I want to let you know that it's normal to wonder what we'll do in therapy and how it actually works, especially if this is your first experience.
So that you're more comfortable, I'd like to tell you a bit about what it's like to work with me.
How we'll work together
I offer an attachment focused, body centered, and mindfulness based approach to psychotherapy, which allows for powerful, lasting inner shifts in the patterns and self limiting beliefs that keep you stuck. Although insight into your patterns is important and may be our first step, simply telling your ‘story’ is not always enough.
Our first few sessions are important for me to learn more about you, what you'd like to work on, and for you to feel understood and comfortable. We'll set goals together and I'll share my sense of what I think we'll need to explore.
Then we’ll slow down and help you begin to connect to the places where change happens. Developing mindfulness, noticing what it’s like to be with your internal experience without trying to change it, is an important first step. I may invite you to be aware of thoughts, body sensations, images, memories, or feelings that arise as you’re talking.
We’ll get curious about the ways your nervous system responds to overwhelming situations and tries to protect you, the ways you continue to become activated to fight, flight, or freeze, and the behaviors that help you cope. We’ll work to develop internal resources – a place to land in yourself – that can help you heal and release the impact of trauma or difficult experiences.
We’ll explore the self limiting beliefs that may have developed into an identity and their costs in your life now. At your own pace, we’ll work to create moments in our sessions where you can actually take in a different experience. As you begin to truly internalize new beliefs about yourself shifts tend to happen in your life.
How Therapy works
Part of how this change actually happens is through the relationship you and I develop each week in therapy. That’s right! What makes therapy different than going to other service providers is that, ideally, you can let yourself risk feeling connected to me in a way that may not feel safe to do with friends, partners, family, or maybe even ever before in your life.
Although therapy is a relationship with certain important boundaries, I do let myself truly care about you! My goal is to be present in our sessions in the most human and honest way that I can.
In a way, this makes sense. We get hurt in relationships, often when we're young, and we develop strategies to protect ourselves from ever feeling that way again. So, it’s natural that we need to heal in a new kind of relationship. One where it's safe to explore the old patterns and begin to trust that we can do it differently now.
Some of the most important and transformative moments in therapy can happen when these patterns actually come up again right here in our sessions.
We’ll explore your patterns together, without judgment, so that you can become more aware of the ways they likely play out in your life. And you’ll get to experience a different response than you may have gotten before, which helps to create a new sense of safety and permission for your authentic self.
That may sound a little scary and you may be wondering if it will be hard.
I believe that therapy is a balance of support and challenge. Sometimes, when you’re going through big changes in your life, the volume is already ‘turned up’ on the challenge and therapy may need to be all support for quite a long time. That’s perfectly okay.
At other times, when your life is steady you may be open to more challenge in order to grow. Often it’s a balance between the two from week to week.
Sometimes therapy does feel hard. Shifting old patterns requires you to be vulnerable and that’s emotional work. We’ll find the right pace together that supports your growth without you feeling overwhelmed.
How you'll know if therapy is working.
It’s hard to describe, but therapy is one of those things that when it’s working you’ll just know.
The way you relate to your self will change.
What it feels like to be you will feel better.
With time, you may notice that your capacity to allow aliveness, joy, and connection into your life increases.