Here is a brief description of my specialization and some approaches I often use...
Expressive Arts Therapy uses the expressive arts — movement, art, music, writing, sound, and improvisation — in a supportive setting to facilitate growth and healing. It is a process of discovery through any art form that comes from an emotional depth. Since emotional states are seldom logical, the use of imagery and nonverbal modes allows the client an alternative path for self-exploration and communication. This process is a powerful integrative force.
Traditionally, psychotherapy is a verbal form of therapy, and the verbal process will always be important. However, clients have a more direct experience of their inner world when expressed through the arts. Color, form, and symbols are languages that speak from the unconscious and have particular meaning for each individual. Clients' self-knowledge can expand as movement, art, writing, and sound provide clues for further exploration. Expressive art becomes a healing process as well as a new language that speaks to both the client and the therapist. These arts are potent media in which to discover, experience, and accept the unknown aspects of Self. For further resources about Expressive Arts Therapy click here.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, developed over 20 years ago by Francine Shapiro, is a powerful psychotherapy technique that has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress. EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies. EMDR is the leading treatment for trauma world-wide as well as at the Veterans Administration.
EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatedly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are "trapped" in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiologic system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.
As troubling images and feelings are processed by the brain via the eye-movement patterns of EMDR, resolution of the issues and a more peaceful state are achieved. The EMDR technique is most effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy. EMDR therapy can help clients replace their anxiety and fear with positive images, emotions and thoughts. For further resources about EMDR click here.
In therapeutic terms, trauma is defined as an experience that produces
psychological injury or pain. We all go through painful experiences in life. Although
we may not label them as “traumatic,” these experiences can take a toll on our mind
and body and make us feel stuck or “out of the flow” of life.
We can classify trauma into three categories: “Big T,” “little t,” and cumulative
traumas. Listed below are just a few examples from each of these categories.
Although you may well recognize some issues on the list as traumatic, there are
others not always thought of in this way.
“Big T” traumas:
“little t” traumas:
As well as life transitions (even if joyful): • Child developmental stages • Caring for aging parents • Death of a loved one (person or pet)
• Multiple military deployments • Childhood neglect/repeated abuse
When we go through experiences like the ones just mentioned, we can develop
symptoms of depression or anxiety, panic attacks, self‐defeating thoughts, sleep or
eating disturbances, and physical symptoms such as body pains, frequent illness and headache. In some instances, we can develop autoimmune diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. By using a holistic approach involving both body and mind, I will help you to move gently and rapidly toward resolution and healing. Read on for more information about the specific therapeutic modalities I use...
Integrative Somatic Therapy, or IST, developed by Elaine Miller-Karas, combines elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing to expand the healing potential inherent in all human beings. The client is gently guided into the experience of their own sensation and discovers that with greater sensory awareness of traumatic patterns and of their own inner capacity to heal, the events of her/his past can be processed and released. An experience of greater inner peace may emerge and a growing belief often begins to blossom that the anguish and suffering that once haunted the present can be transformed. The traumatic memories can diminish in one's mind and body and be placed in their proper place, in the past. For further resources about IST click here. Trauma Resiliency Model, or TRM (formerly Trauma First Aid), was inspired by the work of Dr. Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing (of the Foundation for Human Enrichment). Developed by Elaine Miller-Karas and Dr. Laurie Leitch, it is based on current research that demonstrates that the mind and body are inseparable. TRM offers concrete skills to reduce symptoms of traumatic stress in the Nervous System. The goal of treatment is to educate clients about the Nervous System and teach specific skills to help stabilize the body/mind. As clients become aware of how to stabilize the nervous system, internal resiliency is increased. Therapists from the Trauma Resource Institute (a non-profit organization developed to make TRM skills accessible to all) have worked internationally and locally to assist survivors and aid workers after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Indonesia, and the recent earthquake in China. Because of this work, they have recently become part of the World Health Organization. For further resources about TRM or Somatic Experiencing, click here.
The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. The method was developed to help men, women, and adolescents learn how to show up, be seen, and live braver lives.
The primary focus is on developing shame resilience skills and developing a courage practice that transforms the way we live, love,parent,and lead. It can be facilitated in clinical, educational, and professional settings and is suitable for work with individuals, couples, families, work teams, and organizational leaders. For further information about Brené Brown and her work, click here.