How I Work
This is what happens in the learning processes of our minds…that which develops into our patterns of living:
An event happens…we have a thought, or an interpretation of that event (which is usually based on how we’ve been taught or on our own personal experiences)…this triggers our belief about ourselves, others and/or the world at large…which activates a reaction which might be in the form of thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors.
These can happen on a conscious or unconscious level. Over time, these become a way of being and parts of the experience are usually stored in the recesses of our minds and bodies…not within our conscious awareness or our determined ability to change them. We find ourselves just acting and reacting and not knowing why or how to change it.
To heal, or to change these patterns, it takes something to intervene at any point in the chain. I work using a two-pronged approach. I work with you from what I call “the outside-in” and also from “the inside-out.”
Working from the Outside-In
You may have heard that it takes 21 days to change a bad habit and create a new one. I have heard the expression “bring the body, the mind will follow.” These are both ways in which we work from the Outside-In…working to change our behavior, often, though not always, without a lot of focus on many other aspects of the behavior. Dieting is a form of working this way…controlling what and how much and when to eat. Quitting smoking or becoming abstinent from alcohol or drugs is working from the Outside-In.
Where patterns or behaviors are destructive or regularly disruptive, it is important to get a handle on them and learn ways to contain them. I will work with you to develop skills and techniques and a plan of action to begin to reign in these behaviors, to work towards improved daily functioning or improved functioning in your relationships.
However, depending on the depth and extent of the pattern, it is doubtful that solely a behavioral, or Outside-In approach will be enough. How often have you tried any of these behavioral interventions only to find yourself back in the cycle? While it may take only 21 days to break a habit or create a new one…. how many of you have been able to change a habit for 21 days…especially the habit of thinking and reacting?
You may have heard about something called “switching addictions.” This is when we are able to stop a behavior…say, for instance, drinking abusively… and maybe you are successful in stopping for a long time…but within a relatively short time, and possibly in response to the normal stresses of living or in reaction to a specific and repetitive situation (for example, dealing with a spouse or family)…you find yourself engaging in some other behavior. You may find yourself overeating or chewing your nails or working all the time or constantly keeping busy in other ways or spending way too much time on the computer or watching TV or finding some other creative way to not deal with whatever it is that was under the original “addiction”. One of the more subtle ways in which we switch addictions is going into depression. This is a way to avoid the pain, fear, sadness, anger, loneliness, guilt or shame…by shutting them down and locking them away.
While Outside-In is an important piece of therapy, it often is not enough. Then it is essential to start working from the Inside-Out.
Working from the Inside-Out
Working from the Inside-Out basically means finding the causes behind the behaviors…rooting them out, challenging them, and changing them. Like pulling weeds in the garden…you can pull off the top, the part you can see above the ground, but if you don’t get to the roots, chances are pretty good that the weed will return. When under stress, when your back is up against the wall – at work, at home, or even in traffic – if the patterns have not been uprooted, we will usually go back to what we know, what has been programmed in by years of experiences that have reinforced the pattern.
To work from the Inside-Out, I work with you, using a variety of powerful tools, to identify the roots and causes of the issue and to actually change the causes of the problem.
The Tools I Use (Click on each for more information):
EMDR is a powerful therapy that has been shown, and supported by over 20 years of research, to effectively diminish symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and, consequently, depression and anxiety. It pulls together the essential facets of many of the key therapies of the last 100 years of psychotherapy: Cognitive and behavioral therapies, gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy (those that believe that today’s behaviors are the results of past experiences and traumas), and the somatic, or body oriented, therapies.
Most importantly, EMDR works to tap into your own, already present, innate healing system within. We work to diminish the effects of trauma, both big and little trauma, and allow the wisdom and “knowing” within you come forth and reclaim your truth…to access what your wise self already knows. Your wise, adult self knows that the danger of the past trauma is no longer present, but your emotional mind doesn’t know that and keeps reacting to danger. The wise mind knows that what happened is not your fault…but it still feels that way no matter what you tell yourself. Your inner knowing is that the event is in the past…”just let it go”….but the body still feels it and reacts as if it’s happening right now. EMDR reduces and eliminates those symptoms and allows the whole brain and mind to work together so the self can experience and live what it already knows.
Since this is such a primary focus of how I work, I have included a separate link above to provide more information on how it works
Additional Therapies :
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