The Self-Awareness Counseling Approach

The Heart of My Approach

At the heart of my approach to counseling is an offering of support, healing and guidance on your path to self-knowledge. As the name of my practice implies, I feel that your self-awareness holds the key to determining the best healing course for you and learning to choose what is right for you.

I believe that helping you to listen deeply to your SELF, is the single-most important gift that I can offer. Developing this skill is a lifelong endeavor. Whether you have been involved in self-discovery for a long time, or are just beginning, there are always valuable new inner realms to explore. Self-Awareness Counseling can lead you to new ways to access, listen to and heal these inner places. When this intention is combined with appropriate healing techniques, the result creates a methodology that is tailor-made for you.

Working from the “Inside-Out” and “Outside-In”

In my work I’ve gathered a diverse array of tools for inner work. This enables me to metaphorically hand you what I call a “customized special flashlight”.  With it I show you how you can safely look into the unseen nooks and crannies of your inner experience. This is what I call the “Inside-Out” aspect of the work.

I also feel it’s critical to integrate the inner discoveries with your outer life for a complete healing process. It’s here that we look at new ways you can interact with your environment. Together we look at challenging relationships and/or tasks and devise new approaches to them.  This is also important so we can stay on track with your goals. We base this on the counseling outcomes you’d like to see and your new self-discoveries. I call this the “Outside-In” part of the work.

Characteristics of my work

Goal-Directed, yet Fluid

The path to healing and change is not usually linear. Yet when you enter therapy you usually have specific outcomes that you are hoping to achieve (even if your goal is as general as “I want to feel better”). In your work with me we may encounter unexpected internal or external situations that prioritize our attention. This may seemingly lead us off course. However, these “diversions” are often actually necessary to reach the goal.  We will always be working with your desired outcomes in mind and course-correct if need be.

Deep Inner work, yet Solution-Focused

You may have goals for change that will affect both your internal and external worlds. Depending on your history, and what is going on in your life, we may choose to focus first on finding solutions for challenging environmental situations (“outside-in” & Solution-Focused Therapy). Often finding simple lifestyle or relationship changes that can positively affect how you feel about yourself and your life is a good booster shot for the beginning of therapy.  Conversely, we may decide that it would be best to first address negative emotional experiences (“inside-out”) getting in the way of functioning well so that you can make desired changes in your environment. Typically, as the work continues, we shift back and forth as needed, attending to the progress in both your inner and outer worlds.

Client-led, yet Guided

While the goal of my work is to help you know yourself, I will not leave you trying to figure this out on your own. I will help you with methods for searching inside yourself and ways to approach healing the wounds you find. So, while I consider you to be the expert on you, I lend you my counseling expertise by guiding the work. Together we determine what to focus on and when. In this way we work “co-creatively” toward the changes you’d like in your life.

Embodied, yet Cognitively Integrated

Often when we think about counseling, we think of it as limited to talking through thoughts and emotions generated in the mind alone. Yet the central nervous system is made up of the brain as well as all the nerves in the body. The mind can get in the habit of ignoring the body. Yet the majority of our experience is non-verbal and consists of emotions and feelings experienced in the body. I consider many aspects of my counseling work to be “Body-Mind” or “Embodied” psychotherapy. These methods may also be accurately called “Mindfulness” or “Experiential” therapies. My work incorporates ways that we can investigate and heal the difficult feelings you are having even if you don’t have words for them.

For over three decades I have incorporated an embodied way of knowing into all of my work. The variety of methods I’ve explored, allows me to help you access embodied information in a way that is comfortable for you. This vastly increases the healing that we can do. After fully understanding the felt information, I can help you name these experiences. This is important because speaking your story after the repair work is complete, is a powerful step in helping the brain integrate the healing.

Safe, yet Surprising & Insightful

I use the Internal Family Systems method for the deepest work and/or when working with trauma. This ensures that we have a method to check in with your whole self, including non-verbal experience, all along the way. With this method we never push through “resistance” rather we learn from those concerned parts and find a safe path for the work. In this way, we can be sure to do the healing work at a pace that won’t overwhelm you and can be effectively integrated. When you learn to listen in new ways to bodily sensations and feelings, you will inevitably uncover information about yourself that will be surprisingly profound and insightful. Even if we are uncovering information that is painful, we proceed only when your system has given us the green light to proceed. Clients are regularly amazed by what their Body-Mind has to say and the healing power that this work can offer.

For More Information:

Click on the images below  (or on the right), or see the pages under the “Specializations” and “About Counseling” menus.

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