I've been in dark places and know how to get out. While not easy, it is possible! You can learn how to choose differently & heal.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
I co-created a theory called Compassion Based Awareness Therapy. This theory is rooted in Humanistic, Attachment and Zen. The focus is in bringing awareness to your internal dynamics and how these get played out in relationships. We look through the lens of compassion because people CANNOT learn when they are being run by fear or shame. You are not your thoughts, feelings or behavior; these are clues. Collaboratively, with curiosity & compassion, we explore, uncover, unlearn & relearn.
My approach in working with couples is to have each person learn about their own inner dynamics. I talk about turning the "microscope on yourself" to learn what is really driving you so that you can communicate your needs more clearly. You cannot communicate clearly what you aren't clear on within yourself. Most folks are focused on changing the other person, yet your partners is a mirror to see your own dynamics. this is powerful & courageous work.
When appropriate, I use experiential exercises into sessions. Examples are roles plays, visualizations, guided imagery. These are used to assist a person in going deeper into an experience and to bring it more to life to enable them to work through it rather than talk about it and around it, which generally does NOT lead to healing. In relationships, it deepens connection with oneself and with others.
On the other side of anxiety is depression. Depression is about living in the past with the voice in our head that is constantly yammering at us telling us all the things we are not; not good enough, successful enough, pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, fit enough, fill in the blank. With that perpetual conversation in the head, you can't NOT feel depressed. Often this is rooted in our childhood and we've gotten into patterns that we don't know how to get out of. There is a another way!
Anxiety is a result of living in the future and all the what ifs. It feeds off of not feeling good enough and has you constantly wishing you were different. Generally, anxiety and depression feed off of each other and bounce back and forth. Depression leaves you without any energy and anxiety keeps you in a tight ball of dread and apprehension. One doesn't know how to self sooth and often turns to things in an attempt to distract or "take the edge off." There is another way.
Deficits occur in all relationships; we aren't taught how to navigate through them and negotiate so that essential needs are considered, communicated and honored. Instead, we create relationships like the models we grew up with. We tend to have poor communication tools and get into toxic cycles and end up resentful, angry, scared, hopeless, passionless, and acting out (affairs, food, addiction, shopping, video games, porn, etc) or acting in (anxiety, depression). There is another option!