Who do you work with?
People often ask if they have to be spiritual or religious to work with me. While many of my clients have a spiritual orientation, many do not identify as spiritual (and have a sort of "who knows?" attitude). Psychospiritual counseling is not about beliefs, it’s about a holistic approach to healing and a fundamental respect for all aspects of being human - body, mind, heart, and soul (or that ineffable quality of being that resides in all of us). My clients do tend to share certain qualities, such as curiosity, a desire to grow, and a sense of openness to experience.
Here are a few areas I might consider my “specialties”, based on working with many people over the years in these areas.
People Who Worry
I have a soft spot for people who worry (having been one myself)! Worry is a way we try to stay safe - a neurobiologically driven coping strategy for predicting and preparing for danger. Many of my clients experience pervasive worry, and a longing to feel safer and more confident in themselves. If this sounds like you, we will work together to help you identify and shift the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to persistent worry, and to uncover and heal the roots that sustain anxiety in your mind and body. During this process, we will help you develop the tools and skills for not just managing anxiety, but transforming it.
Adult Children of a Narcissistic Parent
Did you emotionally take care of one or both of your parents while you were growing up? Do you have the feeling you’ve never been "mothered"? Many of my clients have had experiences of painful or intrusive parenting. Often, they have sacrificed parts of themselves in order to take care of a parent who is deeply wounded, a parent whose needs drove and overwhelmed the family. Maybe this parent was emotional and explosive, or depressed and suicidal, or addicted to substances. But the result for my clients is that they had to take care of their parent rather than the other way around. This role reversal comes at a cost, and often my clients work with me on reclaiming their independent senses of self, releasing toxicity that doesn’t belong to them, reconnecting with feelings that weren’t okay to have as a child, and forging relationships where their needs are valued.
Do you find yourself taking care of others more than they take care of you? Many of my clients are skilled at tending others but have a harder time taking care of themselves. Conditioned caregivers tend to be empathic and sensitive, and have learned to sacrifice themselves in order to keep the peace or make others happy. If your relationships feel out of balance, and you want your voice to be heard, we will work on helping you identify, value, and express your needs and feelings. Through this process, we will help you build relationships that are reciprocal and satisfying, where you receive as much as you give.
People Breaking Free (of what does not belong to them)
Many of my clients begin counseling with deep seated beliefs about themselves that cause suffering (such as, “I’m not good enough", "It’s all my fault", "It’s always my job to fix things", or "If I feel my feelings, something terrible will happen”). We learn all sorts of things from our family of origin, including stories about ourselves, our worth, and our capacities that are often not true. Again and again, I have witnessed clients in my practice struggle with fears or beliefs that seem to belong to someone else in their family system, or perhaps to the family lineage. Learning to release what is not ours (and perhaps what is no longer ours) can be truly liberating, and makes room for us to stand strong in who we are and to experience greater joy, self love, and full hearted engagement with life.
Some people choose to work with me because they want to weave exploration of something “greater than or beyond” the human self into their healing journey. You may have a spiritual path, or feel deeply connected to nature, or want to draw on energy medicine tools in our work together. If this sounds like you, we will create a counseling relationship that makes space for the Mystery, and for the ways that energy work profoundly contributes to healing and change.
If you're curious about counseling with me, but not sure if it's the right match, feel free to reach out. We can always connect by phone to explore whether we might be a good fit.