Finding Your Therapist is challenging.
When I started my own therapy, the Internet didn’t exist the way it does today. If you were lucky, you got a personal recommendation from someone – if you were willing to reveal you needed a therapist. Otherwise, you picked someone out of a phone book. Fortunately for me, I found a great therapist who started my journey to this exact moment.
Today, from the privacy of your own home, you can probably read thousands of therapist websites, which may leave you more in doubt than if you picked someone at random.
Add Tik Tok or Instagram as places where everyone and their cousin is an “expert” on mental health, and the onslaught of information and opinions leads to decision fatigue.
This confusion begs the question, “How can you choose the best therapist for you?”
“There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.”
– Amanda Gorman
Therapy doesn’t need to feel scary.
You already feel nervous about the thought of therapy, or maybe you’ve done it before – but quit because the therapy didn’t fit you or created too much upset. Your being here, reading my website, tells me your difficulties are still there and that your innate wisdom wants better for you. You’re seeking an ally. You want to know if that ally could be me.
All the talk about “therapy is hard work” and “you might feel worse before you feel better” makes therapy sound like something even I wouldn’t want to do. (I was lucky the phone book didn’t mention that). Yoga, mindfulness, massage, and even acupuncture sound much more pleasant, and they do help many, many people.
However, they haven’t done the trick if you’re here. You still want help with the disorganization in your mind and body.
Yet your fingers twitch a little while you think about filling out the contact form.
I don’t blame you! But read on.
“Doubt is often the beginning of wisdom.”
– M. Scott Peck
Come as you are.
“Come as you are” parties are another example of how life was different and the pace slower. You would call your friends on the phone (imagine that!) and say, “Come to a party NOW, wearing whatever you already have on.” No fuss, no muss, just show up to be with your friends and have fun.
That’s how you show up for our sessions, too. Whatever is on your mind that day is where we start. It could be the main topic we’ve been exploring or something new that’s risen to the top.
We trust that your innate wise self knows what will be most helpful. And I’m tracking those signs of wisdom wherever they emerge.
Have you ever had a great talk with someone who left you feeling better, even if you didn’t know why? I’m skilled at joining and guiding the conversation. Together, we find the rhythm of your nervous system organization so that you can feel better without so much unpleasant effort.
“Trust will grow as we… stumble together into the tentative, fluid process of attunement with one another
that supports the awakening of the inherent wisdom and health.”
– Bonnie Badenoch
Back to Basics
There are almost as many approaches to therapy as there are therapists. But some things are fundamental.
A safe, trusting, supportive relationship between client and therapist is the essential factor in successful outcomes for therapy. I focus on attunement, empathy, and unconditional positive regard to support your growth.
“If you want to improve the world, start by making people feel safer.”
– Stephen Porges
Attunement means I listen attentively to your story and closely observe when your wise self sends support in some part of your experience (body, image, feeling, or thought). For every source of pain, there is an equal source of healing. We’re on a journey to find those supports.
These often-overlooked support signals create the invitation to notice, enjoy, and expand upon them. The fullness of life you were born to experience is ready to flower. This flowering starts as “hide and seek” but then becomes awareness of pleasure you don’t even have to look for to see.
Safety and calm communication are key.
Building sensory awareness of the present moment establishes the feeling of safety that calms your nervous system. This calming brings on the ability to engage more readily in therapy. The mind-body distress that brought you to talk with me starts to ease.
My emphasis on communicating warmth and acceptance creates the model for you to safely build relationships, strengthening the social engagement system of your physiology that is crucial for health, growth, and restoration of well-being.
As a white-bodied, cisgender therapist, I am mindful of communicating safety to people living in bodies of culture, those that don’t fit the gender binary or have disabilities. I am committed to recognizing my privilege and conditioned bias and continuously learning how racial, gender, and disability trauma affects the mental health of individuals and communities.
“Your body – all of our bodies – are where changing the status quo must begin.”
– Resmaa Menakem
I want you to “feel felt” and start recognizing that feeling in healthy relationships outside therapy. More and more aspects of your life fall into place, and the sensations of stress, anxiety, and depression start to lift. Rather than feeling paralyzed or overreacting to life events, you can respond with clarity and intention and realize that you can do more, be more, and enjoy more.
This experience isn’t magic; it’s science!
Enjoyment is key to effective therapy.
I continually study the science of being human; then, I use what I learn to be the best therapist I can be for my clients. I could “entertain” you with specifics about polyvagal theory and interpersonal neurobiology. And if you want to know more, you can find information about these topics and more on my website.
The most important thing for you is to know that I take this knowledge and information and translate it into therapy that feels as easy and fun as possible. Sound strange? We learn best in a state of relaxed alertness, and indeed, you’ve seen, or remember for yourself, how children learn through play. Reclaim that enjoyment for yourself!
I’m currently immersed in the study of Organic Intelligence and weaving it together with Somatic Experiencing. Ericksonian Hypnotherapy plays well with these approaches.
I enjoy this work and feel grateful for the traditional lineages that have informed these westernized names for healing modalities. I have personally benefited from my sessions in these modalities and am eager to share them with you.
Enjoyment of life is a priority.
I am restored and expanded by the arts – music, theater, and the visual arts. My rescue dog Stewey gives me never-ending opportunities for play. I’m a parent of two beautiful adults, and together, we sometimes enjoy fine food, walks with our dogs, and hanging out together or on FaceTime.
“We are the singing and dancing species.”
– Steve Hoskinson