Holistic Counseling & Wellness
I specialize in a holistic therapeutic approach to health and wellness that recognizes the relationship between mind and body, and seeks to understand and address the ways issues in one realm of a person's life can lead to concerns in others.
I view a client's presenting problem as a symptom of a systemic imbalance within the whole person. For example, a client may come to me because she has been experiencing feelings of sadness and lethargy in recent weeks. My client may view the sadness and lethargy as "the problem." I view her sadness and lethargy as "symptoms"-warning signals from her body that are alerting her to the fact that something in her life is unbalanced, unresolved, or needing attended to. That "something" might be unresolved trauma, it might be a work conflict, it might be a physical ailment, etc. My focus in my work with clients is to attend to the whole person and, in doing so, identify root causes of problems; symptom alleviation is a byproduct of the process.
What distinguishes holistic counseling from other forms of counseling?
Some people define counseling as a treatment for mental illness; others view it as a supportive resource to help us get through difficult patches in life. Holistic counseling is both of these things, and much, much more. Rather than focusing uniquely on a client's presenting problem (whether that be panic attacks, conflict with a family member, or feeling "stuck"), holistic counseling acknowledges the importance of the "whole person" and views a client's presenting problem within the broader context of their overall health and wellness. In addition, holistic counseling integrates left brain talk therapy with right brain modalities to promote healing at both conscious and unconscious levels.
Would you explain more about left brain and right brain functioning and their relevance to counseling?
All forms of counseling, including holistic counseling, make some use of traditional talk therapy, a method that taps into the client's left brain functioning of logical thinking and analysis and allows the client to create meaning from their conscious experiences. The left brain specializes in processing information in a conscious, specific, and linear way.
The right brain is associated with creativity, images, and emotions. It is often referred to as the “relational right brain” because it influences aspects of our behavior such as self-awareness, stress-modulation, empathy, trust, attachment, and emotion. Habitual patterns of emotions and relational behavior are "encoded" in the right brain, many of which are stored at an unconscious level.
In session my holistic approach translates into an integration of traditional talk therapy with supportive modalities that access both the left brain and the right brain, the conscious and the unconscious. Examples of right brain modalities I often employ in session include guided imagery, mindfulness training, meditation, art, active imagination, and somatic therapy. That said, it is important to note that my work with each client is unique. I believe that counseling is a highly collaborative process between the therapist and the client, and I will tailor my work with you to respond to your individual needs and wants within your unique life context.