METHODS and TRAINING
 

The Importance of Mindfulness

The time-honored practice of mindfulness is the foundation of my work with clients. I use the practice myself, as well as teach it to my clients. I work to provide a safe “container” by conscious practice of loving-kindness and compassion in the therapy relationship to facilitate healing and growth.  This is fundamentally a vow to help a person to use each and every event and experience to awaken to the goodness and gifts of the self, the world, and the connections between the two.
Through mindfulness and compassion, it is possible to uncover the ways in which we automatically react, think and feel. These automatic reactions were adaptive once- now they hold us back. Let's explore and discover. Then we can begin again. We can begin to see things in a new way. We can respond to our lives in fresh ways. This is a brief description of the Hakomi Method- see Hakomi page for more detailed description. I also use Hypnotherapy at times, including stress or trauma relieving trances. In all the above, of course, with your collaboration.

Here is more explanation of character and change:

No one 'is' their armoring or their character, but is simply 'using' certain patterned ways of coping at the moment. Of course, when a particular defense [yes, armoring is just a set of elaborate defenses against something we find to be 'too dangerous' to experience fully] seems to do the job, we tend to make it a habit, thus setting up some 'characteristic' ways of being. When this habit begins early in life and is used frequently through out our physical development they do influence how our body [including our emotional flow/holding, gestures, voice characteristics and even our way of thinking] develops.

In cases of severe abuse and neglect, there are profound developmental deficits that have deleterious health effects into adult life. However, I don't assume that these effects are 'cast in stone' no matter how late in life one begins to attempt to overcome these habitual ways of 'defending' against our full experience of life [inner as well as outer] or I would not consider trying to help someone to make deep changes. These habits were developed in relationship (with early caregivers) and they must be re-patterned in relationship (with the therapist, if not another).  Character, (or body and relational habits) are ways to 'see' what one is defending against 'today' and in mindfulness, and in the developing safety of the therapeutic relationship, the client can often see into the important events over the moments/hours/days/years. If memories are not available, the present moment-to-moment felt sense or relational experience is revealing. Now we see what they have been defending against, help them feel and understand the 

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habits involved, how they got started, the beliefs and decisions that got started, and new ways to orient to the present. It becomes easier to see the various consequences of the habits that have deleterious effects on ones life. 



Of course, long held habits do not yield easily even when a strong conscious commitment to such change is developed. Our 'body habits' are built into our synapses and muscular responses in such a way that we have to spend quite a bit of mental/psychic energy to 'unbuild' these patterned ways of responding to life.  The body lets one know if the old, uncomfortable ways are being used to cope. 

Feeling the freedom and ease of the new way in the body helps one continue to orient to the present, rather than going back to a trance of the past.

Transpersonal Psychology 
Transpersonal psychology recognizes and studies the different states and stations of consciousness. It recognizes that such different states as dreaming, hypnotic trance, and "waking" consciousness all have sub-levels within themselves and possess their own state-specific systems, their own realities. Further, transpersonal psychology recognizes that not only are there different states of consciousness that one may move into and out of during the course of a day but that there are also stages or stations of consciousness that, through development, one can come to live in relatively permanently.
Rather than being a recent innovation, transpersonal psychology is largely a return to the perennial philosophy identified by Aldous Huxley. Mystical experience and shamanistic healing practices, which have been central concerns of humankind for millennia, are also a focus of transpersonal psychology.

Training

I have a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. I am certified in The Hakomi Method of Psychotherapy, Huma Transpersonal Bodywork, and Transpersonal Hypnotherapy. I am studying with Kathy Kain, who teaches a unified somatic approach to touch, awareness, and relationship. I became ordained as an Interfaith Minister after two years at The Interfaith Seminary of Santa Cruz, appreciating the mystical core of every tradition. My undergaduate degree is from UCSC, in psychology with honors in the major and honors at the college.

Associations

  • CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists).
  • USABP (United States Association of Body Psychotherapists). 
  • Hakomi Institute
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The Guest House 

This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival. 
A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes as an 
unexpected visitor.  

Welcome and entertain them all! 
even if they're a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably, 
She may be clearing you out for some new delight. 
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. 
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.


-Rumi