Theories and Experiences that Shaped who I am as a Therapist
I am clinically influenced by neuroscience and I incorporate this knowledge into therapy. By bringing in an understanding of the nervous system’s responses in it’s aim to protect us we can work together in understanding how your nervous system has reacted to your unique life experiences. This knowledge can be integral towards healing and by learning the strategies that work for you it is possible to obtain some control over your symptoms.
In my experience, body centred approaches like somatic therapy, emotional regulation techniques, mindfulness and grounding are more efficient than solely relying on talk therapy. I share strategies that could help you create connection and I will always let you know what could be getting in your way. In session, I utilize Bilateral Stimulation (I have you tap on your knees) to ‘iron-in’ positive sensations and internal resources.
When one is able to feel some autonomy and sense of control over their nervous system, I am able to incorporate other advanced therapeutic techniques which can help in developing longer-term shifts with emotions and behaviours. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) can be incorporated to heal the symptoms created by our responses and reduce traumatic memories, maladaptive life patterns, and assist us in living in the present instead of the past. I have an EMDR Basic 1 & 2 certificate and have also taken EMDR 2.0 trainings which incorporate advanced techniques in order to ensure the least amount of distress during the EMDR process.
I also incorporate ‘parts’ into our work together - the concept arose from the idea that in order to cope with life, humans have the amazing ability to compartmentalize situations and have pieces of us that are able to manage intense feelings so we can survive. Some of these pieces cause us trouble as we get older and create barriers to healing. By exploring all the pieces of you together the healing journey can sometimes be more successful.
As a social worker I am strongly influenced by the how the structures around us and our societal systems have significant power to shape our lives. These systems can impede our personal/collective growth especially if they are not recognized or named. Each person is unique and our upbringing, culture, racial identity, gender identity, sexuality and historical influences all play a role in who we are, who we feel we can be, and what choices we are able to see in front of us. I attempt to understand your own influences, experiences and perspectives so that I don’t make any assumptions.
I am always open to conversations about how my own identity as a cis-gender heterosexual white woman may influence our relations and/or the therapeutic process.