The style of therapy I offer is informed by a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches, including somatic, transpersonal, humanistic, eco-centered, and solution-focused styles. As a graduate of Naropa University in Boulder, I hold a strong belief in the power of mindful awareness in facilitating the therapeutic process. Naropa is a Buddhist-inspired university that has successfully blended the contemplative practices that are a foundation to Buddhism with traditional psychotherapy practices common in the United States. While meditation is not a requisite for our work together, it can help and in some instances I may recommend it. There are many benefits to mindfulness meditation, although it is not right for everyone. Mindful awareness in the therapeutic context is a collaborative effort between therapist and client, and this partnership can help to tease apart the most challenging reactions, behaviors, and emotions, freeing the individual to be aligned with their true nature, and thus able to live in integrity with themselves and the world around them.
The word somatic refers to a body-centered approach. Because the nervous system extends throughout our bodies, it’s essential that we view the mind and body as one whole system, capable of relaying emotional information to us in a variety of ways. This could be through external movements as well as through physical signals we receive on the inside of our bodies. The heart does truly “ache” sometimes, and emotional stress can give us stomachaches or digestive distress. Our bodies are giving us emotional information constantly, and the more we can listen the more we can understand, find what we need, and heal.
In working with families and couples, I approach healing in relationships from the perspective that humans attach to primary figures in their lives, and that this is an essential and beneficial tendency we all have. Our first experiences as infants and children with becoming attached to people will, in most cases, determine how we “attach” to our romantic partners later in life. Understanding our particular style of attaching, along with our partner’s style of attaching, and addressing the vulnerabilities we each feel, can shed light on many, many conflicts we have in relationships. The conflict then becomes an opportunity to grow through early wounds, trauma, or simply stuck places we’ve never been able to move beyond. Relationships are a dynamic that is fed by both people, and in this unique dynamic there is a world of potential for healing and growth.
My training at Naropa included Ecopsychology and Wilderness Therapy, which are both eco-centered approaches I sometimes use with my clients. The natural environment surrounding us hums with a rhythm that every living being can attune to, including humans. When we “tune in” to this rhythm our bodies and minds are afforded the space and safety to deepen awareness, reset our nervous systems or work through deeply held emotions, and develop a relationship with “place.” This relationship can then become a part of therapy – a stage, if you will, on which to explore territory that is anxiety-provoking or just simply new and mysterious. Although seemingly esoteric, in practice this philosophy can be very simple, creative, and grounded in the idea that the natural world provides a safe haven with a lot of wisdom.
The choice and commitment required in beginning emotional work on yourself and your relationships are nothing small. As your guide I believe whole-heartedly in your capacity to be the best human being you can be. The power lies in you to make change in your life, and with your willingness to effect change in your life, I will facilitate the healing process with unconditional regard at every step of the way.