How can counseling/psychotherapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, creative and spiritual blocks. They can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, help you to learn new skills and behaviors, or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
- Reframing negative experiences in new ways
- Developing insight into your life purpose
- Finding a sense of meaning in life and your life experiences
- Develop a spiritual practice
How do I know if I need therapy?
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and much of the time we can navigate these challenges on our own or with the support of friends, family and our community. Usually people come to therapy when they have reached an impasse or roadblock, when they feel stuck, and when their usual methods of coping and understanding are not providing help or resolution. Choosing to participate in therapy when you experience the opportunity of exceptionally difficult problems can provide long-lasting benefits, support, and life-changing transformation and growth, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, overcome challenges, and live your life with a deeper sense of meaning and joy.
What is Depth/Transpersonal Psychotherapy and how does it work?
Depth Psychology evolved from the Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic traditions. Carl Jung further developed these traditions and significantly broadened their views of the psyche. These traditions are characterized primarily by the inclusion of a part of the mind/psyche that is outside of ordinary awareness called the unconscious. Many, if not most other forms of contemporary psychology, view behavior from the limited viewpoint of ego and only work with the conscious parts of the mind.
Depth psychology is an approach that is open to exploring the subtle, unconscious, and transpersonal aspects of human behavior and experience. This approach includes therapeutic activities that explore unconscious process and involve the study of dreams, complexes, myth/archetypes, and synchronicity. It is an approach that is both non-pathologizing and strength-affirming.
The process of Individuation, whereby we bring our unconscious, hidden potentials into concrete living reality is central in Depth/Analytical Psychology. Individuation helps to bring one into greater alignment with the meaning and purpose of life. The central organizing principle of the psyche and the archetype of Individuation is what Jung called the 'Self'. Jung believed that psychological distress is a result of imbalance and alienation from the deeper aspects of the personality and the process of Depth psychotherapy seeks to restore the individual's connection to the energy blueprint of the Self. This is achieved through the therapeutic relationship, dream interpretation, active imagination, and through various expressive therapies.
Transpersonal Psychology integrates the spiritual and transcendant aspects of human behavior and experience into the therapy process. This includes spiritual self-development and evolution, altered and multi-dimensional states of consciousness, mystical/transcendant experiences and spiritual practices.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life
and you will call it fate".
What is Kabbalistic Psychology and how do you use it in your work?
Kabbalah is the ancient mystical aspect of the Judao-Christian religious tradition. It concerns itself with describing the process of Creation and the cosmic and divine origins of humans and their unique place and role in Creation. Kabbalistic Psychology integrates modern depth psychology within the scheme of Kabbalah and takes into account the the four-fold nature of humans (body,mind, spirit, divine) within the context of the four-fold Universe. It describes the role of human consciousness and the process of spiritual evolution as we descend into incarnation and then return once again to our divine place of origin in Spirit.
Kabbalah has deep connections and correspondences with the hermetic disciplines of astrology, alchemy, and tarot to name a few and can be used in combination with these traditions to provide remarkable insights and knowledge into the human psyche. The Tree of Life and Jacob's Ladder diagrams, primary maps of consciousness that are used as teaching, meditative, and revelatory tools in Kabbalah, are also used to work with the various levels of being and the processes of spiritual intiation and evolution within the context of healing and psychotherapy.
"I died a mineral, and became a plant. I died a plant and rose an animal. I died an animal and I was a man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
How does Astrology integrate with this healing approach?
Astrology is an ancient art and science of the cosmos that is truly one of the oldest and purest forms of psychology. It speaks to us in a rich language of image, symbol, and archetypes and its focus is, as in Kabbalah, on illuminating how the microcosm of the human psyche fits into the larger macrocosm of the cosmos. Planets describe basic forces and drives that all humans share and the 12 signs of the Zodiac depict different strategies for learning and embodying particular evolutionary lessons along the path of spiritual development.
A Natal Chart is a frozen picture of the cosmos at the exact time and location of your birth, which in Astrology is viewed as a time and place divinely chosen to provide the perfect circumstances and qualities you need to support you in your evolution, growth, and learning.
Astrology has many correspondences with Depth Psychology and Kabbalah. For example, in Astrology, the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant/Rising Sign correspond to the psychological Self, Ego, and Persona. We gain much by developing an understanding of the balance of signs, elements, planetary emphasis, aspect patterns, and energy influences that characterize the Natal Chart. When we place the Natal Chart onto the Kabbalistic Tree of Life we gain even deeper insight into the particular themes, initiations, gifts, strengths, and challenges that our Soul chose to develop and work with in this ego-body incarnation.
Integrating Astrology and Kabbalah into the process of Depth Psychotherapy allows us to address 'symptoms' and challenges in the context of Soul and Spiritual growth where they can be seen as opportunities for evolution and intiatory experiences.
"...astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity."
"There is nothing random about life's events: every single thing, good and bad, is sent to us
purposefully in order to prompt us to eventually question the purpose of our lives and to try to get to know
the Upper Power that is orchestrating our world".
