PRACTICAL TOOLS I’VE DEVELOPED FOR REDUCING ANXIETY TRIGGERS AND CONNECTING WITH YOUR PARTNER (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED CLASS):
Feel free to join online classes on these 3 topics for free. (click schedule now to sign up)
- To learn more about the Couples Activation Reduction Technique (CART), a super useful protocol that I created that significantly reduces triggers and uses your partner as a resource in helping this happen, click CART.
- To learn more about the Personal Activation Reduction Technique (PART), a modification of a technique that used for anxiety and PTSD, click PART.
- Upgrade Your Connection With Your Partner: In times of social isolation and living at home with our partners 24/7, it is essential to up our connection game. We are going to rub each others raw spots more that we are around eachother more. In order to feel good about our partner, we need to upgrade our connections now more than ever!. Learn two connection tools / protocols that Upgrade Your Connection in a relationship. One is a game called Emotional Popcorn. And the other I call “Holding Time”.
RELATIONSHIP: Is your partner driving you crazy? Are you caught in a dance where your partner pulls away from you and you get clingy and demanding in ways you are not proud of? Or does your partner smother you or not really get you and allow you to be you? If so, I’m trained in a modality that is extremely successful in helping people change their dances and really show up. Click my Couples link and you can find out more about my game-plan and the modalities that I use in working with different types of challenges that couples face.
INDIVIDUALS (Depression, Anxiety, Relational Challenges): Is it hard to ask for what you want? Do you feel down and have a hard time pulling yourself out of it? Or do you find yourself easily overwhelmed and avoid things in life in order to not become anxious? Do you have to “be right” or perform well in order to feel acceptable? Do you consider other’s needs over your own needs. Or in order to get your needs met, do you get caught in patterns of being reactive or demanding? If so, I’m trained in a modality that can really help you shift gears from the patterns you’ve inherited into a deeper you that doesn’t have those challenges. Click on the “INDIVIDUALS” link in order to find more about the modalities that I work from and get an idea of the game plan we will work from together to help you challenge your issues.
TRAUMA: Do you find yourself “frazzled” and amped and feel threatened? Has there been a traumatic event in the past that triggers your nervous system to be amped in the present? Is your fight or flight mode stuck on when you know you are actually safe? It could be 1 or two incidents, or a pattern of physical or sexual abuse in the past that causes your body to shut down or stay in hyper-vigilance mode. Does part of your brain know that things are fine, but you can’t help but feel guarded and on edge? If so, I’m trained in a modality that is extremely effective in helping your nervous system get back in sync with the present, so those symptoms naturally go away. Whether you officially have PTSD or struggle with being stuck in anxious thought loops that you would love to get out of, click on the EMDR link right now so I can share with you how EMDR and a newer technique you can do from home work.
Below is a list of the areas that I feel like I am trained in and am competent in being able to help people make significant life shifts. Below is a description of areas I’m helpful in and what to expect from how I work. And below that is a description of the different types of wounding that people have and descriptions of the types of therapy that is necessary to address that type of wounding. If a therapist is trained in Modality A and you have a challenge in Category B, then your therapist can be accidentally (out of ignorance) adding to the problem rather than helping you.
THE TYPE OF COUPLES I WORK WITH:
- Pre-Marital: We can focus on identifying and shifting early patterns in order to prevent issues down the road. To learn more about pre-marital counseling, click “Pre-Marital”.
- Couples Caught in Painful Dances: One of you pursues contact more and normally is sweat, connecting, and engaging. But under stress you can get needy, clingy, and blaming. Another partner normally is pretty self-sufficient and responsible. And under stress you withdraw in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed or smothered. You both accidentally co-create a dance that creates repetitive fights. Often the triggers of the fights are the stupidest things. And occasionally you fight about something really important. To learn more about how to get out of this dance, click “Emotion Focused Therapy”.
- Infidelity: Learning how to rebuild trust from the ground up, healing the attachment wound created by the infidelity, and upgrading the relationship capacity to prevent it from reoccurring in the future is essential. To see my pathway of recovery, click “How to Overcome Infidelity.”
- Forgiveness: Learning how to actually (really) forgive is essential. Our parents, our culture, and even our religions have taught us really crappy ways of forgiving that leave us unsatisfied. Click “Learn How To Forgive” to learn a structured path towards authentic forgiveness.
