I believe our pain is a gift. A terrible gift, but a gift, nonetheless.
Suffering arises when we see it as otherwise, when we hide from our pain and hide our pain from others. This kind of thinking and acting leads to separation from others and from our deepest essence. Counseling and healing are about approaching these cut off parts of ourselves and re-membering them, making space for them in our bodies and in our lives. As we heal we stop running from these parts of ourselves and learn to integrate them.
Thus, much of my work is about creating a safe enough space for you to compassionately welcome all of yourself back into your heart, even the parts of you that you find ugly or painful or difficult. It is counter-intuitive, but it is in turning toward the parts of ourselves that we have been avoiding that creates healing and the possibility of change. Integration, wholeness and lasting change can only happen when the parts of you that you have sent into exile find a home and a place to belong within you.
I consider myself a mindfulness-based therapist meaning I focus on what is happening for you in the present moment. It will be our ability to have an authentic human-to-human connection in the present moment while in the therapy session that will allow for healing. As your therapist I will invite you to learn to be more in the present moment, which is where you can access your own wisdom and answers and where the stuck places from the past can be resolved.
In all if this I am informed by the best practices of Western Psychology as well as the ancient contemplative practices of the East. Eastern practices emphasize a radical acceptance of our actual experience, the way things are, and ending the war we often have with each unfolding moment. In coming to open to and accept each moment as it is, we begin to develop more self-compassion, clarity of mind, acceptance and a greater capacity to handle with lightness and curiosity the
challenges of our changing lives.
I have had extensive training in Nonviolent Communication (NVC)™, Mindfulness Meditation, Family Systems Theory, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and Self-Relations therapy based on the work and writings of Stephen Gilligan, a student of Milton Erickson. I also have experience and familiarity with and deep respect for 12 step recovery work. My most recent trainings have been a 2 year immersion in learning Hakomi, as well as a year long on-line course in Internal Family Systems. In March of 2015 I became a Certified Hakomi Therapist.