How well do you know yourself and how well do you value the unique and amazing person you are? If the answer to these questions is not very well, it can affect all aspects of your life. In our work together, we’ll seek to heal the relationship you have to yourself and allow you to be more connected to your own experience and feelings. Your relationship with yourself can get disconnected in many ways throughout life including trauma, abuse (including sexual, emotional, verbal, physical) difficult and unhealthy relationships, difficult experiences as a child, divorce, loss of loved ones, bullying, economic hardship, parental instability, and many other circumstances. These circumstances can cause you to experience the following things among others: anxiety, not knowing what you like or value, depression, trauma, loss, grief, anger, low self-worth, disconnection, loneliness, difficulty communicating, conflict.
We will address your goals using the type of therapy that best fits your needs. Some of the types of therapy you can expect when working with me include:
CBT-Cognitive behavioral therapy. This looks at how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are related and how we can gain a different point of view as we change and challenge any one of these to affect the others.
ACT-Acceptance and commitment therapy. This builds on CBT and adds some mindfulness, awareness of the present moment, and a look at what you truly value in life and living in line with those values. Along with this we will work through having more compassion for yourself and consider ways you are communicating with yourself.
EMDR-Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. I explain this more here.
Interpersonal neurobiology and polyvagal theory involve helping you recognize when your nervous system is in fight or flight mode or shutdown mode and move toward amore regulated state in your nervous system. It also gives insight into how interactions with other people affect our emotional states.
Assertive communication skills and Gottman Couples Method- These involve learning skills to communicate effectively with others, set boundaries, remain connected to yourself and others, and to manage inevitable conflict that arises in relationships.
The study of neurobiology shows that we are “wired to connect” with other people.As newborns we come ready to interact with our caregivers and in order to develop fully both physically and emotionally, we depend on connection. The irony is it doesn’t come easily or intuitively to all of us to interact with others in a healthy way. The way we communicate can actually sabotage our getting listened to and getting our needs met.
This is where therapy can be helpful and effective. We will use something called the Gottman Couples Method of therapy often in our work. It addresses the skills necessary to improve many aspects of your relationship focusing on three major areas including: 1)creating and maintaining a closeness and a friendship in relationship, 2) managing conflict and communicating effectively 3) creating a shared meaning as you learn each other's hopes and dreams for yourselves and your relationship.
We will also consider what experiences from your past come up in your relationship and ways to manage them with your partner. We will practice the skills you are learning in session so that you can take them out of session to use at home. As you learn these skills, it will require practice and the ability to look at yourself and changes you can make. Since we cannot control or change our partner, looking at how you can make things different is where your power lies.If each of you is willing to do this, couples counseling can be very effective.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidenced-based structured type of therapy that allows you to process past painful memories and experiences to gain a more adaptive view of what happened to you and how you relate to the experience. It posits that when we have a traumatic or painful experience, that memory is not consolidated or stored like a non-disturbing memory. EMDR allows you to revisit that memory and give your brain the opportunity to reconsolidate it or store it more adaptively in your brain. This allows you to remember what happened, but not carry the disturbance and negative beliefs from that memory. Many clients are surprised by how efficient and permanent the effect of EMDR is, and how they go from feeling broken to feeling whole.
EMDR is an effective way to deal with a single incident trauma, a difficult circumstance you had to endure for a length of time, abuse, anxiety, anger, depression, grief, relationship break ups, and many other symptoms you may be experiencing. It also has applications to help you build confidence and address such issues as test anxiety or performance anxiety.