Background and approach
Essentials: The person first
My approach is centered on the person in front of me. I do have specific skills and knowledge, and a characteristic way of working, but the exact way I work with each client is determined by their individual needs, wishes, and personality.
I believe that any given problem or symptom is connected to who a person is and how they live their life. Because of this, I am less interested in ideas of diagnosis and "fix" than I am in helping you discover how to live your way into a more satisfying and successful existence. This process of course includes dealing directly with problems and symptoms. It also includes dealing with you as a whole person and unique individual.
I am trained in several different but compatible kinds of therapy. Beyond essential counselling skills like good listening and empathy, my work is grounded in depth psychology and in body-centered psychotherapy.
Depth psychology: Attending to the soul
Depth psychology is a psychology that says, I'm not just a collection of learned behaviours. I have depths in my soul, too, that express themselves in longings, in moods, in dreams, and in seemingly crazy feelings, thoughts and acts. I can call that sickness, or I can try to understand what my soul is telling me. I help my clients respond to what's happening in a way that both solves problems and honours their soul.
Body-centered psychotherapy: Finding the body's wisdom
Body-centered psychotherapy works with the profound links between our psychological and physical selves, from infancy through adulthood. By paying close attention to how your body as well as how your mind and heart respond to your experiences and actions, you can develop practical, reliable body-based psychological skills for dealing with challenges in life.
My work in body psychotherapy is grounded in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and in the Bodynamic system.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy integrates the compassionate, mindfulness-based practice of Hakomi psychotherapy with recent research into the brain and the neuropsychology of self, relationship, and trauma. It finds and encourages the body's own impulses toward healing and growth, allowing incomplete or stuck actions to resolve themselves both physically and psychologically. This in turn opens up new strengths, resources and choices in a person's life. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is advocated by one of the world's foremost experts in trauma and PTSD, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, and is supported by a host of other eminent psychologists and trauma experts in North America and Europe.
The Bodynamic system has been developed over the last 35 years by a group of Danish psychologists led by Lisbeth Marcher. It includes a refined understanding of how the development of movement and muscles goes hand in hand with pscyhological capacities. (For example, just think of what it means psychologically to a child to begin to be able to move toward interesting, desirable, exciting things in the world instead of relying on the world to bring them to the childor not to.) Bodynamic encompasses physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual aspects of being human.
Note: Body psychotherapy as I practice it does not require physical contact (touch) between therapist and client, although it can sometimes be useful. I use touch in therapy sparingly, only for a clear therapeutic purpose, and only with my client's agreement each time. If you do not want touch, or if any question or activity in therapy is not comfortable to you, you have the right to have that respected.