About Transformational Counseling
For me, meeting together is definitely not a project of analyzing what is "wrong" with you. Your sessions are a space for you to slow down, observe the old habits, then practice a new, more loving way of relating to yourself - letting the inner alchemy affect the outer changes. I come from a personal growth and positive psychology model, and not a medical model. I am interested in helping people live optimally. Even if you are suffering at the moment, I don’t believe there is anything permanently wrong with you, just aspects to heal and integrate into the conscious self.
My background is in couples counseling and in a healing approach that works on the systems level rather than the individual story. I apply my background in family and couples systems to individuals as well, seeing individuals as a system, a Constellation of Self.
I specialize in couples counseling and love helping guide couples in opening their hearts to themselves and to each other. I am also passionate about working with individuals facing life and career transitions, spiritual awakenings, and people finding themselves taking those first unsure steps onto a path of purpose and soul-fulfillment.
Some clients come to see me without any big pressing problem, rather, they are doing pretty well in most areas of life but want to boost one particular area (for example, many SF folks seem to do great with work but have trouble with relationships.) Many people on a spiritual or personal growth path find that talking with an objective professional who is holding a vision of them expanding into their fullest potentials can be a wonderful support for creating a life that feels joyfully fulfilling.
I have been supplementing my training in recent years with studies in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) for deep repattering of unconscious beliefs, and energy work, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, sometimes known as "tapping") which I have experienced to create lasting change *far* more quickly than traditional talk therapy.
And it's not one size fits all. Some people work great with mostly talking and some people work best at getting out of their heads by deep-diving into unconscious material.
Deep Restructuring of Unconscious Patterns. The Awesome Sauce.
When we dive deep, my work is a medley of of intuitive experiential explorations. It's fun, and powerful!
-For those of you familiar with our jargon; it can look like a mix of NLP, EFT, psychosynthesis, guided visualization, hypnosis, gestalt play, somatic experiencing, Jungian active imagination, and shamanic journeying.
-For those unfamiliar with the jargon; I use various techniques aimed at slowing down the thinking to touch into a gut sense of the situation and access your own inner wisdom and wellspring of self-love to transform from the inside out, through self-restructing of some foundational beliefs of the unconscious.
Even my therapist clients are regularly surprised by how deep we can go quickly, and how powerful the shifts feel when we work on that deep level. This is the magic of the subconscious... I like the efficiency of just going straight to the root of things!
How This Work Differs From Psychotherapy
I have a graduate degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS). I went into this field guided by a deep desire to help people heal old wounds and be free to live to their highest potentials. I followed the MFT path of professional licensure for as long as I could in good conscience say I was in alignment with offering the highest level of service. I left the world of the MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) license several years ago, when it became clear to that the old system was not catching up with what was in the highest service to well-being (supporting people to get off medication through teaching leading-edge energy work techniques, for example, would have been a grey area for me to legally practice in with any medical license). Instead of being an MFT in name, but practicing an alternative model in secret, my conscience feels cleanest practicing entirely unassociated with that license.
I deeply value everything I learned from therapy about holding space for another person’s unfolding and keeping my ego out of the way. I consider my experience as a therapist as the foundation I am continuing to build on with more cutting-edge healing and change work.
I have moved my practice away from the medical model of psychotherapy for other reasons, too. I do not see traditional analysis and diagnosing as helpful for most people. I would rather spend time and energy on shifting and changing the present and future than diagnosing and analyzing the past. I do see the past as important to understand to shift the future, but my focus is on empowering you to making those shifts happen, not analyzing you as if you are static and unable to break free from past patterns or programs.
Inner Transformation Leading to Outer Reality Changing
Most of my work with clients, both individuals and couples, involves some form of change happening from the inside out. Shifting and releasing old patterns, inviting new possibilities, and reprogramming the emotional self / unconscious to accept the new changes so that you can manifest a new reality.
This is deep and powerful work, and happens more quickly the more time and space you make for yourself. Starting or deepening a meditation practice around this time and taking time to journal and remember your dreams will only make the internal shifts happen faster and easier.
Your old patterns exist for a good reason. Not because you wanted to torture yourself in adulthood, but because this is just what you learned (implicitly, automatically, and unconsciously), to do to feel harmony and safety and sustained love during your childhood. Their goal is to stick around to keep you safe. Fear is a powerful motivator, so you may notice fear (sometimes disguised as discomfort) come up, especially at first, when you engage in new actions and in starting to listen to the whispers of your heart.
That’s OK! It’s OK to feel afraid. That’s normal and actually a sign that you’re moving in the right direction: out of your comfort zone and towards growth. My best advice to you is to continue moving and engaging, even if just in baby steps. The fear will dissolve once you find you can actually do that which you’re afraid of. You are worthy of your quest for deeper fulfillment in your life!
As you pay more attention to your inner wisdom voice than your fear voice, you will start to notice the wisdom speaking in more than a whisper, and the fear-based thoughts feeling less real and less gripping, and more identifiable as the old programs that they are.
For clients working on healing their relationships, I encourage you to be open to learning much about yourself in this process. Relationships are great teachers, and it takes two people to create a relationship dynamic. We often play out our most unconscious stuff in our closest relationships, so even if it’s not so fun or pretty to look at, it can be the most worthwhile thing you do in your life to get curious about your part in co-creating your relationship dynamic. Once you get curious, you step out of victimhood and onto the path of creative agency and rediscovering your own ability to create positive change in your life. Just as an unhealthy relationship can be incredibly draining, a healthy and fulfilling relationship can be an amazingly empowering and uplifting asset in your life.
For those clients who engage in EFT (emotional freedom technique), NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) or other forms of transformational / altered state change work in our sessions, you may notice energy moving in your body even after the session is over. It’s normal and nothing to worry about. This could feel like tingles / warmth in your body, emotional rawness and sensitivity, sometimes nausea and possibly tiredness (in the early stages), sometimes hunger, and, when stuff is moving and clearing, often very energized and alive, buzzing, and even orgasmically blissful. Just keep breathing and accepting it all :-).
Instead of holding back and trying to be a “blank screen”, I would rather be an engaged and loving human who acts as midwife to the new you that is emerging.
I feel more in integrity with myself when I can lovingly point out a pattern of suffering that I’m seeing in someone who is clearly dedicating time and money to personal growth, rather than holding back and letting that realization come a few months down the line for fear of inserting my agenda in an attempt to be neutral.
I don’t see the utility in trying to maintain strict neutrality. Full transparency: I do have an agenda, I won’t pretend that I am 100% neutral, nor do I want to be. I believe in Love and Transformation. My agenda is helping people create the lives and relationships of their dreams. I help my clients open to love, activate their creative potential, and find the courage to follow their dreams, with a deep belief in the human spirit and every single human being’s abundant potential to feel happy and fulfilled.
In what I’ve seen, people are more powerful in their own lives and less dependent on a therapist or counselor when engaged with as insightful equals in a collaborative partnership with a helper guide. I’m all about helping you connect with your own power.
Because of this, people tell me all the time that working with me is like traditional therapy at warp-speed. My clients tend to get a lot better, a lot faster. That’s another place I differ from traditional therapy models. I don’t believe you need to be in therapy for years and years to get healthy. I like to teach people skills that they can immediately implement in their life to create shifts quickly.