I help professionals and students navigate their stresses and anxieties in a new way.
Counselor in Portland, OR
Supervised by Philip Yassenoff LPC
Mindfulness-based therapy can help reduce stress by training awareness. Focusing and moving awareness where you want it can help interrupt patterns of thought that lead to anxiety or depression. Mindfulness-based therapy can also go deeper and take that same awareness and point it at our inner world. With time it can reveal truths about ourselves that are transformative, and tune us into the subtle, often unnoticed tendencies in the mind and body.
Anxiety is an expression of a nervous system that expects something bad to happen. For our ancestors, this might have come up briefly when confronted by a predator, and then resolve when they escaped (or didn't). Today, we live with lots of sources of abstract threat (what do my peers think of me? Am I doing well enough at work/school?) and more immediate threat (is it safe to go outside my home?). Without tools to help the nervous system calm back down, all these stressors add up quick.
Trauma can be one event (Trauma) or many smaller events (traumas). It can show up as issues with mood, sleep, relationships, and much more. We each experience and respond to traumas in unique ways. My approach to working with trauma is informed by the lessons from EMDR, somatic experiencing, and mindfulness practices. What\'s important is working at a pace that meets you where you are at.
Personal growth starts with really understanding where we are, here and now. To make lasting change requires we know what is meaningful, doable and true for ourselves. Sometimes we are trying to grow to get away from a part of ourselves. Sustainable personal growth involves cultivating a friendly, even compassionate relationship with ourselves.
CBT is a potent tool for working with depression, anxiety and trauma. Its focus on the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions can offer personal insights. Clients build awareness of their 'automatic thoughts' and use this to uncover 'core beliefs'. In these ways it can pair well with mindfulness practices of the Buddhist tradition. CBT also offers effective tools for changing behavior
Contemplative psychotherapy is a frame based on integrating the wisdom of the Buddhist tradition with modern psychology. We use our own meditation practice as a foundation for our work with clients. We emphasize the present moment experience and each client's 'brilliant sanity'- their inherent mental and emotional well-being, and strive to help clients recognize this quality in themselves.