Me and My Approach

purple flowers counselingMy Approach to Counseling

You probably want to know what to expect when you come to see me for therapy.  To be perfectly honest, the first session will probably be awkward.  We don’t know each other at all, and yet you are here to talk about difficult thing that you probably don’t talk to anyone else about.  You’re not here for surface level chatting, but you’re not ready to just dive into emotional things yet either.  I get it. The first session is a little awkward for me as well.  What I need from you in that first session is a basic idea of what you want out of therapy.  You don’t have to know exactly why you’re here, but at least a general idea of how you want me to help you will get us started.  We will probably talk about the big picture of your life so I have some context, but I don’t expect you to go too deeply into anything.

After that first session, we will still be getting to know each other, and I will still be getting to know the players in your story, but it will be much less awkward than the initial meeting.  Many of our sessions will involve you telling me experience/examples of things happening in your life that will help me understand what is and isn’t working for you.  Bring in your stories.  Your stories help me understand more deeply what it’s like to be you.  We might practice how you would have liked to do things differently, or we might look at things through different perspectives.  Sometimes you might just need a witness to your story – that is a very powerful thing.  There will be times when we talk about how to calm your nervous system through breathing or movement, and we might practice some tools.  Our work will be unique to you.  There are so many avenues to emotional health and well-being that we will find what works best for you.

I know that it can cause some anxiety to not know what to expect when you come to therapy, and I would like to give you a blueprint, but counseling is a highly creative and collaborative process.  You know way more than I do about your life so it will take both of us working together to find the path that is right for you.

You deserve to feel happy, to feel confident, to have peace in your life.  You also deserve to feel accepted and not judged.  In our work together these principles will guide our journey.  Regardless of the issues you want to work on, I will strive to make you feel accepted without judgment, and I will work to help you find the happiness and peace in your life that you long for.

I believe that healing happens in relationship; that we need to be connected to other people; that we need to feel safe and that we need to feel seen and heard. That is what makes therapy so healing. It’s not necessarily about the theory or approach used, although that is important, it’s about feeling safe and seen with another human being.

Healing also happens when we are in a healthy relationship with ourselves. Do you ever feel like you have lost contact with who you really are, or do you feel like you aren’t fully aware of what’s happening in your body?  Do you ever “zone out”?  Are you ever unsure of what you are really feeling? My goal is to help you become more aware of what is going on with you, to process through the difficult things that you might be running away from, and to help you get connected to yourself. At the same time, I offer a safe place to feel connected with another human being, so that you can begin to heal from past relational wounds.

My Philosophy

My professional philosophy is rooted in Gestalt, in attachment theory and in somatic work. I operate holistically, working with body mind and spirit to create deeper healing. I also follow closely the latest research in neurobiology and strive to incorporate those findings into my work. Science is constantly making new discoveries and updating what we know, and I work to stay updated on the latest research while still staying grounded in my core philosophies.

I combine the time-tested traditions of ancient eastern psychology with the latest research in neuroscience to help you break free from the experiences and beliefs that hold you hostage in an unhappy existence.  I help you find the path to freedom and happiness.  I believe that things like trauma and abuse are stored in every cell of our being, not just in our brains, so we need to work with more than just our thoughts. Thoughts are important too, but they are not the only thing that needs healing. I focus on your whole experience, what your body is doing, what you are thinking, what you are aware of and not aware of. I don’t use a lot of “cookie cutter” techniques in my work, as each person is unique. I structure our session based around what you need, and how you need to work. Not relying on a lot of techniques helps our work to be fluid and flexible, it helps us stay in the present and work with whatever comes up.

A Little About Me

If I expect you to trust me with your deepest emotions, it is only fair that you know a little about me and my approach to counseling and coaching.  I am the mother of 5 amazing children who make me a better person every day.  Most of the issues I specialize in I feel drawn to because of my own experiences or experiences of those very close to me, so I know these issues intimately.  I do my own personal healing work; I have a meditation practice and I face challenges like everyone else.  Counseling is a profession I chose because I have seen how life saving it can be to people who are suffering.  My life’s work is to help people suffer less.

Education and Training

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Colorado State University in 1995 and my master’s degree in counseling in 2014 from Colorado Christian University.   I have worked in inpatient and outpatient settings, in community mental health organizations and in private practice.  I have attended trainings in Synergetic Play Therapy, PACT, Gestalt therapy and Gestalt equine therapy, IFS, trauma seminars, and I have a certificate in Brain Health Coaching.  Most recently I have been training with John Demos in providing neurofeedback.  Some of my best training has come from homeschooling my children for several years.  I studied the unique ways each of us learn, I learned how to be creative in my approaches and I gained an amazing amount of patience!

My Vision

My goal is to help people move beyond a place of “just hanging in there” and get to a place of really thriving. A key piece of getting to this place is to help people connect authentically with themselves.  Without this connection we lose our ability to choose our paths. I help clients move beyond intellectual understanding to a more mindful, emotional understanding of themselves. Healing doesn’t occur just from talking about what is going on in your head, it happens in every cell of your being. I strive to create a safe, nurturing environment in which to facilitate healing and growth within the context of the therapeutic relationship.  In my own life I have felt driven to find a deeper sense of well-being, a sense of peace and worthiness after many years of feeling lost and empty. Having found a deep sense of peace through my own work as a client, I am now passionate about helping others find healing in their own lives.

The goal is to find someone who is the best fit for you; someone you feel safe enough with to do the work that you need to do.  If you are ready to take the next step to a more fulfilling life, call me and let’s get started!  I look forward to accompanying you on your journey.