Body-based Counseling & Dance/Movement Therapy
As a body-based counselor (Somatic Psychotherapist, if you want the official term), it's my job to work with all parts of you – not just your mind, which is a powerful tool but when unchecked can run the show, especially when anxiety and thought spirals take over. Bringing your body's wisdom into the picture gives us more information than the mind alone can offer. When I work with people in support of anxiety, stress, depression, relationships and personal growth, I use mindfulness, body-based explorations, and practical coping skills to support each person's inborn wisdom and tendency towards healing and wholeness.
When we work together towards your growth, it is a collaborative, holistic process – as a team, you and I will explore what's asking for attention in your mind, body, and connection within the world.
When I sit with you, I am gentle, patient, and nonjudgmental. I will provide you with a balance of compassion and direct communication to support your growth. I give simple, clear, sometimes humorous reflections to get us to the heart of what you're telling me, even if you're not quite sure what it is yet.
My work with you is informed by my training in body-based therapy, dance/movement therapy, mindfulness, and DBT. Here's a bit more about each of these approaches, and how I might use them in our work together:
Body-based Counseling & Dance/Movement Therapy Techniques
Somatic, or body-based, therapy focuses on your innate body-mind connection to support your growth and healing. Dance/movement therapy is a type of somatic therapy that sometimes uses movement, of all kinds, as a way to influence and shift your emotional state and psychological landscape.
At its simplest, our body-based therapy will likely involve us discussing your struggles and desires, while I bring your attention to information your body may have to add to the conversation. Over time, and based on your interest, we may begin to explore movement as a pathway for growth.
This movement (which may or may not look anything like any 'dance' you've ever seen!) follows cues from your inner world – rather than being done for the benefit of others' viewing (the way we most often understand dance as performance). Instead, this movement is for you to discover and express important inner truths, and to find your way to move toward healing.
The present moment is the most direct path to change. We only ever experience life in the here and now – even if we're spending our here-and-now stuck in the past or worrying about the future! Through mindfulness, we can start to pay attention, on purpose, to the present moment – from this vantage point, we are then able to begin to heal and change our lives.
“We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night.”
~ Jack Kornfield
My approach to mindfulness is interwoven in the contemplative nature of our therapy. It may take the form of guided meditations on aspects of your present experience, or it may be peppered within our conversation as I encourage you to continually bring attention back to your present moment experience.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT (or Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is a truly amazing set of skills designed to help us move from surviving to thriving. From my work in adult mental health settings, I have seen people make huge shifts toward healing by engaging in the skills offered by DBT.
The healthy coping skills within DBT cover four broad categories: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. These work as an integrated collection to help us move through suffering, to greater joy and connection with ourselves, others, and the larger world.
In our work together, I may draw on these skills eclectically to support a particular area of growth you desire, or – based on your interest and needs – I could offer you guidance through the full arc of DBT skills. It all depends on you and your unique path!