“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take a step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.” ~ Patrick Overton
Venturing into the unknown, or getting to know ourselves at a deeper level, can feel scary at times. I am committed to helping make the process for you as smooth as possible. Congratulations on taking that first step!
FOR ADULT CLIENTS:
In addition to talk therapy, I offer Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
ART is an eye-movement therapy based on EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing); however, different in that it is more somatic focused, has a more structured protocol, and is generally much quicker. ART is suitable for adults and older children. It is a relatively new evidence-based therapy (about 12 years old) that focuses on shifting memories and emotional/physical sensations connected with a difficult event, to feel more positive. The process is unique, and creative (which clients tend to like), and includes a blending of several therapies such as cognitive-based therapy (CBT), guided imagery, Jungian, and oftentimes Gestalt. At the end of an ART session, clients typically share that they feel more confident in their ability to handle a situation or memory.
Although ART is best known for helping people who struggle with PTSD, it has application across numerous areas. Some of the issues I have helped clients overcome/better manage through ART include: trauma, abuse, generalized anxiety, loss, bereavement, phobias, addiction, indecision, intense anger, and depression. It is not uncommon for a client to say they feel 75 percent better after one session. However, many clients will benefit from several or more sessions; especially if there is complex trauma. The level of relief is also related to the level of focus and motivation for change that the client brings with them.
How does ART work? The eye movements are believed to replicate REM sleep, our deepest sleep, where we reprocess memories and try to resolve problems in our dream state. The client is guided through a process of seeing their problem and resolving or coming to terms with it - which includes positively converting negative thoughts and emotions that are connected to the problem. The client is always the one in control of their process - with help from the therapist. One thing I love about ART is that a client can feel a sense of resolution and relief from symptoms without needing to share specifics of their trauma.
I have conducted over 150 ART sessions with clients. I was trained in 2015, by Laney Rosenzweig, the founder of ART. Following my Basic training in ART I took both of the upper-level trainings, and am certified at the Master (highest) level. My own personal experience with ART is that during my initial training practicum, I received help in overcoming a phobia I had struggled with all my life; six years later in 2021, I still feel confident in my ability to handle a "triggering" situation when it arises.
FOR CHILD CLIENTS:
For children and families, I offer Play Therapy
WHAT IS PLAY THERAPY?
Play therapy is really special. In talk therapy people communicate to explore issues, build resilience, and solve problems, using their words. In play therapy, all these things are done through play. Toys and other play materials are the means children use, to express what is going on in their lives and resolve troublesome issues. All play - from materials chosen to the story created, is symbolic; it is a representation, a metaphor, for the child’s life as well as the child themselves, as a person.
Both play and play therapy have been recognized by philosophers and researchers over the span of time as a powerful agent of growth and change, and the most developmentally appropriate way to work with children. Research shows that play therapy is indeed effective for children experiencing challenges that range across the realm of social, emotional, and behavioral issues. Children facing life stressors and major transitions are able to heal, integrate and grow in the play room with a trained play therapist.
In the playroom, children explore, create, and problem-solve. They come to accept themselves, build self-esteem, learn how to engage with others in more appropriate ways, regulate big emotions, and feel happier and more calm. Sometimes parents question the concept of bringing their child to play with an adult in a play room when there are emotional or behavior issues. Yet children do not express or think about problems in the same way that adults do. Therefore, the approach to working with them needs to be different.
Play therapists are trained to understand the language of play. Not only is play the most developmentally appropriate way of working with children, but when a child meets someone who can speak their language, a very powerful bond is created. It is a relationship built on a deep sense of mutual trust and respect where the child is free to share themselves and feel understood in ways they typically don’t get to experience in the outside world.
Just as there are numerous therapeutic approaches in talk therapy, the same is true for play therapy. These vary from pure child-centered play therapy which is non-directive, to the other end of the spectrum in which therapists use very directive interventions. Based on my assessment, I may use a directive or non-directive approach, or some combination of the two. I may also use techniques from Theraplay, and am currently in training to become certified at the foundational level. Regardless of approach, all play therapy helps therapists to connect to the child through play-based activities and experience.
My approach is considered integrative. I have training in both directive and non-directive approaches, including several different theoretical play therapy models, and will use what I determine to be the best fit for the child and family. Much of my work is informed by recent research on brain development/neuroscience and also attachment theory. This represents a shift of perspective from using simply a cognitive or behavioral approach, to understanding problems from a deeper, neurological and relational level.
I always strive to be sensitive and respectful of a child’s comfort level in terms of their awareness of, and ability to communicate, their inner experience. When children are capable of, and interested in, talking about their experience and resolving issues with their words, then we can do this in session. With very young children, or when a child is unable or unwilling to talk about their experience directly (which is typical in the case of trauma), I engage them using symbolic play and gentle verbal interaction which allows them to feel comfortable and safely express themselves.
For more information on Play Therapy:
FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS:
For Mental Health Professionals, I offer Play Therapy supervision, including supervision toward the RPT (Registered Play Therapist) credential. I also offer consultation for other play therapists, and trainings/presentations on Play Therapy.
For information on the RPT credential, please visit the Association for Play Therapy's credentialing homepage: https://www.a4pt.org/page/CredentialsHomepage
** Please contact me for more information, or to schedule a time to meet.