How I can help you
Many people enter therapy because they have trouble dealing with difficult emotions such as hopelessness, vulnerability, anxiety, guilt, shame, regret, resentment, and anger. They work hard to not feel these emotions because they are very uncomfortable. Often, they do or say things they wish they didn’t when they feel these emotions, just to not feel them anymore.
Yet, these emotions, and in fact all emotions, are very important to feel because they tell us vital information about ourselves. They tell us what is important to us. They show us what we are most afraid of in life. One of my main aims in therapy is to guide my clients to become more comfortable with experiencing these difficult emotions so that they can understand themselves better, handle their emotions more thoughtfully, and, in turn, feel more in control of their own behavior. Having more control over your behavior can help you to have better relationships with others and help you feel better about yourself.
Experiencing difficult emotions looks like connecting to your body, where we hold our emotions. I spend time guiding my clients in finding where their emotions live in their bodies, teaching them how to make room for their emotions, to learn from them, and to stop fighting with them. This is a somatic approach to therapy, where we focus on the body to help us understand what we are feeling. Where we stop being afraid to connect to and be in our bodies.
This approach comes from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is the primary model of therapy that I use in my practice. It also focuses on teaching individuals how to take a step back from their thoughts, so they don’t feel so controlled by them, how to live more in the present, and how to act mindfully and thoughtfully rather than feeling like they have no control over their actions.
I also use Trauma-Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (TFACT), which is a compassion-based, exposure-centered approach to address a wide range of traumatic experiences. In TFACT, exposure is the process of facing (versus avoiding) thoughts, feelings, or memories that typically produce anxiety or other very uncomfortable feelings with curiosity, flexibility, and openness. TFACT also addresses issues such as emotional numbness; dissociation; trauma-related anxiety, panic attacks, depression, shame, anger, suicidality, and issues with trust. Itt helps to guide individuals on how to trust others, develop healthy relationships, and find meaning in life.
My approach to therapy is also informed by psychodynamic, attachment, and family systems theories. Overall, I aim to provide my clients with a treatment approach that is tailored to their needs. Regardless of the approach I use, my priority is to create an environment of safety, understanding, non-judgment, and compassion. Without this, I do not believe that change can happen.