The following services are available both in-person or remotely, with the exception of EMDR, which is offered in-person only.
Internal Family Systems
What is IFS (Internal Family Systems)?
Internal Family Systems is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on a client’s internal “parts” and “Self.” In IFS, the mind is considered to be naturally made up of multiple sub-personalities or families within each individual’s mental system. These sub-personalities take on different roles, such as an inner critic or inner child, and consist of wounded parts and painful feelings like anger and shame.5
The goal of IFS is to help clients access Self so that they can heal wounded parts and bring their minds into balance. IFS is an evidence-based practice used to treat a range of mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
- It is the nature of the mind to be subdivided into an indeterminate number of subpersonalities or parts.
- Everyone has a Self, and the Self can and should lead the individual’s internal system.
- The non-extreme intention of each part is something positive for the individual. There are no “bad” parts, and the goal of therapy is not to eliminate parts but instead to help them find their non-extreme roles.
- As we develop, our parts develop and form a complex system of interactions among themselves; therefore, systems theory can be applied to the internal system. When the system is reorganized, parts can change rapidly.
- Changes in the internal system will affect changes in the external system and vice versa. The implication of this assumption is that both the internal and external levels of system should be assessed.
OVERALL GOALS OF THERAPY
- To achieve balance and harmony within the internal system.
- To differentiate and elevate the Self so it can be an effective leader in the system.
- When the Self is in the lead, the parts will provide input to the Self but will respect the leadership and ultimate decision making of the Self.
- All parts will exist and lend talents that reflect their non-extreme intentions.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
While doing deep inner work, it is possible to bump up against “stuck” emotional trauma. Using EMDR, we can process this material, to allow us to open to our inner states without freezing.
When a traumatic or very negative event occurs (early childhood relational trauma or abuse, car accidents, natural disasters, etc.), information processing may be incomplete. If the central nervous system is overwhelmed in the moment, it automatically defends itself by repressing intense emotions. If we are not able to process this material later, or work through it in a safe environment, this “unfinished business” can stay with us for years or a lifetime. Old memories can be triggered and relived over and over, which can be intensely painful, confusing and exhausting. We may become depressed or hopeless.
EMDR’s effectiveness is based on the brain’s ability to relearn and update. We call this “adaptive processing” and it is going on constantly in your life, though you may not be aware of it. EMDR simply facilitates this natural healing process.
The Flash Technique (FT) is a recently developed therapeutic intervention for reducing the disturbance associated with traumatic or other distressing memories. It can be used in conjunction with EMDR to process traumatic memories or felt sensations in the body.
Unlike many conventional trauma therapy interventions, FT is a minimally intrusive option that does not require the client to consciously engage with the traumatic memory. This allows the client to process traumatic memories without feeling distress.
Trauma Therapy For Recovering Alcoholics And Addicts
I have seen and lived addiction from every possible angle: I come from an alcoholic family, I have recovered from my own addictions, and have family and friends who are either dealing with active addiction or who are in recovery. I know the 12 Step recovery model intimately.
I deeply respect and appreciate the 12 Step programs’ profound power to heal and change lives. However, over the last 35 years, I have also seen many sober people hit “a wall” in their recovery journey, unless they do the crucial work of healing childhood and later traumas.
I understand the pain of hyper vigilance, codependency and out of control emotional triggers. There is a way up and out of these seemingly entrenched patterns of thinking and reacting. The approach is compassionate and transformative. I am here to help, if you are ready to take the next step in your recovery.
Therapy for Those Impacted by Addiction (Family and Friends, Adult Children of Alcoholics)
Substance misuse doesn’t just impact those struggling with addiction. People close to a drug or alcohol user may find themselves caught up in the trauma as well; isolation and feelings of desperation are very common.
In fact, research very clearly indicates the link between growing up in a household with an alcoholic parent and the potential for trauma.
Partners or adult children of addicts may experience:
- difficulties with self-esteem
- problems with setting or maintaining boundaries
- difficulty maintaining healthy relationships (you might experience codependency, for example)
- avoidant behaviour
- difficulty becoming independent
- neediness or manipulation in relationships
It is possible to gently and effectively heal the parts of us that can be easily and painfully triggered. There is nothing “bad” about these protective reactions to people, places and things in our environment, but they can show up as extreme thinking and behaviours. These are learned reactions deep within the unconscious (and central nervous system), and they can be explored, validate
What Is Spiritual Psychotherapy?
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung
Spiritual psychotherapy is a growing and evolving field of practice with ancient roots. It is a branch of sciences recognizing the multifaceted nature of our existence and interactions in the world. Aside from physical, psychological, and social factors which affect our health and well-being, spiritual psychotherapy recognizes the relevance of the dimension of the human spirit in the search for meaningful goals, relationships, and connections and our interaction with the transcendental dimension (which many people identify as the dimension of the Creator; Superior Being; the Divine; or God).
The ancient roots of spiritual psychotherapy can be recognised in the age-old questions echoed in thousands of ways and languages across all cultures and all societies since the dawn of humanity: “Who are we?” and “What is our mission?” or in a personal way: “Who am I?” and “What is my mission?”
Is Spiritual Psychotherapy for Me?
There are so many reasons people seek guidance. Many clients come in with a general and pervasive unease with life. Some just feel an undeniable “pull” and don’t know what it is or where to start. If you’re not sure if Spiritual Psychotherapy is what you’re looking for, consider the following questions:
Do you feel like something needs to change fundamentally in your life?
Are you experiencing stress in your daily life that has become intolerable?
Do you suffer from low-grade dissatisfaction with life?
Are you in engaging in behaviour patterns that are harmful, but you can’t stop doing them?
Are your relationships unsatisfying, confusing, stressful or exhausting?
Are you haunted by the past?
Are you exploring your spirituality?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Spiritual Psychotherapy may be a fit for you
To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.