Moving through Anxiety, Depression, Life Transitions, and other Suffering
It is usually some form of suffering or dissatisfaction that leads someone to seek counsel. There might be a long-standing pattern of acting, thinking or feeling a certain way or there may be a sudden unforeseen circumstance in the life that has caused problems. Whatever the condition, we will work together to understand the suffering pattern and to find ways to do something new. Our work together should have positive effect in your everyday life. We may include actual practices to help establish new patterns, cultivate healthy action, and increase the value of your relationships. Initially, counseling is often disruptive. Old habits really do die hard, and this means that changing patterns can be uncomfortable and disorienting at times. However, the obstacle is the path, and having the courage and care to move through these resistances in a healthy way is the art of living.
While change does require personal effort and commitment, it also requires support. We are at once individuals, and we are a product of a great web of relationships. We will use aspects of Positive Psychology to find out what is already working, what supports are there, and to learn how to use these aspects of our experience in order to help us transform. If we only focus on problems, problems become what dictate our lives. We all have more internal and external resources available to us than we are aware of. We will identify and grow positive and supportive networks. Beyond symptom mitigation, we will move toward greater happiness and agency.
Peter Levine defines trauma as unintegrated resource. With trauma, something happened that was too much, too fast, or too developmentally soon, and a part of us got stuck in that experience. From that point, a pattern emerged to manage all of the survival energy that wanted to express itself at the time of the incident but couldn’t. When we work with trauma, we are often working with deep layers of the nervous system that are organized to keep holding that energy in. If we work in a skillful way, paying attention and working in manageable portions, we can teach ourselves to release that energy back into the rest of our being and enjoy the feeling of integration. If you have trauma, we may, at your discretion, work with Somatic Experiencing™ table work. This is hands-on work that can be helpful in moving toward post-traumatic growth.
During a Session
All of our work is collaborative. We will gather a vision for where you would like to go, and we will follow the emerging process from there, adapting as needed. I do not diagnose mental health disorders. We work with the pattern as it presents uniquely for you and we consult existing western psychological knowledge to the degree that it is helpful for you. An innate part of the counseling process is sharing your experience and gaining different perspectives. Many clients find that it also helpful to learn a little more about the psychology and biology related to their experience or to work with some cross-cultural perspectives. Many also find it useful to have something to practice in their everyday life.
For Youth Appointments, the work is often more experientially-based. Depending on the person, this may mean more exploring the natural world, practicing tradition skills, or working with “kung fu” as a vehicle for somatic awareness.
For more information on location, scheduling and logistics, click the appointments page.