- People who are at a threshold of a new chapter of their life, and need support on how get there.
- People who’s wounded heart, buried grief, or traumatic experiences yearn to be met in a non-judgmental and genuinely caring space, so that healing and transformation can take place.
- People who have lost their sense of self along with their boundaries (a very common occurrence for those who have been abused or traumatized), and wish to reclaim healthy boundaries for themselves and the people in their lives.
- People who are willing to reclaim their innate power, even when the process of doing so feels vulnerable at times.
“Where you look affects how you feel” David Grand, creator of Brainspotting.
Have you ever caught yourself staring in space while replaying in your mind a painful or unresolved memory? Do you find yourself often going back to the same painful thoughts and emotions, hoping they would just go away? The experience of bringing our focus on a specific point in space which resonates with our body sensations and emotions is what trauma therapists, and cutting-edge neuroscientists, refer to as activating a memory capsule; brain neurons which together hold all aspects of a memory: physical sensations, emotions, taste, light, touch, sound, color, smell, etc. Brainspotting taps into this powerful way of accessing our deepest memories and feelings, and allows for deep emotional healing at accelerated speed!
“When the “child self” of an adult who was traumatized as a child becomes activated, the memory networks of the “child self” are activated… For instance, the sound of a man’s loud, angry voice may cause an otherwise strong, powerful woman to feel helpless and frightened, as she did as a child with her alcoholic, abusive father. She may lose contact with the adult information that she can take care of herself now. These splits do not mean that these clients have character disorders. They are the expression of unprocessed traumatic memories that happened in childhood. EMDR processing allows to clear the disturbance of the “child self”, and to integrate it in an adaptive way to the adult self.”
Dr, Laurel Parnell, Ph.D., EMDR in the Treatment of Adults Abused as Children.
The creator of EMDR, Dr. Francine Shapiro, now says that if she had to rename the modality, she would call it, more accurately so, Accelerated Information Processing (AIP). I use both acronyms interchangeably. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. This powerful psychotherapeutic approach allows the processing and clearing of the debilitating physical, emotional and mental symptoms traumatic memories have on one’s life. What makes EMDR different from any other trauma processing modality is the bilateral stimulation which engages both hemispheres of the brain.
“It is when we remain within our ‘Resiliency Zone’ that we have our best capacity for flexibility and adaptability in mind, body & spirit.” — Elaine Miller-Karas, creator of the TRM.
All mammals have a Central Nervous System (CNS) which keeps us in balance and in harmony, and protects us in case of threat. The two major branches of the CNS are: the sympathetic branch, which allows for the “fight and flight” response, and the parasympathetic branch, which allows for the “rest and repair” response. In more simple terms, our gas and break pedals. When our CNS works harmoniously, when it is not overly stimulated by excess stress hormones like cortisol & adrenaline (the gas pedal), or when it is not weakened by lack of sleep, depression or shutting-down because we feel overwhelmed (the brake pedal), we remain within our Resiliency Zone (RZ). We thrive!
“The concept that we are made up of different selves is sometimes difficult to understand. Some people object to this idea, arguing that such a theory fragments the personality… Our task is to become aware of this fragmentation, or multiplicity of selves, so that we can make valid choices in our lives.” — Hal & Sidra Stone, creators of Voice Dialogue
If you have seen the brilliant movie “Inside Out”, you understand the basic concept of Voice Dialogue. Voice Dialogue is a simple, yet very a sophisticated psychological modality that allows us to have direct access to different aspects of our personality. Through Voice Dialogue facilitation, we can let the different parts of us have their own voice and perspective on the challenges in our lives. Especially the conflictual situations when we feel torn between “this part of me feels and thinks this…” while this part of me “doesn’t care about any of the above and has a dramatically different perspective…”.
One of the many gifts of working with couples from a PACT perspective (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy), is that couples learn to be better attuned to each other in the here-and-now, and to always put their relationship first. Secure functioning couples can argue about the very difficult problems they face without being a threat to each other; and without threatening the relationship. Here are some of the many aspects I address with my couples:
- Create a mutually beneficial couple agreement: What are the new rules of engagement you guys choose to abide by? Are you both willing and committed to anchor your relationships in principles of fairness, balance, justice and mutual respect? And if not, what prevents you guy to do so?
- Management of thirds: What are the “thirds” which create conflicts between the two of you, and jeopardize the safety of your relationship? Are the kids, the in-laws, the ex’s, work, co-workers, drugs and/or alcohol, technology, tv watching, etc.) contributing in making your relationship less secure?
“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost, and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.” — Carl G. Jung
Scientific research demonstrates that everyone dreams, even the people who do not remember their dreams as they awake. Most of us do not know what to do with the images, feelings, stories and landscapes we bring back from dreamland. This leads us to have a tendency to search dream dictionaries, which will impose someone else’s meaning on our dreams, or discard them altogether under the banner, “that was just a silly, stupid or scary dream… just forget about it all… let’s get coffee and start the day!”. I offer you a different way to look at, and experience the deeper meaning of your dreams. When properly attended to, dreams can become the good friends, and sometimes the advisors they have the potential to be. Dreams can help us look at our blind spots, as well as the signposts along our journey and challenges.