- Couples that love each other but drive each other crazy.
THE TYPE OF INDIVIDUALS THAT I WORK WITH:
- Self Wounds (Depression, anxiety, challenges in relationships, etc)
- Trauma (PTSD)
- Attachment wounds
Below the description on how I work with couples is a break down of the type of wounding people have and the necessary therapy modalities for addressing them and what you might expect from me.
COUPLES: My couples come to me usually because they are driving each other crazy and find that their partner doesn’t get them. They get caught in nasty anger dances and find themselves fighting about the stupidest little things. Often the content of what they are fighting about is almost irrelevant, but the charge of the dance they are in is stressful and overwhelming. They hurt each other in ways that they are not proud of.
I work with Couples with transforming their negative dances that they get stuck in. As an empathy coach, I help people learn how to make the love that they actually have for their partner actually land on the gut level. I help pre-marital couples navigate their current patterns they are stuck in to prevent it from being a setup for something super painful in the future.
For couples who have raw attachment wounds, I help them own what they’ve done and find a way back to each other through authentic empathy. I help couples learn how to forgive each other rather than have crappy apologies that don’t hold any weight. For couples struggling from recovering from infidelity, I provide them with the pathway to authentic forgiveness and reconciliation.
COUPLES WORK includes: Pre-Marital counseling, Emotion Focused Couples Counseling (helping couples transform the culture of their relationship), Couples Boot Camp (a couples group), and Depth Couples Therapy (Using a healthy couple as a therapeutic base for more quickly addressing individual issues). It is essential that if you having challenges in your relationship that you get a therapist trained in Emotion Focused Therapy. It has a 80 to 90 percent success rate whereas most couples therapy is 20 to 30 percent successful. So, if after talking with me, it looks like I am not a fit for you, please make sure you find somebody trained in EFT.
INDIVIDUALS come to me because they are anxious, depressed, having challenges in a relationship. And I have the ability to work with Trauma, Attachment wounds, and “normal” depression, anxiety, and challenges in relationships. It is important to get a therapist that has the right type of training for the type of challenge that you are having.
- Wounds on the Level of Self (Internalizing mal-adaptive patterns from family, early relationships, schools, religion, and culture) create anxiety, depression, having to perform in order to be acceptable, self-blaming, not being able to tell people “no”, being a “know it all”, not being able to relax. R-CS is the modality that most helpful.
- Trauma wounds: Therapists doing talk therapy with somebody suffering from previous Traumas will likely re-traumatize the client and do damage. For Trauma, you need a therapist trained in EMDR or Somatic Experiencing. EMDR focuses on helping you revisit and work through the trauma while stimulating the part of the brain where the trauma is stored (which does NOT happen in typical talk therapy). Somatic Experiencing focuses on re-calibrating the nervous system.
- Attachment Wounds: If the challenges that you are having are rooted in emotional abuse that impacted your nervous system before you learned how to talk, then you need a therapist that is trained in Attachment Therapy. If you made it past three years old before you developed patterns that set you up to be depressed, anxious, or have challenges in relationships, then a different type of therapy is helpful for you.
- Collateral Damage from Trauma or Attachment wounds: Basically this means that people (that have trauma wounds or attachment wounds) develop patterns of dealing with the world that exacerbate wounds on the level of the self. So, if you have Trauma wounds, or Attachment wounds, you need a therapist who has special training to deal with those wounds, but you will also need therapy that treats the patterns you’ve created to adopt to the trauma and attachment wounds. R-CS is the modality I recommend for that.
INDIVIDUALS experience wounding on one of four levels:
- Wounds on the Level of Self (Internalizing mal-adaptive patterns from family, early relationships, schools, religion, and culture). I have not met a single individual in my life that does NOT have wounds on the level of the self.
- Symptoms include: Anxiety, depression, having to perform in order to be acceptable, self-blaming, not being able to tell people “no”, being a “know it all”, not being able to relax, etc.
- Treatment of Choice: Re-Creation of the Self therapy (R-CS). Instead of trying to “fix” broken patterns, I work with clients to become aware of the part of them that is already empowered and learn to live from there. Learning how to shift the state (of mind) that you are in is the therapy (rather than focusing on exploring origin stories). We help you learn how to live from your core by learning how to activate a part of the brain that already has the capacity to navigate the world. It is developing an emotional skill of being aware of when your strategic patterns that set you up for negative symptoms are activated and learning how to shift into “who you are”.
