This type of therapy views the body as a source of wisdom and a path to healing and self-awareness. It uses mindfulness as a way to study present experience, the core beliefs that shape us, as well as offers opportunities for living more full, authentic lives. This approach is non-pathological and recognizes that people are always seeking wholeness. Hakomi Mindfulness-Based Somatic Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing are the formalized approaches used in this work.
This gentle type of bodywork focuses on the movement of fluids and energy throughout the brain and spinal cord that bathes the rest of the body. It views health as being the free movement of energy, and when it is blocked by stress, trauma, or any number of factors, disease and illness arise. Releasing blocks in the physical, emotional, and energetic bodies results in physical release of bound muscles and connective tissue, as well as emotional releases such as laughing or crying. This is welcomed and a sign that the stagnant holding places in the body are unwinding and letting go.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a successful approach to process traumatic events. It uses eye movements to process information and memories, while having a calming effect on a dysregulated nervous system. The eye movements are thought to mimic the process of REM sleep when dreaming, which appears to be crucial to organizing experience and thought patterns in an adaptive manner. When trauma disrupts this system, EMDR can help.
What To Expect
Individual therapy sessions include talk therapy that invites clients into states of mindfulness in order to witness internal experience. This will take place while sitting in a chair, lying fully clothed on a table, or any combination of both. The client will be informed of any uses of touch. The purpose of touch is to help gain body awareness, a sense of personal boundaries, to release physical and energetic restrictions, and to regulate the nervous system. Breathing practices, meditation, and craniosacral therapy are an integral part of this somatic approach to mental health.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Work, Washington State University, 2001
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Addictions Studies, Lewis and Clark College, 2007
Graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts, 2009
Licensed Professional Counselor #C3164 (Oregon)
Licensed Massage Therapist #17024 (Oregon)