Somatic awareness is central to helping the whole person to heal. It is a fact that the body and mind together form a complete person. My work is influenced by several schools of psychotherapy, therapeutic massage and somatic practices (bodywork), all of which help people to understand their bodies, injuries, emotional lives, relationships, illnesses and personal dynamics as part of their healing process. I will often integrate somatic practices into psychotherapy. My focus is on wellness and my areas of clinical expertise include pain, anxiety disorders and stress related problems, depression, trauma issues, relationship problems and life transitions.
Somatic Experiencing® is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine, and is supported by research. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in "immunity" to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly "charged" life threatening experiences. ● SE™ employs awareness of body sensation to help people "renegotiate" and heal rather than re-live or re-enact trauma. ● SE™'s guidance of the bodily "felt sense," allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely experienced and gradually discharged. ● SE™ may employ touch in support of the renegotiation process. ● SE™ “titrates” experience (breaks down into small, incremental steps), rather than evoking catharsis which can overwhelm the regulatory mechanisms of the organism.
Psychotherapy is a tool and modality used to assist people to work through various life situations. Psychotherapy can assist people with discovering ways to manage depression, anxiety, anger; to navigate through situational life changes such as grief, bereavement, loss, trauma, or through other difficult self-discoveries. Psychotherapy is sometimes combined with medication prescribed by a physician or psychiatrist. Research shows repeatedly that this combination is a very effective way to assist people in working with disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. Psychotherapy is also used to assist people desiring to manage their struggle with various addictions.
Have you ever wondered why it can sometimes be difficult to make changes? We are often frozen in place by our old beliefs about ability, perspective, the very reasons why we might be unable to change. Motivational Interviewing techniques provide a way to help us to challenge old, or false beliefs, and give us a framework to gradually, gently, without immense pressure, to question and challenge those beliefs. This allows us to make changes at a manageable and agreeable speed and intensity.