How do the Subtle Energy Body and Shamanic Practices feature in this approach?
Shamanism is an ancient healing tradition that is founded on working with multi-dimensional and subtle energies along with 'techniques of ecstasy', or altered and out-of-body states of consciousness. It is an ancient, and probably the most original form of medicine, pre-dating the separation of mind and body that characterize the modern medical system. Shamans are 'wounded healers' who have healed themselves through the process of initiation and who have mastered the art of circumnavigating the subtle worlds and dimensions at will. They work directly with Spirit and form primary helping relationships with discarnate spirits, teachers, animals and other magical beings who perform healing on their behalf.
Shamanic healing involves working with the subtle energy bodies and the various levels in the unseen worlds in which disease and imbalance originate. In depth psychological terms, we could say that the realm of the Unconscious is in the subtle energy planes, either as unmanifested creative potential or as split-off experience related to traumas, fear, and repression. Whether we view subtle body imbalance as evidence of unconscious 'complexes', as energetic imprints, or as interference by discarnate entities with their own consciousness, working within these realms allows us to address the root causes of visible symptoms, dis-ease, and imbalance.
Using shamanic and energy healing tools and practices in conjunction with psychotherapy allows for deep transformative work with core issues and gives embodied expression through ritual and ceremony that both grounds and integrates in the physical world the work we do on the subtle planes. Examples include work with shamanic journeying, soul-loss, soul-retrieval, power loss/retrieval, drumming, rattling, altar work, sand painting, work with ritual tools/objects, energy healing, aura cleansing/balancing, sound therapy, crystal therapy & grid work, and adjunctive treatment using vibrational elixirs, essences, herbs, etc.
The premise in integrating psychotherapy with multi-dimensional and subtle energy work is that the energy body (or rather bodies) is the organizing template of the physical body, thus we need to address healing at these levels in order to achieve any truly deep, holistic, and lasting benefit.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them."
"Just as we have a physical body, so we hae an etheric body and the etheric body is made of energy, of light."
How do I know if this treatment approach will be helpful to me?
This is a four-level, multi-dimensional, bio-psycho-social-spiritual therapy and healing approach that is helpful for many people and addresses a wide variety of issues. I have found it to be an approach that is particularly helpful and successful for those who:
- are highly sensitive, intuitive, 'empaths'
- are artisitic, creative
- tend to be 'givers' in relationships with others
- have difficulty saying no
- experience vague somatic symptoms, illnesses, or undiagnosed medical issues
- have vivid dreams and dream recollection
- have experienced early trauma, particularly developmental, complex, or relational trauma
- have unresolved grief/loss
- pick up energies from the environment or other people
- have difficulty setting limits or establishing healthy boundaries with others
- have a history of being scape-goated or blamed
- want to learn to deal effectively with 'toxic' relationship dynamics
- have difficulty asserting themselves
- need to develop healthy discernment
- feel drawn to healing arts, or are healers themselves
- are functioning fairly well but feel there is something 'missing'
- are confused about their mission, purpose, or the meaning of their life
- want to learn mastery of manipulating subtle energies
- want to have more control over manifesting positive outcomes in their lives
- are drawn to and want to learn esoteric practices
What can I expect to happen? How does it work?
Depending on your particular needs, interests, and goals, you may benefit from long or shorter-term psychotherapy, an individual, stand-alone consultation, or private mentoring, training, or supervision.
Most people begin their work with me in the context of therapy. In the first few times that we meet, I will be developing an understanding of what your circumstances are, how/where they originated, and what you want to work on, heal, develop, or change. This allows me to do a thorough assesment and develop a working 'diagnosis' so that we can customize your therapy and healing process to your specific needs and goals. The assessment and diagnosis phase of treatment usually involves 1 - 3 sessions. I will ask you to describe your concerns, gather a history, and use additional tools as appropriate and as you are comfortable with that often include casting a natal and transit chart, doing an intuitive diagnosis, asking for recent or recurring dreams, divination, guided meditations or journeying.
We will then discuss recommendations for a healing plan and therapy. Most people meet with me once a week for the first phases of therapy and then space out sessions further apart as the work deepens to give time between the work to practice, integrate and ground the healing. When treatment is completed, often people will schedule consultations as needed to work on specific issues as they arise in the future or to reinforce previous work.
If you have a specific question or issue that you want to address, but don't feel the need for ongoing therapy, I offer individual consulations focused around astrology, divination (tarot or other), intuitive diagnosis, dream analysis/interpretation, or shamanic healing work. These can be individualized to best meet your needs.
For persons who are interested in learning about kabbalah, astrology, tarot, dream interpretation, or shamanism, I offer individual mentoring or small-group classes. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills to use in your personal life or to integrate into an established healing practice. For healers and therapists who want to add a transpersonal perspective to their practice, I also offer supervision and mentoring on a regular or as needed basis.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.