our awareness. By bringing awareness to these experiences, and holding them with compassion, they can be transformed and healed. We recognize that these feelings are born out of experience and not the truth of who we are. We may not have been cared for in a loving way but this is no longer a reflection of our worth. When this is seen through, we are free to feel differently about ourselves, our relationships and our life potential.
Jungian Dream Work
Dreams are a portal into the unconscious and give us profound information about our consciousness. They may illuminate a stuck issue, bring insight into our relationships, or point the way to our future growth. I will help you open to the symbols and message of the dream so that we are able to mine its richness. Receiving a dream requires a stepping back of the thinking mind so that we may enter the dream world on its own terms. By doing so, we learn to respect the poetic language of the dream and the mystery of its tailor made message for our growth.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro. I've found it to be highly effective in processing traumatic material as well as emotional belief systems. Through a highly structured protocol, EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (alternating stimulation on each side of the body through eye movement, sound, or a light tap) to process information that has been stuck in its original state. EMDR is meant to process this material so that we may learn new ways of being and develop new beliefs about ourselves rather than using our energy to push away difficult experiences, feelings, and beliefs that have happened in the past.
Meditation allows us to be with our experience just as it is without pushing it away or becoming overwhelmed by it. It can be a very useful tool in psychotherapy as it gives us a practice to use when difficult feelings from the past emerge. By touching in to this larger space within us, we are less identified with our thoughts and feelings and able to "be with" them just as they are. We then find that thoughts and feelings come and go and that we don't have to be identified with them. This is freeing as it gives us new options and choices. We can learn to choose wisdom and compassion in how we treat ourselves and others.