Enriching Relationships and Personal Resilence
Stress Couples Counseling
I have been a therapist for over 15 years and I have learned that only talking about the problem is usually not sufficient in decreasing anxiety or overwhelm. I dove deeply into finding a solution to this problem. I began to educate myself on evidence-based modalities that addressed anxiety from a holistic integrative perspective that resulted in a more comprehensive treatment. Depending on each client's goal we can address the deeper core issues that impact your sense of self and/or address present-day concerns, stress and overwhelm.
Addressing the "body" somatic type of movement and methods may include understanding how the body impacts the mind, so this may mean learning gentle yoga movements for connection and release of emotions/tension, learning about the nervous system as it relates to mental health, EFT/tapping and overall nutrition and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Addressing "emotions" as self-compassion and mindfulness to tuning in and being able to make space for your inner feelings by exploring possible origins of a trigger/feelings, core issues, or looking at old stories so you can restory a healthier story, and then learning how to regulate emotions (goes back to the body methods). Addressing your "mind" by using mindfulness, guided meditation, and motivational and solution-focused techniques to really focus on what you want for the present and your future. Lastly the "spiritual" or "bigger meaning" of your life and how it gives you a sense of understanding and purpose that is moved by internal passion or your purpose.
To schedule - schedule a full session OR a meet and greet firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: If you are in a crisis, or have suicidal thoughts or uncontrolled racing thoughts - then outpatient therapy is not warranted. When someone is in a crisis state it's hard to take in information and I do lots of skill-building and teaching. You may need a higher level of care as an intensive outpatient or inpatient until you feel stable. It's important we always put a sense of safety first. I can give you resources!
Stress Couples Support
9 week private class sessions for stress and anxiety
--WE CHANGE by ACTION
--WE CHANGE by PRACTICE
Talking about our problems in a safe space is healing as is getting insight - but sometimes it takes more than just talking about anxiety, it also requires action with a "practice".
If you want to manage daily stress via a set of practices, habits and lifestyle then you might be interested in my class - its not a group at this point, it's still one-on-one. But the format is centered on learning and putting into practice what is taught in the class.
This is psychoeducation, not therapy, but we will still apply the lessons to your unique situation and life.
The couples stress management program is NOT for couples experiencing relationship distress. Yes, all couples have continual issues they are addressing which is fine for this class, so what I mean is, this is not a program for couples wanting to fix any relationship problems - this is for couples who already have a stable good relationship (no does not need to be perfect of course) and would like to learn ways to manage their stress/anxiety as a team and in the process increase the connection they already have currently.
Educational sessions offer you real ways to manage your depression, anxiety and everyday stress. I found client's that have a foundational knowledge of emotional regulation were able to create longer lasting change than simple talk therapy.
Life will always present us with challenges! Knowing how to navigate those challenges is one way to create more inner balance in your life.
The main focus of this 9-week class is to provide you with an education that includes a step-by-step process to create your own self-healing program, You will learn breathwork, mindfulness and gentle movement techniques, and lifestyle principles that help to break the cycles that get us stuck in anxiety. Also, as a new added benefit, learn a few healthy communication habits for you and your partner.
1st Session I just want to get to know the two of you and your goals for the program
Dysregulation and self-regulation;
Positive couples' communication and connection habits
Triggers and how they are formed;
How your brain can react differently to triggers;
The stress response ("fight or flight") and the relaxation response;
Several methods for "up-regulating" and "down-regulating" your nervous system;
The role and importance of routines and rituals, and self-care; help new habits
Self-compassion methods aimed at regulating your mind body spirit
Other methods of self-regulation such as acupressure points (tapping), Mudras, affirmations ) and meditation/mindfulness
With effort and commitment, you can expect: Improvement in physical symptoms; Increased understanding of why you react the way you do and what's going on in your body when you react; Increase ability to emotionally, physically and regulate your reaction to stressors; and, Improved ability to "bounce back" (build resilience) from challenges and difficulties.
- PowerPoint presentations as a visual aid
- Live gentle simple yoga movements - we will do some movement in session.
