Traditional Psychotherapy, Individual and Family Therapy and Parent Coaching

It is challenging to separate my training as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist and just refer to myself as a “Traditional Psychotherapist.”  It’s like asking a trained professional in any field to not view the world through their trained lenses.  In this sense, I will ALWAYS see my clients as a mind-body-spirit, not just one or two of the three.  It might help to go into a little bit about how I view Psychology and Psychotherapy as a whole, and how I view my work from there.

The word “psychology” is the combination of two terms – study (ology) and soul (psyche), or mind. The derivation of the word from Latin gives it this clear and obvious meaning:

The study of the soul or mind.

This meaning has been altered over the years until today, this is not what the word means at all. The subject of psychology, as studied in colleges and universities, currently has very little relationship with the mind, and absolutely nothing to do with the soul or spirit.

It is important to understand that words and ideas are supposed to refer to something. “The tree in the yard” refers to an actual thing that can be seen, touched and experienced. “The walking his dog at dawn” refers to an actual event that can be seen, observed and experienced. The realm of mind is an actual realm that can be experienced, and at one time there were words that accurately referred to this realm.

Dictionaries define “Psyche” as:

The spirit or soul.
The human mind.
In psychoanalysis: The mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior.

Dictionaries define “Soul” as:

The spiritual or immortal elements in a person. A person’s mental or moral or emotional nature.

What we often call “Traditional psychotherapy” tends to fall short of addressing the all-important relationship to one’s true spiritual nature.

In modern psychotherapy, we treat symptoms because symptoms can be quantified and identified, or so it is claimed by traditional modern medical and psychiatric practices.

Thus Emotional Pain is described in terms of symptoms: Depression, Anger, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Self-Esteem issues, Mood Swings, Compulsive Behavior, Chronic and Acute Fear, Self-Injury, Suicidal Thoughts, Shame, Guilt, Eating Disorders, or Addictions. These do not heal themselves. Time, marriages, children, success, wealth, buying a bigger house, or faster car, changing jobs or relocating will not CURE it. The damage is sometimes very deep, pervasive and profound. It is a soul injury. The person has been robbed of his or her integrity, core identity and trust.

Emotional, Physical or Sexual trauma in childhood is ‘violence’ that does not require force. The child is thrown into a ‘state of shock.’ For some the memories remain conscious, while others drive them beneath the conscious level. The coping mechanisms the child used are carried into adulthood and impact the person’s life on every level-Emotional, Physical, Mental, Behavioral, Spiritual, Sexual and Relationships. While these coping mechanisms were appropriate then, they are a ‘problem’ in adulthood.

Traditional mental health professionals ask: “What is wrong with you?” or “What happened to you?” Asking, “What is wrong with you?” or “What happened to you?” implies blame, sickness and fault. Asking, “What did you experience growing up?” -allows the person to begin the process of discovering the source of their pain and healing the wounds.

Traditional psychotherapy tends to neglect the fact that we feel, sense, and experience global political mass consciousness, as well as our individual consciousness.

A Mind, Body, Spirit approach addresses all three, therefore opening the door to true balance and healing.

Well-being comes from the understanding of the Self, the family, the local community in which we live, and the global community of which we are part. We are each one heart of the Whole; each heart here to express its unique piece of the Whole. Knowing Self creates a sense of “I as a piece of this Whole,” different and one at the same time.

What I actually believe to be “Traditional Psychotherapy” comes from my ideas and beliefs about healing: it is about reconnecting the person with their inner being. Reconnecting can be achieved through meditation, introspection and over time accessing our inner self, however, few people have the discipline, inclination or know how to affect this process. Therefore, employing the help of a professional who practices Mind, Body Spirit Healing/Transpersonal Healing will quickly establish the foundation for empowerment, self-esteem, peace of mind and on-going spiritual and emotional growth.

The benefits of healing are all encompassing. In working with people for 10 years, I have learned, no matter how urgent or grim a person’s predicament seems to be, I know without doubt if they are WILLING to do the mental work of going within to release old beliefs, feelings, thought patterns and forgiving, anything can be healed. The belief that some issues or conditions are ‘incurable’ whether it is emotions or physical illness, which is so frightening to so many people, only means that the particular issue or condition cannot be cured by ‘outer’ methods and that the person needs to GO WITHIN to effect the healing.

Whether the issue is anger, sadness, fear, guilt, shame, or humiliation there is a negative thought pattern that produces them-thus these consistent thinking patterns create our experiences. A condition can be as annoying as acne or as dreaded and frightening as the ‘C’ word-Cancer. By changing our thought patterns, we can change our experience, thus healing the condition. The issue or condition came from the inner trauma the person experienced and can be healed-never to return again.

Family Therapy

My educational training is as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I am systems-orientated and a systems thinker, meaning that I view the total (family) as more than the sum of its parts and know that if there is change in one part of the system, it affects the totality. I use a direct approach and hold honesty, integrity and connection in high esteem. I work with families to achieve a homeostasis that is more in-line with what they desire.

Parent Coaching

Parenting is one of the hardest, most important jobs we ever undertake and despite how many books we have read on the topic, nothing really can prepare us for the many unpredictable challenges that arise. How do we keep a level head? What’s the best way to allow our children to grow into their own while still guiding them and keeping them as safe as possible?

Sometimes the answers to these questions are obvious; but sometimes what we think is the “right” answer is actually very detrimental to the child in the long-run.  Children are great mirrors for us in that they show us that which we don’t necessarily want to see or that which we have tried to keep hidden. Because of this, our “stuff” will then impede our ability to parent from a level-headed place. This is when our judgments get cloudy. Having an outside “coach” to help guide your process helps you “tow the line,” stay grounded in your decisions, allows you to respond rather than react, and gives you confidence and support through challenging times.

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