Whole System Psychotherapy derives from an understanding that individuals to hold within themselves a constant balance between mind, body, soul, emotions, and the will. The development and balance of these five components are at the root of my counseling practice.
My experience as a psychotherapist has allowed me to discover the most effective and fastest methods for helping my clients. The core of my philosophy is that no two persons are alike. As a therapist it is of utmost importance to meet my clients where they are internally as unique individuals, and to deeply understand their belief system. I believe the basis of solid counseling is the application of a truly open mind and a non-judgmental understanding, creatively mixed with the knowledge derived from both conventional and alternative modes of healing.
The purpose of the first session with a new client is for you to see if you feel comfortable working with me on your growth/ healing, and also for me to ascertain I can help you. This session is free of charge, and I send each new client on his/her way without a new appointment. My prospective new client will go home and listen deeply inside about whether working with me is something positive for a healing experience. If my new client decides to work with me she/he will come to the second session with an autobiography.* I will read and go over this autobiography so we do not have to spend many sessions talking about the past. Instead, the next time we meet we can immediately start working from the present moment into the future. This second session will also be an intake session, where I will use my thorough "intake questionnaire." This questionnaire will explore personal subjects and daily life issues that most other therapists will not think of asking. I will study the answers to the questionnaire in conjunction with the autobiography, and create a profile and a plan on how to proceed for change. I will present my findings in the beginning of our third session. None of my treatment plans are written in stone since situations do come up during the sessions, which may necessitate a change of course.
I believe we are all living in a sort of "unconscious" state. How we came into this world, and the environments we have encountered have great influences on how we see the world, how we feel, how we act in our lives, how we perceive situations, and how we react. We have created a path in our brain, which no matter what we encounter we will automatically take because it is familiar. The metaphor I use with my clients is that we are going to dig a new path in the brain, and cover the old path with dirt we dig up from the journey on the new path in consciousness and authenticity. People with difficulties in their lives are most often directed by the Amygdala, which is the part of the brain responding to danger in a fight or flight mode. The good news is, it is indeed possible to change the way we think, feel, act, perceive, and react. The brain has a lot of plasticity, which makes it possible, and with a lot of exercise, to create new connections between neurons for a more balanced life within. When exercising the brain it will automatically move away from the Amygdala to the Prefrontal Cortex, which is the part of the brain used for planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision-making, moderating social behavior, regulating the body and nervous system, and it arranges the emotions and reactions of the Amygdala. Making these changes in life is not something to take lightly since you actually retraining your brain. In healing, as with learning to play an instrument, it therefore requires a great deal of practice between sessions for changes and healing to occur in a deep and lasting way, and for it to become "second nature". Therefore I will always send my clients off with homework for that week. In between appointments I am available to my clients via email and text, and if hard times may occur, by telephone. In close partnership my aim is to help my clients to become independent healers of themselves. Coming to me as a client means that you have a serious desire for change, and you are committed to do your best based upon where you are at that time in your understanding and development, to change your current situation.
I use many different techniques ranging from traditional talk therapy, to Thought Field Therapy, creative imagery, meditation for core understandings, and other exercises to allow the inner self to be heard and loved. Depending on my clients needs I can work within a variety of approaches from conventional to holistic therapies. My experience has taught me that relying only on talk therapy is not the most effective method for facilitating the desired changes. I therefore prefer a more holistic approach to healing. I do not like to assign disorders, and instead I use the situation my clients are in as indications for a plan to healing. I prefer for my clients not to take medication, (although there are always exceptions where people are require to take medication). When my clients come in "on medication" I often work with them in eliminating the medication at a pace with which they are comfortable with.
For teenagers my questionnaire is much shorter. I mainly use solution-based counseling with them. I help teenagers become leaders within themselves and their environment, in a peaceful and authentic way. Often when teenagers are "on medication" it is unnecessary, and I will help them in eliminating such medication in a slow and comfortable pace. Of course, I do recognize that very rarely some teenagers do need to be on a psychopharmacological treatment to be able to function in life.