My philosophy for delivering therapeutic excellence rests on the following fundamental beliefs:
- Your attention is your greatest currency in life. Choosing where you want to put your attention ultimately creates your life.
- Trusting that your body as an intelligent, innately powerful and wise ally on your journey leads to a stronger and positive sense of self.
- Getting your biology back in balance is the key to everything: more joy, more creativity, richer relationships and compassion.
- Attuned relationships rewire our brains and nervous systems and increase a positive sense of self.
Attention is your greatest currency in life
Most clients seek out therapy because their life isn’t going the way they had planned. They are experiencing distress, suffering and pain.
And so, most new clients are surprised when I ask them, “What is going right in your life?” They are caught off guard and after pausing for a moment, they actually have a lot of answers to share with me.
Cultivating the “What’s going right?” attention IS AS IMPORTANT as attending to the “What’s wrong?” attention. Yet, most of us have fallen into the habit of exclusively renting mental space to our “what’s wrong?” attention and I totally get that.
Yet, your transformation requires that instead of getting kidnapped or hijacked by the mental habit of noticing flaws or the lack in everything, we balance this out by choosing to spend time paying attention to what’s right.
“Where you attention goes, energy flows.” You feeling me?
Imagine putting your attention on the last time you felt most like yourself? Or the kind gesture that your loved one recently exhibited. Or, the last time someone held you as you cried.
When you chooses to balance out the “What’s wrong?” attention with “what’s right?” your nervous system actually has an opportunity to take a break from the habitual anxiety or depression. Moreover, you are able to feel more grounded and resilient.
Much of the beginning work with clients rests on this one belief. When you really learn the power of putting your attention and focus where you most want it to go, you will find that you are vitally resourced from your own inner wellspring.
Your body as a powerful ally
Listen, I love talk therapy modalities. I love them and am trained in many prominent approaches! However, in my nearly 15 years of being a therapist, I became aware of the limits of talk-based approaches.
From the very first session, I enlist your body as one of your best allies to move you in the direction of your best life. Talking and the narrative is hugely important. And, when clients couple their narrative with the wisdom of their bodies, magnificent shifts begin to unfold.
Not only does putting your attention where you want it to go along with sensing your body’s input have the power to shift your in-the-moment emotional experience but it also has the power to shift your physical and physiological experience:
When you really spend time focusing on what’s right in your life, your body responds by:
- Breathing deeper,
- Relaxing major muscle groups,
- Releasing your jaw and shoulders,
- Lowering your heart rate, just to name a few.
When you are EMBODIED, actually inhabiting your body through sensing, feeling, noticing and ultimately, trusting your body’s knowledge, your relationship to self shifts for the better.
Unlike the mind, the BODY CAN ONLY LIVE IN PRESENT TIME. As such, the information your body has available for you in any given moment, is nothing short of stupendous.
In case, you didn’t know, YOUR BODY SPEAKS IN WHISPERS UNTIL IT HAS TO YELL. My job with you is to support listening more deeply to your body and learning the language it speaks.
The power of your biology in balance
Your body’s biological capacity to maintain balance is called Self-Regulation. From your nervous system’s perspective, which operates in tandem with states of arousal and settling, it means that one state doesn’t dominate over the other.
When your system is regulated, you feel curious, grounded, open, present and flexible in your responses to life’s stressors. And when you feel dysregulated, stuck in too much or not enough arousal, this is when symptoms of depression and/or anxiety really keep you from living your best life.
All clients who come to work with me have some form of a dysregulated state. One of the primary goals of our work together is to help your nervous system come back into regulation so that you can move forward in your life in meaningful ways.
I have seen the power, in myself and in my clients, of what happens when self-regulation is restored and honestly, it is nothing short of miraculous!
You will learn things like how to:
- track the rhythms of your nervous system,
- listen to the cues your body constantly gives you to get regulated,
- implement somatic and cognitive skills to increase your capacity for regulated states,
- and eventually, trust your body to guide you through your daily life such that you feel more states of flow and ease.
When we are in an attuned relationship, we feel “gotten” or “felt” at the core level of our being. Many of my clients report feeling deeply seen and understood in ways that they have never experienced before.
Attunement in sessions with clients looks like:
- listening to your words with full engagement and curiosity.
- noticing and naming how your body changes in response to the words.
- asking you to slow down and notice your body through sensations, impulses, energy and imagery.
- pausing you from the narrative time and time, allowing silence and then helping you to sense the changes happening inside you.
- getting a sense of what you might be feeling on the inside, emotionally and energetically, and helping you to both find words for and connect with these experiences.
Attuned relationships rewire our brains and nervous systems and increase a positive sense of self.
Having attuned relationships in your life contributes to greater self-regulation as discussed above, to increased resiliency in the face of stress, increased flexible responses and for sure, increased sense of ease and flow about your life.
Remember, it isn’t just about listening and seeing though, it’s about getting in touch with the energy of you and your world. It’s akin to really trusting that someone is in your corner. Studies reveal that the meaningful connections you have in your life, even if it begins with just one person, predicts better outcomes on life expectancy, recovering from an illness and decreased risk of heart disease.