- Learn about tapping (emotional freedom technique)
- Breathing Exercises
- Meditations/Guided Relaxation exercises
- Education and more Education on how to regulate anxiety
- Learn how to manage stress, anxiety and worry
- Couple's communication methods to encourage connection
- Empower your own self-healing
Couples can learn how to come together when feeling anxious or stressed as a way to help regulate their minds and body and build a stronger connection in the process.
This class is a combination of Overcome anxiety clinic by Sundra Institute, somatic movement, neuropsychology and general overall self-compassion as Kristen Neff and Tara Brach in eastern psychology.
Self - Compassion/Mindfulness Counseling
Practice how you relate to yourself through a compassionate lens. When in distress we tend to self-criticize, speak harshly to ourselves or have unrealistic expectations. What if you responded with more kindness, patience, and understanding? What if this actually made you stronger? Society and our upbringing have influenced our self-talk.
Self-compassion addresses core issues related to feelings of unworthiness, depression and perfectionism. Combining mindfulness with compassion allows a richer dive into an authentic awareness of how you can allow yourself to be softer with yourself and for others. Depending on the client's needs can adapt mindfulness skills, and guided meditation that is aimed at increasing self-acceptance and consciousness awareness is a core skill for deeper awareness into your beliefs, choices and behaviors.
The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship of all. The relationship you have with yourself is critical because it is the foundation for all your other relationships in life. It considerably affects events in your life, including your relationships with others, your career and goals, and how you care for yourself and your children.
Bringing consciousness and awareness to your own inner world can bring a more peaceful and kind presence in your daily life. When you gently bring attention to the way you interact with your thoughts, emotions and stories you tell yourselves, some of the anxiety, depression, relationship struggles, worry, stress and self-esteem naturally no longer dominate your identity.
I invite my clients to begin this journey with gentle curiosity and a sprinkle of open-mindedness.
One of my favorite teachers is Tara Brach and psychologist and meditation therapist.
Also, mindfulness has been well adapted to the Western psychology experience which I am well versed to teach, but I also have studied from the traditional eastern concepts of where the practice originally ordinated.
Tapping is based on the combination of Ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology.
Also, based on mind-body awareness it is more of an alternative tool.
It consists of tapping with your fingertips on specific meridian points while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations.
Research evidence-based practice has shown this helps calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.
Tapping works with our midbrain region and our nervous system to help the calming centers regain strength.
Solution Focused Therapy - Motivational Interviewing Therapy
Life is about the questions!
Conversations are powerful! I would love to create intentional conversations that will help move you actively toward a solution you wish to have in your life. You can move forward in your life by focusing on your strengths, your inner wisdom and your hopes. So, let's co-create conversations that will reauthor a new story about whom you want to be in the present and in the future. I combine a goal-directed approach along with a deep exploration of your own inner wisdom to help bring out your best self.
I will ask you reflective questions throughout the session that will help you gain greater clarity on your abilities, desires, action steps and strengths. In Strength Focused we are co-creating a new version of yourself via creating a new conversation about you and your future.
Family of Origin Therapy
Our Families and culture has a huge impact on our wellbeing
Family of origin work involves examining each person's history as a whole, that is, the quality of their parental relationships, their environment, the presence of traumatic experiences, and how they have shaped themselves as individuals - exploring attachment patterns and even intergenerational effects on you the individual.
Developmentally, we are dependent on our caregivers for a significant portion of the early stages of our lives. We need caregivers to survive. And depending on the caregiver, we learn we can trust our needs to be met most of the time or we learn that we cannot trust others to meet our needs most of the time (or something unpredictable in between). This sets the stage for the type of attachment styles we develop and further impacts the way we relate to others and the world around us. We derive meaning from the way our early caregivers interact with us. Our families or contexts in which we are raised give us our earliest experiences in which we learn if we are valuable, special, and matter to someone...or not. We learn how to gauge our worth or seek connection: if it is inherent or earned with achievements and accolades, athletic prowess, and academic success. We might earn it through being a "good girl/boy/child" or an accommodating and pleasing child. We might learn what is "good" and what is "bad" in our family, and so begins our relationships with shame/guilt and ultimately, our relationship with ourselves.
