Counseling: healing and exploring
Counseling is the intertwining of exploration and healing. In order to heal, you have to explore; in order to explore, you have to heal. I have a five pointed view of healing which involves somatic, energetic, meditative, psychodynamic and spiritual aspects.
There are a number of ways to view your healing process; I am versed in a group of methods rather than just one. Those methods include the Feldenkrais Method, the TARA Approach, Buddhist meditation, shamanism, and EMDR.
Generally speaking, my clients are creatively oriented people who have often (but not always) faced a lot of suffering in their lives as well as the stigma of being "different" in some way because of culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. They are people who combine many aspects of "different" in who they are and how they live. They are poets, performers, stylists, dancers, writers, musicians, fathers and mothers, healers of all cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages, faiths and lifestyles. These are some of the journeys we take in counseling together:
-Wounds from relationships and all of the related questions about communication, loneliness, healing, holding on and letting go, forgiving and not forgiving. Relationships are one of the most important things to us as human beings. The quality of those relationships--good, bad, ugly, or indifferent-- has a direct impact on our emotional and physical health. Relationships can be with parents, siblings, past or present partners, colleagues, co-workers, church members--the list goes on.
-Feeling stuck and not knowing how to move forward; living in the patterns of the past and being sick of it--"Why does X keep happening?" Or, not being able to formulate a plan for the future that feels right, true, or authentic.
-Control, or the lack of it. A realistic framework for what we can and can't affect in life is essential to emotional health. Trying to affect things we can't leads to anger and frustration. Not affecting things we can leads to helplessness and depression.
-Grieving and loss--a partner, a pet, a child, a friend, a way of life; changes to your body, psyche, relationships and life after moving, surgery, divorce, empty nest, medical diagnosis and treatment. It is nowhere written that you are supposed to go through loss alone.
-Traumatic stress symptoms: feeling "out of your body," numb, disconnected, lonely, cut off, unable to access emotions. I firmly believe that it is irresponsible to process traumatic material without integrating somatic self care and grounding components as part of the treatment approach. It is important that you understand this fully before choosing to work with me. Examples of somatic components include meditation, EMDR, body awareness, movement, and energetic flows.
-Overwhelm and stress, anxiety, depression: I put these together because they're usually intertwined. Anxiety can be an overwhelm of worrying thoughts. Depression can be an overwhelm of negative and sad thoughts that come out of worrying. Overwhelm from some other source can cause anxiety AND depression. It's a kind of unfortunate trifecta, a three headed snake that winds around itself.
-Self image and body image: realistic self-appraisal and self-acceptance, issues about weight, appearance, self-respect, learning to be comfortable in your own skin.
-Spiritual questions: ethics and morals in ourselves and others; wondering what is right and just; personal responsibility; "six one way and half dozen the other" situations; aging, death, the meaning of life. Some would call me bold to designate these as spiritual questions; I just happen to believe that whether or not you are a spiritual person, these kinds of questions don't fit neatly into what we think of as "therapy." Therefore, I include them here.
My job, as I see it, is not to diagnose, pathologize or mainstream you. It's to help and support you in understanding three things: what's going on right now, how you arrived here, and how you can affect your life in a positive and healing way from this point forward. This is a very simple definition of helping another person, but in a nutshell, that's what I believe it's about.
I accept clients ages teen to 100+. If I'm not the right person to help you, I'll gladly refer you to others who may be better for you. Helping people is kind of like running a small restaurant. Everyone has their things that they do well and their things they don't do well. I have my menu and other helpers have theirs.
I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas. I have a sliding scale of $80 - $200 for 90 minute sessions (to compare, most therapists in Austin charge between $125 and $290 for 50 minutes). I do not ask for proof of income; you choose the amount that will let you come see me enough to get well. You can come twice a week, twice a month, or anything in between--however often or seldom you like.
Please note that I am not an emergency crisis counselor and do not provide legal support or treatment for complex psychiatric conditions. If you are in crisis please call 472-HELP (in Austin), 911, or go to your nearest emergency room.