Integrative Holistic Counseling
All good counseling works on creating more harmony within people’s internal states. An integrative approach to counseling takes into consideration all relevant domains that affect the internal state of the person such as family history, relationships, community, nutrition, vocation, values, connection to body, religion, spirituality, etc.
One of the main principles of counseling is that all wounding happens in relationship and it is only through loving relationship that wounding can be repaired. This means that the therapeutic relationship and the authenticity and genuine caring between therapist and client becomes one of the principle tools through which healing and growth occur. Because the therapeutic relationship is so important in counseling, finding the right fit is a really important consideration. My approach is non-pathological, that is, I don’t analyze or critique or view my clients as somehow broken. I believe that at our core, we all have sanity, wisdom and beauty. My job is to help you to remove the blocks that get in the way of accessing your own wisdom.
My clients would likely describe me as warm, caring, strong, compassionate, accepting, wise, direct and professional, but down-to-earth and approachable. I understand that doing therapeutic work requires courage and vulnerability; I will honor your vulnerability by matching it with my transparency. My commitment is to help you to deepen into your own experience so that you may gain insight and resolution in order to experience more peace and equilibrium while also changing the things or behaviors that aren’t working for you in your life. I use my clinical judgment and wisdom to help you deepen your self-understanding, work through unresolved issues and trauma, and create positive changes in how you feel, live, and experience relationships.
Groups of about 6 to 12 people meet to work on a common issue or goal. Participants improve from therapist insight as well as from observing others in the group and receiving feedback from group members. Typically group sessions last about 90 minutes and can be held for a specific number of weeks or can be ongoing. Group counseling focuses on skill building, creating practical improvements in people’s lives and developing internal insight. Groups are often focused on a common theme or goal such as conscious dating, skills, increasing self-esteem, getting through divorce, increasing effective parenting skills, empowerment for girls, exploring personal creativity, increasing healthful habits, healthy sexuality, etc. Cost for group therapy is less than half the price of individual therapy.
Some benefits of group therapy:
- You recognize that other members share similar feelings, thoughts and problems. You realize that you are not alone in your feelings and concerns.
- You gain a boost to self concept through extending help to other group members. Helping others is a good feeling and is therapeutic in and of itself.
- You recognize that other members’ success can be helpful to you and help develop optimism and hope for your own improvement.
- You learn from the advice given by the therapist and other group members.
- You can reenact critical relationship dynamics with group members, learning how to interact with others better.
- The group provides you with an environment that fosters good communication and the development of socializing techniques. Since so much of our daily interaction with other people, you can learn to improve your social skills.
- You expand your personal knowledge and skills through the observation of other group members as they explore themselves, work through problems and develop themselves personally. By seeing how others handle similar problems, you can rapidly add new coping methods to your behaviors.
- The group experiences feelings of trust, belonging and togetherness, fostering cohesiveness.
- You learn to accept responsibility for life decisions through observing the other group members and through working through your own problems.
- You can release strong feelings about past or present experiences. These feelings build up continual stress, and you will feel great relief in resolving this stress.
- You gain personal insight about your impact on others through feedback provided from other members. We often do not realize how our behavior affects others, and the group is an effective way to learn and modify our behavior.
- The group provides an environment that allows members to learn from each other and interact in a more adaptive manner.
- You gain self-understanding and insight into psychological motivations underlying your behavior and emotional reactions.