- Therapist style: While I will definitely empathize and listen, and sometimes ask some of the stereo-typical therapist questions, like “how does that make you feel?”, you will experience me engaging with you, letting you know the game-plan, provide authentic direct feedback, and re-directing the use of the therapy time to be helpful. I will interrupt. I will identify the patterns that you are stuck in as they show up in the room, so we can work on them in real time.
- Attachment Wounds Receiving insufficient emotional attunement in the first three years of life, leading to anxious, avoidant, or chaotic patterns in relationships.
- Symptoms include: Anxious Styles: Being overly clingy, anxious, needing a relationship in order to feel ok. Overly Self-Reliant Styles: Feeling easily smothered and finds leaning on people and taking intimacy in as difficult. Experiencing the world like people can’t really be there for you and therefore, you need to only rely on yourself.
- Causes: Receiving insufficient emotional atunnement in the first three years of life.
- Treatment of Choice: Attachment Therapy, Hakomi, and R-CS.
- Attachment Therapy will be paying more attention to what happens in the room between the therapist and the client. Downloading attachment through eye contact, creating experiments in the room that elicit emotional connection, so you can internalize a felt sense of worthiness. Noticing what gets in the way and practicing taking in nourishment in small digestible doses.
- Hakomi is a psychodynamicaly informed therapy where the therapist helps the client be mindful of what their experience is and pay attention to their inner experience and body experiences. The therapist orchestrates intentional experiments that allow clients to explore their wounded parts and provides corrective emotional experiences.
- Re-Creation of the Self (R-CS) Helping the client become aware of and access preferred states of being and live life from that state rather than imperfect strategies learned in life. The focus is more on becoming aware of what state you are in and shifting to a preferred state rather than the focus being on healing non-preferred states.
- Therapist style: I’m trainied in modalities that help orchestrate the part of the brain that needs to have a different experience. I will be proactive to pay attention to what is happening in the room between us and look for opportunities to take in direct nourishment through eye contact and verbal affirmations. This is different from the type of therapy where the therapist just sits and stares at you.
- Trauma PTSD (The nervous system getting stuck in a state of alarm when threat is no longer there.)
- Symptoms include: Over-stimulated nervous system
- Causes: Trauma (big and small ones)
- Treatment of Choice: The treatment of choice for trauma has a weird name. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and the EMDR flash technique, and learning how to soothe your nervous system.
- EMDR: Activating the stuck part of the brain while processing the trauma.
- EMDR Flash Technique: Without processing the trauma, desensitizing the thought of the trauma so it does not trigger overwhelm.
- Nervous System Relaxing: Learning how to relax your nervous system through various breathing activities, body postures, and shifting which part of the brain you are using (which pulls you out of the trauma).
- Therapist Style: Engaged.
- Built up patterns that are created as collateral damage of one of trauma or emotional abuse or neglect.
- People that have wounded nervous systems due to Trauma need EMDR (as discussed above) in order to cure their nervous system and not be in a constant state of overwhelm. However, if you have lived a period of your life with PTSD, then they also need to address the patterns your brain created to help you adapt to the PTSD. These patterns impact relationships and how you experience youreself internally. Basically, after the nervous system is cured with EMDR, you will also need therapy that helps address wounds that impact your sense of self. I find the best therapy to address wounds on the Level of The Self to be addressed with R-CS.
- People that are wounded on the Attachment, pre-verbal level need Attachment therapy. But they also need R-CS in order to address the wounds on the level of the self.
TREATING WOUNDS ON THE LEVEL OF THE SELF
For wounds on the level of the self, I use a modality called Re-Creation of the Self. It focuses on helping the client shift to preferred states and send their preferred self in to deal with reality. Wounds on the level of the self happen because we all previously develop strategies and patterns of dealing with family, culture, patriarchy, the school system, etc. The previous patterns worked to help us get through imperfect environments, but they created patterned grooves in our brains that our brains get sucked into going to. I focus on helping clients become aware of these patterns and learn how to shift their state into an already empowered state. Then, from that state, deal with the dilemmas of life.
