Creating Change by Working
"We don't heal in isolation but in community." -S. Kelley Harrell
A Bit About Working with You
Anxiety Reduction and Stress Management
You'll always know yourself better than I do. I'll help you get to know yourself deeper and uncover parts that may be hidden, or heal parts that may be wounded, but you'll always know yourself better. This is the view I take in all psychotherapy work we do together. What you may not know is how to cope effectively when your life is a pressure cooker or when your world has been turned upside down. You may not know how to keep calm amidst the storms of life or how to dial down anxiety a few good notches when it begins that alarming escalation. Experiencing anxiety or stress simply doesn't feel good and it can be flat out debilitating. Whether you suffer from mild anxiety or extreme, this is where I come in to help. If you're willing to put time in outside our sessions, the techniques that I'll teach and support you in can be a huge life changer! You'll learn a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness practices including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and holistic methods which can be effective when you're by yourself or in the presence of others.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Developed in the late 1980’s by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., EMDR is a complete psychotherapy approach which has been widely researched and proven to help people recover from a variety of challenges including trauma experiences, anxiety, depression, addiction, and more. EMDR is recognized as an effective psychotherapy by numerous organizations including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
EMDR is a highly structured approach which requires a person to focus briefly on a distressing memory while at the same time experiencing bilateral stimulation often done with eye movements. What I really like about EMDR is that you don’t have to peel back the onion so to speak and keep talking about the events that cause you distress. Such in-depth exploration can increase distress and retraumatize. The bilateral stimulation used in EMDR helps the brain process events and memories which promotes natural healing. EMDR doesn't take the memory away. Your relationship to the memory changes. The way you think about it or feel it changes. This process creates healing so you have the ability to experience the memory in a calm way without the typical stress response of fight, flight, or freeze.
Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors
If you have an intention to sustain your recovery from an addictive behavior (substance abuse, gambling, sexual compulsion, disordered eating, etc.) then you'll want solid relapse prevention skills that can help you one day at a time, or minutes at a time regardless of any situation you may find yourself in. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, also known as MBRP, helps you break the harmful cycle of reacting to triggers, stressors, and challenges. Through a combination of mindfulness practices and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), you'll learn ways to stay present focused, cope effectively with cravings and urges, and make skillful responses instead of knee-jerk reactions. MBRP increases awareness of what you're experiencing in your body, thoughts running through your mind, and emotions that are surfacing. You'll learn that if you're entertaining the idea of engaging your addiction or actually have that drink or drug in your hand, relapse can be prevented.
Other Areas of Treatment
Substance Abuse and Addiction Since 2011, I have worked for several substance addiction treatment centers providing individual, group, and family therapy. My knowledge of addiction and the process of recovery, combined with my compassionate approach, can give you the support you need as you begin your journey back to the life you truly want to live. I'll help you understand the cycle of addiction, what happens in your addicted brain, ways to get clean and sober, the underpinnings of your addiction, how to bust the beast of shame so you can live with your head held high, and much more. Freedom from the heaviest of your chains awaits you.
Affirmative Psychotherapy for the LGBTQIA and Beyond Community If you are part of this beautiful community and struggle in any way because of the forces that work against your sexual orientation or gender identify, I'm here for you. I have a Specialized Master of Clinical Psychology in LGBTQ+ Affirmative Psychotherapy which prizes and celebrates your amazing spirit and soul as well as honoring its history throughout time. You may be navigating the "inviting in" process (I use this term versus "coming out"), figuring out where you fit in this community and perhaps creating your own color, or need healing from the devastating effects of homo/bi/queer/trans phobia and toxic shame. We'll work together so you can proudly rock your rainbow and shine to yourself and to others.
A Bit About Me
I'm a huge nature lover who has learned how to weather the darkest of life's storms. Mindfulness is essential to my life and I've been extremely fortunate to have incredible teachers. I first learned meditation in grad school while studying abroad in Kyoto, Japan. I returned knowing without a doubt that mindfulness is key to my overall well-being. My journey as a student continued at a local mindfulness studio while my passion to teach others grew. I've been professionally trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) through UCSD. I am a Trained Mindfulness Facilitator from the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA and a Certified Mindfulness Teacher Professional Level through the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. One of my life's greatest accomplishments has been raising my two children into adulthood. They've helped me look at all types of things from many different angles, have grown my heart and my patience, and remind me daily that life is a precious gift to be cared for thoughtfully. I have two very cool dogs and though I like dark chocolate, milk will always be my fav.