One of my favorite aspects about the therapy profession is that in this busy life, I get to slow down and share uninterrupted, focused and purposeful segments of time with each client. There is space for my clients and for me to intentionally breathe, process, learn and grow. When we create space to focus on what is going on inside us, we begin to make sense of our emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
I earned my graduate degree at Bethel Seminary, San Diego where integration of spiritual faith and MFT theory is emphasized. I am very familiar with the Christian faith, and for my clients whose faith is a significant part of their lives, I can integrate faith in their treatment. I respect each person’s spiritual journey and I welcome clients of all faiths, and those who do not desire to integrate spirituality.
A Note About Trauma and Distressing Life Events
It is impossible to live a life free of traumatic experiences or distressing events. Oftentimes negative life experiences keep us from living life to the fullest. We may knowingly or unknowingly carry the burdens of these past experiences in the present. There is a wide range of traumatic experiences, and giving them the attention they deserve is part of the process of healing. Post traumatic stress is one example of the affect trauma can have on a person. Other examples include repeated failed relationships, perfectionism, disordered eating, addictions and compulsions, or thoughts and behaviors that keep a person feeling stuck. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a therapeutic approach that can help people move beyond the trauma that is connected to present day events. I am certified in EMDR and, if you are interested, we can talk about whether EMDR therapy is appropriate for your treatment plan.
What is Internal Family Systems (IFS)?
Have you ever thought, “There’s a part of me that ___________ and another part that __________” (fill in the blank). For example, “There’s a part of me that wants that promotion at work, but another part of me that wants to stay right where I am with what I know.” These kinds of thoughts occur all the time, but what if you considered your thoughts and emotions as actual distinct “parts” of yourself, or sub-personalities? They are different aspects of you expressing yourself daily in various situations. Some parts have experienced painful events in the past and others try to protect you, trying to keep you from ever feeling that pain again. When you try to be perfect or control everything, when you have outbursts, criticize or judge yourself or others, or when you are kind and supportive – these are all parts of you that actually just want what is best for you.
IFS is a therapeutic approach that works with these various aspects of yourself. By learning about these parts and providing the attention they need, you can experience more of what Dr. Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS, calls the 8 C’s of Self leadership: Calm, Curiosity, Clarity, Compassion, Confidence, Courage, Creativity, and Connectedness.