Topics such as inner child work, self-differentiation, setting boundaries, re-storying old narratives, redefining and reframing values and qualities, and attachment work all address how you are relating to yourself and the world around you via the lens of your FOO and learned attachment styles.
What anxiety does...
Anxiety depletes our body, mind and our energy. Though, the fact is we live in a world that easily triggers anxiety. On the physical level, our response to anxiety is actually healthy and necessary. The problem is our anxiety response is supposed to be temporary, but in our modern age the time spent in our anxiety response is much longer and more intense. In the wellness research, it has been determined that chronic stress and long-term anxiety is the cause of 90% of health problems. Anxiety impacts us physically and energetically. Though, there are many things we can do to help balance out this response so we can live healthier and happier lives.
First, its important to understand how anxiety impacts your nervous system, overall body functioning and energy system. As humans, we have a lot in common with how anxiety impacts our body, though, there are also many differences between us all. Listed below are some common symptoms of how anxiety can impact the mind-body and emotions, but again everyone will have a different response at different times. Noticing when anxiety shows up in our body gives us the opportunity to counter its physical effect. There are many different ways to counter it effects, again it varies from person to person.
Anxiety is fueled by the unknown (among many things)
Anxiety also has a strong foundation in being associated with the unknown. The unknowns can create this sense of uneasiness and unsettledness in our minds. Anxiety usually increases when we are fearful or unsure of the future. Lets face it, what is currently happening in our world does make the future seem scary! Its important yes to learn how to cope and its vital to learn how to live with anxiety in a balanced manner. Each person's experience of anxiety is so different due to one's perspectives of life, past and current experiences and willingness to embrace something new. As such sometimes treating anxiety can be complex due to our differences, but at the same time it is manageable. Its important to remember that anxiety is a natural response to our environment. Anxiety is actually healthy and normal. But....Its learning how to ride the waves of anxiety vs. fighting it or hoping it will just go away. Anxiety can be a great resource if we learn how listen to it in a new way and react to the physical states in a more evolved manner.
Common physical symptoms not otherwise caused by a medical condition or nutrient deficiency
Increase or decrease in heart rate
Change in blood pressure
Digestive problems - all of them!
And of course, always check in with your doctor or nurse practitioner to rule out any concerns for systematic conditions causing these conditions besides anxiety. Just a word of advice, if you haven't had a yearly check-up with blood work, talk to your provider about your symptoms.
Racing thoughts or intrusive thoughts
Sadness, and overwhelm,
Restlessness or to much energy
Fears of the future and the known
Common habits we cope with anxiety
Worst case scenarios
Isolating or patterns of avoidance
Slow thinking due to anxiety
Self-shaming - the "shoulds"
Focusing on the "what ifs"
Self-criticizing and quick to criticize or judge others
Numbing out to TV, food and substances.
Why I use holistic methods
A holistic perspective utilizes ways to calm ones body via a variety of options as emotional freedom technique, certain movements from yoga, gentle stretching, exercises or movement, breathwork, neuropsychology techniques, nutrition, gut microbiome regime, sleep and even variety of energy techniques - I am not a massage therapist, but I recommend them for added wellness benefit.
If your body is tense, then your thoughts and emotions will also be "tense". The mind and emotions are another piece to this holistic approach to wellness. It includes using self-compassionate practices, meditation, mindfulness, and understanding how your thought patterns and automatic stories you tell yourselves impact your mental health. Its important to reexamine these stories and begin to bring a conscious awareness to them so you can begin to rewrite a different story about yourself.
The stories we tell ourselves
One of the foundational aspects to any healing is learning how to apply a new narrative to your self-identity. This is a deeper existential exploration of how you can begin to find more compassion for yourself as you explore your experiences and patterns in our time together. Counseling is also a process of self-discovery, self-forgiveness and gaining new insights into your own personal understanding of yourself. The fact is, you have all your own answers and solutions. Through therapeutic conversations and intuitively sculpted questions, my hope for all my clients is that I can help remind you to listen to your voice and wisdom within yourself