I offer individual counselling, couple’s counselling, and relationship counselling.
I prefer meeting face to face, as I find that this is most beneficial to my clients, but for those who cannot come into my office due to geographical or other limitations, I also offer FaceTime, Skype or telephone sessions.
Psychodynamic, Emotion-Focused Theoretical Orientation
I draw from a psychodynamic theoretical orientation. This means that when working with you, I am taking into consideration not only what is happening in your life now, but also what has happened in the past to influence your current attitudes, beliefs and responses. My goal is to assist you in becoming self-aware, so that you can develop a more conscious way of coping with current and future difficulties.
Psychodynamic therapy also focuses on developing insight, or a deeper understanding of the often unconscious feelings and beliefs that typically override our best intentions and conscious thoughts. It means we look not only at the ‘What’, but also at the ‘Why’, so that we can address the root of the issue.
In addition to understanding the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, I also guide you in exploring your feelings. By becoming aware of your emotions and learning to express them in your work with me, you can begin to heal past hurts, tolerate difficult emotions, and use your emotions to help you lead an authentic, connected life. I often describe my office as a ‘laboratory’, where you can practice feeling and expressing emotions that you might normally suppress or deny.
Hakomi therapy is body-centered, somatic psychotherapy, which means that it studies the relationship between the mind and the body. In this approach, I pay attention not only to your story, which is being told through the lens of your mind, but I also pay attention to your body, which is the storyteller itself.
Hakomi therapy uses your present, in-the-moment, experience as an access route to your core material. Core material is composed of memories, images, beliefs, neural patterns and deeply held emotional dispositions. It shapes the styles, habits, behaviors, perceptions and attitudes that define us as individuals. Typically, it exerts its influence unconsciously, by organizing our responses to the major themes of life: safety, belonging, support, power, freedom, control, responsibility, love, appreciation, sexuality, spirituality, etc. Some of this material supports our being who we wish to be, while some of it, learned in response to acute and chronic stress, continues to limit us. Hakomi allows the client to distinguish between the two, and to willingly change material that restricts his or her wholeness.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
In some situations, I use EMDR to help my clients heal from symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level.
EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. When using EMDR, I follow detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions to help you activate your natural healing processes.