INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING

INTEGRATION - THE BRAIDED RIVER CONCEPT
Healing, change, power and authenticity come through the integration of psychological, emotional, spiritual, historical, social, professional, cultural, biological, moral and ethical aspects of life.   This concept of integration informs the name of my practice, and is guided by principles and values including:

  • Integrating all parts of ourselves as a whole person
  • Regarding life as a fluid, dynamic, powerful force
  • Understanding the ways in which living in the world, experiences, and choices shape the course of our momentum
  • Recognizing ourselves as natural and complex beings, and aligning ourselves with other natural phenomena

Integrative medicine also plays a large role in counseling.  As a counselor, I am one part of your life care team.  Foundational to my ethical standard is asking whether or not the reason you are seeking counseling can be explained medically or treated by or in conjunction with another modality, whether allopathic or complementary/alternative. With your consent, I will always be willing to work with other members of your personal care team. My understanding of integrative care is influenced by the work of Julie Luzarraga (my first clinical supervisor), Dr. Andrew Weil, and Dr. James Lake.

EXISTENTIAL-HUMANISM
I provide counseling for individuals with an Existential-Humanistic framework, which provides a means to more deeply understand who you are and how you experience life through the themes of meaning, belonging, freedom, responsibility, mortality, power and identity.  Existential-humanistic therapy starts from a place of givens - what are the universal aspects of being human? - and then attempts to understand your individual life within them.

My work is influenced by a number of therapists and writers, including Irvin Yalom, Rollo May, Carl Rogers, and Abraham Maslow.   The Intersubjective approach to psychotherapy pioneered by George Atwood and Robert Stolorow acknowledges that I am an individual human being as well (a fellow traveler), which influences how we engage with each other and what therapeutic insights we can derive from our interaction. The work of Richard Schwartz in Internal Family Systems influences my understanding of how we make sense of our many internal "parts" and how to integrate them.  I receive E-H clinical supervision from Bob Edelstein and serve on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Existential-Humanistic Northwest.

CLIENT-CENTERED, CLIENT-LED
Therapy is client-centered and client-led, meaning I do not approach you with a scripted or formulaic methodology.  Using active listening, unconditional positive regard, empathy, compassion and curiosity, we dig into the content and themes you bring to the session.  While we will always have an established yet evolving set of goals for therapy, I do not drive sessions with an agenda.   I receive person-centered supervision from Samuel Chi Baker of Creating Balance Pathways.

NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROBIOLOGY
What do our bodies have to do with our thoughts, emotions or behaviors? The past 30 years have produced phenomenal breakthroughs in our understanding of what it means to be an embodied person in terms of how we make connection (or not) between mind and body, but also how life experiences become encoded into our physiology and shape the way we experience the world.  Most importantly, it is a primary way of understanding safety.  In therapy, I regularly use the lenses of the nervous system, Polyvagal Theory, neuroscience and neuroexistentialism to interpret experiences.  Pioneers and writers in this field include Daniel Siegel, Bessel van der Kolk, Pat Ogden, Steven Porges and Deb Dana.  When appropriate, we will pay attention to the body so we can understand these aspects of ourselves experientially.

TRAUMA AND SECONDARY TRAUMATIC STRESS
Much of the progress made in understanding the physiology of being human as it relates to our life stories, thoughts, emotions and behaviors is rooted in the quest to better understand and treat trauma.  I use a trauma-competent approach to counseling which integrates neuroscience and neurobiology with the principles and practices of humanism in order to create a safe holding space for your therapeutic work.  In addition to the people mentioned above, my work with trauma is influenced by the writings and trainings of  Judith Herman, David Treleaven, Peter Levine, Laurence Heller, Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky, and Eric Gentry of the Arizona Trauma Institute.

SELF-COMPASSION, RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, FREEDOM AND ACTION
Greater insight into who we are that comes from an integrated existential-humanistic approach leads us to a great reward: compassion for ourselves as humans and radical acceptance of our lives and the world we live in.  From this place we are empowered to make decisions and take action, large or small,  with integrity that changes our quality of life and relationships. We also find peace in letting be.  My understanding of these concepts is greatly influenced by the work of Tara Brach, Kristen Neff, Pema Chodron, Nischala Joy Devi, and Thich Nhat Hahn

WHAT TO EXPECT

We can meet at a frequency congruent with your therapeutic needs and resources.  Initially I ask that clients meet weekly or every-other-week in order to establish rapport and treatment goals.  Clients should expect to meet at least monthly in order to see progress.  Currently, due to COVID-19, I am only seeing clients via teletherapy.  Read more about teletherapy.

Free Initial Consultation We will meet by phone or video for a brief initial consultation to determine if I am the right counselor for you.
Onboarding

Before our first session you will receive a link to register for my client portal through Simple Practice.  You will be asked to read and sign a variety of documents, and fill out an intake questionnaire.  This thorough intake allows me to know a bit more about you at the outset, and allows us to maximize time during our sessions.  This process could take up to 30 minutes.

Session 1+ We will go over a few items from your onboarding paperwork and begin our work with our relationship as the foundation

PAYMENT & INSURANCE

I offer a sliding scale for clients with financial restrictions and am happy to discuss this with you in our initial consultation. I accept debit and credit cards through the Simple Practice client portal.

While I do not accept any insurances in network, my services could be partially reimbursable through out-of-network insurance coverage.