Ground Counseling Services
Strange to say, but catastrophe is usually the circumstance that liberates strength, wisdom, and kindness from within the suffocating embrace of fear. Dying, we can be more alive. Being present and giving care in the midst of a meltdown of mind or life can seed compassion. This is how we mature, and how transparency and intimacy is engendered. Our very physical and psychic vulnerability, if we allow it, shows us the path and the present.
~Roshi Joan Halifax
I view grief as one of the least understood and most prevalent elements of human experience. It is one of the most profound experiences in our lives and can be a catalyst for acceptance and change. Grief is about loss, whatever the loss may be not only death. This can be around major life changes such as birth, death, ending of relationships, jobs, etc. We actually experience loss on a daily basis in the form of change. I work to bring grief and loss into the broader consciousness of being a whole and healthy human being.
Through exploring your somatic, experiential, emotional, and felt sense of loss, we will work to find acceptance, empathy, compassion, and movement in your process of grief. I have triained with Roshi Joan Halifax (Being with Dying) and Frank Ostaseski (The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully), two of the leaders in the growing field of compassionate grief work. This work is based in the three tenants of basic peacemaking from Roshi Bernie Glassman: not-knowing, bearing witness, and compassionate action. I base my work with grief on these three tenants into an open exploration of the power and potential of grief in our lives.
We are all part of multiple, interconnected systems. We are connected to the world outside us through a wide variety of systems; interpersonal, family, energetic, biological, informational, spiritual to name a few. There are systems outside of us that also influence our lives. My approach is to explore and evaluate the systems that are pertinent for each individual, couple, and family I work with as a means to make sense of who my clients are and how they got to where they are in their lives.
I work in a direct, empathy/compassion-based, explorative, contemplative manner to inquire into with my clients the issues that are presenting in each moment, the potential roots of these issues, and potential approaches to creating more effective and efficient strategies to such challenges in life. Together we will explore your family system, your development, your brain/nervous system and how they work together with the physical body and the emotional, energetic, spiritual bodies to cultivate a whole sense of being. An important I focus on is the cultivation of mindful awareness of our experience: thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations, and how we can work with them.
Individual sessions are 60 or 90 minutes in time.
An intimate relationship is often the most powerful vehicle that most of us have for waking up . . . Luckily, intimacy is going to give us exactly what we need to work on in order to relax our refusal to be fully present - to relax into expansive awareness and openheartedness.
~Bruce Tift, Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation
As a PACT-certified couples therapist, I am passionate about working with attachment theory, arousal regulation, and developmental neuroscience to assist couples in becoming more secure in their functioning. This is a very effective, highly interactive, and collaborative process that supports couples in developing a better understanding of each other and leads to healthier, more fulfilling, and satisfying relationships.
Through the intimate process of PACT, you explore who you are as individuals in relationship to each other. By working directly with both the conflicts based in habituated actions and strengths of your relationship, we can find a path of lower stress, more effective support of each other, clearer boundaries, and a healthier, more satisfying, and sustainable way of being together.
PACT sessions are usually two hours in length and sometimes can be longer. This is due to the depth and effectiveness of the work. I start with an initial two hour intake session.
Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.
Working with a family system as a whole system can be an effective process to uncover and practically work with issues that interfere with the healthy functioning of the family unit. Each member of the family system plays a role that is usually not known to themselves nor the others in the family. We will work to identify these roles and work towards bringing them to light in a constructive manner. This allows for the dynamic of the system to function in a more transparent, constructive, and secure path. Together we will explore communication, functional structures, explicit and implicit agreements, requests, boundaries, interactions, creating space, togetherness, and privacy.
Family system sessions are usually ninety minutes to two hours in length and sometimes can be longer, if needed. This is due to the depth and effectiveness of the work. I start with an initial two hour intake session. Sessions can involve various configurations of the system depending on the presenting issues and needs.
Life Transitions: Adolescents and Adults
Transformation in Transition. The opportunity to transform ourselves into the person that we want to be is possible. Working from the basis of change being the only constant, I have found that the most effective way to realize such changes in ourselves is to do so in relationship with others. Together we can explore whatever transition you are experiencing as an opportunity for transforming your life. The therapeutic relationship is a unique way to see what is possible for ourselves with guidance and support. Areas of exploration include supportive structure, commitments, communication, boundaries, needs, emotions, feelings, resourcing, the three brain approach (body, heart, mind), mindfulness practices. Work with adolescents often includes direct support of parents as well.
Adolescence (pre-puberty through the completion of brain development between 23-26 years old) is the bridge between the critical developmental stages of childhood and becoming an adult. This is a thrilling, confusing, and dynamic time for those experiencing it and those supporting adolescents, such as parents and caregivers. As such, it is the fertile ground for exploring healthy paths to change that work within the variety of systems adolescents interact with. I have years of experience working with adolescents and their families in a wide variety of contexts that give me a wide purview and perspectives from which to support adolescents within their systems so that their lives work better for all involved.
In working with life transitions and adolescents, I focus on creating structure, clarity, self-empowerment, self-responsibility, communication, and mindful awareness. A critical element of this work is coordination with the family system in whatever manner feels appropriate for each situation. Sessions focus on the individual, but can expand to include parents and siblings. This is a very practical, clear, and empowering process.
As someone who has had Minor Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI) myself, I have a unique experiential understanding of the immense and confounding challenges of being in the world with an altered brain and mind. Out of my own experience and healing, I support others in claiming the new reality of their lives. Together we explore how you can navigate the world in a more efficient, effective, satisfying, and compassionate way. Out of your experience of your brain changing we can transform you into a change agent and empower you to learn how to work with your own brain.