How I work

 

My go-to methods:

  • Relational work, or AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy). This way of thinking and relating impacts my work most strongly, and it’s this model that I get ongoing supervision and training in. AEDP is all about building a strong relationship between us, one that is real and that feels good. This kind of connection tends to lead to changes in your other relationships, and it counters shame through a connection where you feel understood, met, and know that you’re liked even in the midst of your most difficult moments. When we can feel “gotten” by a therapist and like we really truly matter, all kinds of things start changing, and we tend to connect more immediately with emotions in ways that are profoundly helpful. The liveliness and connection clients and I share lead us to deep places and important realizations.

 

  • Listening to the body . Helps you to resolve the effects of stress, overwhelm, high stress, or trauma by working with your body’s responses rather than the details of the problem.My training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy helps me to help you to track what happens in your breathing, your movement, and your sensations as you discuss various things in your life.  It also gives us tools to communicate with your body in ways that can lead to deep changes. (Clients sometimes say that, after a session of working with their bodies, they feel like they do after a deep massage or a chiropractic adjustment, but that their emotions are different too!) This works without any need for use of touch.)  Listening to your body gives us huge clues about what makes you come alive, and what tends to make you feel more scared or flat or helpless. Working directly with noticing your body sensations and what happens in you as you speak or remember, we gain powerful ways to heal by coming more deeply in touch with not just your words, but the way your words and your stories move within you, or how they get stuck.  For example, “When I think about talking to my partner, I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.” Somatic Experiencing (SE) techniques I incorporate can give a calming way to work through the impact of traumatic activation, powerfully and with far less overwhelm than simply “talking about it” or “reliving the memory”. This is faster than conventional talk therapy, and involves no theorizing about origins, because we work with the negative sensations that you have today, and we help you to make a wider range of positive sensations and actions available to you. Clients often feel powerfully seen when I notice what happens in their body, their tonality, their breathing, as they speak. Often, a statement as simple as, “You stopped breathing right there,” or “Your whole body straightens up when you say that,” lead to a new level of understanding and integration.
  • Holistic Thinking: Often, clients are pleasantly surprised to find their spirituality welcomed into the therapy. Some of my clients are deep thinkers, who very much want to understand more about themselves, from multiple perspectives. So sessions with me go in directions that sometimes surprise us both, and we get to explore reasons, and we get to explore feelings or beliefs that don’t always have words attached. Sometimes clients share poems, songs, pictures (that they made themselves or that really resonate with them), and even bits of philosophy. As we work together, we work to honor all the ways you think, feel, and connect, and clients often sense more connection within themselves over time and more understanding of their own life history as we blend feeling, emotion, poetry, and whatever else emerges!

 

  • Honoring the different parts of you. A family therapist, Richard Schwartz, realized that many people have inner conflicts and parts within that have conflicting feelings, needs, and fears. By working with these different parts, we make sure that every part of you is honored. Very often, a part of you may want to share deep feelings, and another part may have learned to protect you from feeling too much. Or you may want to feel better, but every time you do, another part of you seems to sabotage. We can meet all of these struggles by getting to know the different sides of you, and helping you to shift from one part to another with more choice, and helping every part of you to feel seen and cared for.

 

  • Education/Thinking out loud together – Most problems and symptoms my clients have are perfectly natural once we understand them in context. Knowledge helps to reduce shame and self-judgment, and evokes curiosity and hope. My clients often say things like, “Oh, so I’m not crazy” after we look at some ways things may be happening for them. I like to share with you if I think I might have a perspective that may fit what’s happening for you, particularly if you’re dealing with behaviors or feelings you’ve felt confused by or ashamed of. So often, there is an explanation that helps take away the sense of blame. (Even though I work to offer some concrete ideas on what might be happening, we still leave lots of room for mystery. Sometimes, we just don’t know right away. And those are moments we get to work together to learn about what’s meaningful for you. The maps we co-construct of what’s happening for you are often the most powerful, and those sometimes happen over several sessions.)

 

  • Humor – A lot of laughter often takes place in sessions with me. There’s often a sense of humor and delight that runs through lots of sessions. I think it’s a sign of the connection that a lot of clients and I share, how we come to laugh easily together. Some sessions are so soft-spoken, and yet, many of even the deepest sessions contain laughter too.

I work with adults, both individuals and couples.

As you may have guessed by now, I study new techniques. A lot. This means that, if you saw me a few months ago, my therapy then wasn’t the same as it is now, because I’m always learning new ways to help people.

At the same time, I never stray from my core focus, which is developing a connection with you and helping you to develop more connection with yourself.

Contact Me

  • Would you like to work with me as a client? Go to my work with me page.
  • Would your organization like to have me give a talk or training? Contact me at 541-224-6732.

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