Psychotherapy & Couples Counseling
"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination." —Carl Rogers
Therapy is a practice and an ever-evolving process; it is the cauldron where true transformation, growth, and alchemy occur. In our work together, I make it my mission to help you see that, like everything, you, too, are a complex, fluid, sometimes mercurial being, not fixed or static. In a safe, co-created space, we will mine your uniquely fluctuating "constellation of potentialities" to discover how you can best live in right relationship with all of your moving and sometimes disparate parts. I will help you to more fluently navigate the complexities and challenges of being human, and to cultivate an awakened relationship with yourself and your world.
My formal academic study was rooted in Humanistic and Existential Psychotherapy, and my work pays great homage to that tradition. In the years since, I have done extensive post-graduate training in somatic, relational, and attachment-based models of therapy and human development that largely inform how I practice today. The present iteration of my work is a cutting-edge hybrid of Hakomi (a method of mindful, somatic psychotherapy) and dynamic relational processes informed by AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), Integral Psychology, and Authentic Relating practices.
My orientation is to an evolutionary, transformation-based model of healing and change. The field of psychotherapy has long been hyper-focused on psychopathology, and a paradigm shift is in order. Regardless of the traumas that one has endured, there is always an abiding instinct that pulses, unrelentingly, toward aliveness in the human system. I am committed to trusting the wild intelligence of this vital current.
Somatic (or body-centered) psychotherapy concerns itself with how the body archives experience. We might say that “the body remembers” since it becomes a kind of storehouse for the unconscious. Phrases like “the issues are in the tissues” and “the body keeps the score” nod to what has become an indisputable truth thanks to neuroscience. Working somatically with the nervous system is often a more expedient way of accessing core material and re-wiring neural patterns for lasting change.
I am trained in the Hakomi Method of Mindful, Somatic Psychotherapy. The term “Hakomi” comes from the Hopi Indians and it translates to mean, “How do you stand in relation to these many realms?” True to its semantic origins, it deeply honors the myriad ways in which we relate to all facets of life and experience. We are multi-dimensional beings, after all.
As a practitioner, I see myself not as an “expert on high,” but rather as a wakeful companion on the journey. Hakomi is often referred to as a form of “assisted self-study,” as it endeavors to explore, in real time, how someone is systematically organized. In truth, most of how we are organized is unconscious. To paraphrase Einstein, we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it. For example, if we keep telling our stories that we know so well, we do not learn anything new. And, further, we may simply be reinforcing habitual neural grooves, keeping us in the frustrated throes of repeated experience. But, if we can begin to discover, with the help of a skillful guide, how we are unwittingly replaying old patterns in the living moment, we can work in a mindful, body-based way to shift our experience toward one that feels more generative.
In our sessions together we will explore how your mind-body system is oriented, and how the internal patterns housed in your somatic structure are influencing your responses to life. Some of these patterns are, of course, adaptive and helpful, while others are inevitably limiting and serve to keep out available nourishment. Through Hakomi practice we learn to reconstitute the inner landscape by experientially engaging new neural networks in service of a more integrated, satisfying whole.
Specialty areas include:
Generalized anxiety & depression
Spiritual & existential concerns
Women's issues/Mother issues/Feminine wounding
Highly Sensitive People/Empaths
Life transitions (career changes, divorce etc.)
Grief and loss
Adolescents and young adults
Relationship and sexuality issues
Non-traditional relationships, sexual orientation, LGBTQ issues
Creative blocks and crises of inspiration
“Dark Night of the Soul”
Therapists, Healers, and people who take care of people professionally
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules.” —Tom Robbins
There is no definitive point at which issues cease to arise in the life of a partnership. As with any practice, the process itself is the solution. I approach relationship as the complex, mutable organism that it is.
The work of couples therapy revolves around how to live more consciously inside of an ever-changing dynamic. Contrary to popular wisdom, a "good relationship" is not about merely eradicating conflict and eliminating tension. Freedom does not come from securing a mundane homeostatic range. Rather, it comes from having the ability to move fluidly through shared space, even when the whim of the moment is fickle or unfavorable. Too often, we seek to impose fixed notions of security upon a living, breathing structure that is, by nature, wild. Desire is potentially our greatest teacher if we learn how to work with it instead of against it.
My work with couples is informed by notable teachers and thinkers (Esther Perel, David Schnarch) as well as by an amalgam of experiential modalities including somatic psychotherapy, dyadic mindfulness, AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), Imago, RLT (Relational Life Therapy), Authentic Relating, and Integral practice.
Specialty areas include:
Affairs & Infidelity
Sex & sexuality
Sexless marriages & relationships
Sexual orientation, same sex relationships, and LGBTQ issues
Open relationships, non-monogamy, & polyamory
Separation, Divorce, and “Conscious Uncoupling”
Communication issues & Conflict Resolution
*In both my individual and couples work I draw upon a wide range of modalities and orientations including: Contemplative and Mindfulness-based practices, Existential and Humanistic psychotherapy, Jungian Depth Psychology, Eastern philosophy, Somatic work, Energy Medicine, Shamanic ritual and Earth-based practices, Feminine wisdom traditions, Desire-based coaching, Sex therapy, Mysticism, Neuroscience, Metaphysical thought, Imago Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Integral theory, and Authentic Relating practices.