TREATING ATTACHMENT WOUNDS:
For treating attachment wounds, I do Individual Depth Therapy, which is a modality that focuses on helping rewrite your emotional blue-prints. INDIVIDUAL DEPTH THERAPY. (Helping Individuals have attachment experiences that re-write their relational blue-prints, setting them up for healthier relationships and more meaningful lives)
TREATING TRAUMA WOUNDS
For individuals struggling with trauma, I use a a modality that is effective with treating trauma, EMDR. It is effective in helping you resolve your trauma and restore your over-activated nervous system to health.
To Schedule Online, call 510-686-3390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
COUPLES COUNSELING: I provide a therapeutic space for premarital couples, high conflict couples, couples with communication problems, and couples having that same old fight again and again. I HELP STABILIZE COUPLES BY HELPING THEM TRANSFORM THEIR NEGATIVE DANCE THAT THEY ARE IN.
Premarital Counseling / preventative couples therapy
Couples caught in negative fighting patterns: Couples with communication problems, and couples having that same old fight again and again.
High Conflict Couples: You love each other, but drive each other crazy!
I help couples communicate and deal with conflict in healthier ways. However, my primary focus is on restoring the “empathic bond”. In addition to learning your attachment style, ways to communicate and get your needs met effectively, I will help you develop ways of enhancing your emotional intimacy (which leads to better sex, companionship, and connection).
* If Your Partner Is Resistant To Going to Therapy:
If Your Partner Is Resistant To Going to Therapy:
Having a partner that is not excited about going to couples therapy is quite normal. My experience is that 80% of men (and 20% of women) are uncomfortable with going to therapy. If your partner “doesn’t want to air your dirty laundry” or wants to “solve the problem ourselves”, or if he/she thinks that the problem resides in you, then don’t give up hope. Give me a call. I’m good at helping your Therapy Resistant Man (or Woman) look forward to our sessions as a chance to upgrade their relationships.
* Depth Couples Counseling After couples are stabilized (learn how to be a stable loving empathic base for each other), I work with couples to work as a team to help each other heal their underlying personal work. Basically, I have found that doing individual work in the context of couples therapy can be more transformative and quicker than individual therapy.
* I help couples rebuild their relationship by overcoming infidelity. I guide couples through the very painful three stage process for rebuilding their relationship.
* I’m the Co-founder of Couples-Boot-Camp, an interactive couples group with four to five couples that is fun and interactive. It is a combination of “class” and experiential / practicing of couples skills.
TRAUMA THERAPY VIA PROCESSING THE TRAUMA WITH EMDR
I am trained in EMDR, a modality that is especially useful for helping you overcome painful PTSD and hyper-vigilant symptoms that are consequences of extremely overwhelming life events such as rape, sexual abuse, molestation, being a victim of a crime, or psychological consequences of following traumatizing military orders. EMDR is capable of helping you process your pain so you can have a new start and not have to continue to be victim of hyper-vigilant painful symptoms.
We all learn our ways of being in the world through our primary relationships and from those who raised us. Often times, our painful ways of being in the world (of perfectionism, addictions, having to be right, anxiety, depression, etc) are normal responses to a relational blue-print that we’ve gained from how we’ve experienced important relationships. My people come to me with painful relationships and struggles with life. Initially, I will be with you as you navigate these life challenges. In the process of doing this, I am intentional about creating a therapeutic bond that will ultimately allow you to create new blue-prints so it will be easier to not be set up for similar struggles in the future. Individual Depth Therapy helps people with both the challenging situation and the underlying dynamics that left without being addressed would set you up for having to face the same situation again.
In addition to Individual Depth Therapy, I’ve found learned how R-CS (Recreation of the Self Therapy), people access who they are underneath the strategies that they’ve developed in the world can be trans-formative. For many people, they can learn to get in touch with the part of them that knows that they are worthy of boundaries, that knows that they are worthy of connection, and the part that knows what really works for them. After learning how to choose to get to an empowered place, I invite them to look at the same dilemmas that bring them to counseling in the first place. Often times, those same dilemmas feel so much smaller and much more solvable. Then the work is not so much about revisiting the past and healing attachment wounds, but learning how to bring into your life today the deeper you that is underneath the strategies you developed in your early relationships. For therapists, see the following blog I wrote (How R-CS is Different from Other Healing Modalities.) For clients, if you have had one session with me and have experienced getting to your core self and want a homework assignment to practice getting there, see the following form (Grounding in Who I Am Practice – Directions).
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