I work as a psychotherapist with a focus on process-oriented somatic work that connects with people's natural abilities to find a path toward resolution and completion. I utilize Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with a strong focus on the body and nervous system to facilitate this work.
Two questions that have driven my orientation have been: "How does our nature work, and how can we best work with that nature?" This has led me to find ways of working that align with the potential movement and integration of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual natures.
People feel caught in pain, anxiety, patterns of reaction, very challenging mood states, and difficult relational dynamics. These are all accessible to effective processing through close attention to the present sensations that arise the moment. Foundational to my work is a deep trust in a non-interpretative engagement that trusts our natural drive for completion.
Over the years, I have learned much about "trauma," in its subtle and more obvious forms. Whether it is single incident trauma, repeated exposure to events that overwhelm our system, or relational/developmental dynamics that have taxed our functioning, treating the impacts of trauma profoundly impacts our abilities to achieve freedom and full potential. Often people have been given serious diagnoses that are no longer applicable once they resolve their traumatic responses.
It is easy for us to become "activated" such that we experience involuntary nervous system reactions that make life difficult. We may feel increased heart rates, anxiety, more acute emotional reactivity, hypervigilance, and even panic that we don't want, or understand. Similarly, people often experience an involuntary shutting down, feeling disengaged, hopeless and feeling spacey. Often these responses are driven by parts of the brain and nervous system that do not have verbal language. We can know a response is "irrational," and find ourselves having it repeatedly. A strong reason for bringing a somatic, or body-focused, approach to therapy is that we can help to work through these reactions in ways that more cognitive approaches struggle to access.
Working with couples, my approach is based in an understanding of the intricate dynamics that occur in all committed relationships, and how they press on each of us to be both the people and partners we want to be. Simple differences in levels of desire - for autonomy, sex, or taking a walk together - display the ways that tensions naturally arise. Responding well to our own emotions in the face of a loved one's emotions and actions is universally challenging. This exposes limited and familiar ways we may have learned to manage discomfort and anxiety in our families growing up, and in prior relationships. It also pushes on the dilemma of wanting satisfaction and intimacy when that asks us to grow beyond existing levels of comfort. Couples therapy is an opportunity to use the "heat" that these dynamics generate to grow into more satisfying, less burdened, and more passionate relationships.
I am a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, and in Somatic Experiencing Touch Therapy Practitioner. I am certified as an EMDR International Association Therapist and Consultant, and am a Facilitator with the training staff of the EMDR Institute.
I have integrated all that I've found helpful in therapy into a series of trainings I call Natural Processing. I've been offering in-person trainings around the US and Canada since 2014, and have a number of recorded webinars available online at the website: https://naturalprocessing.org/ .
I have been licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist since 1982.