A therapy session with me is often unlike any other therapy session you’ve ever had. As I realized that traditional talk therapy wasn’t for everyone, I drew from my life experiences to figure out what else might help people heal and grow. This led to the intersection of therapy, play, physical movement, and the outdoors that is FUNdaMENTALs.
When you work with me you might hike, surf, run, sit under a tree, write, draw, paint, sculpt, collage, dance, meditate, visit a playground, play a board game, create your own board game, or engage in any other leisure activity you can think of. I not only personally enjoy these activities but I’ve also been trained in and have a lot of experience using them as therapeutic tools.
There are many reasons activities are used to enhance therapy:
While verbal communication is important it can be limited in its capacity to fully express all that we experience. Sometimes there just aren’t the words to describe what we're going through and having an alternative form of expression allows for deeper healing and understanding. I believe that much depression and anxiety is related to repressed authentic expression and creative activities makes space for this.
Sometimes the opposite is just as important. In order to feel better we simply need to learn to let go and that life isn’t as serious as we make it. Play is the best possible way to do this.
Activity also encourages skill development through experiential learning. Sometimes you can talk for years but the only way a lesson actually sticks is to personally experience it.
Of course, while talk isn’t everything it’s still important in order to improve and deepen communication and understanding. I’m highly trained and skilled in a variety of therapeutic methods. Frequently I use a combination of therapies depending upon your particular needs but the basis of all therapy I do is mindfulness and relational therapy. Mindfulness is being in the present moment experiencing it for all that it is without judgment and relational therapy uses the therapeutic relationship as a healthy model to understand all other relationships and how they impact your mental and emotional well-being. This means I will always strive to connect with you in each moment.
The other types of talk therapy I frequently use include:
Psychodynamic: focuses on how the unconscious mind influences our present behavior. The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious into consciousness and develop greater self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior in order to create change.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): examines how our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors intersect and impact our life. The goal of CBT is to challenge those thoughts and behaviors that are no longer helpful and replace them with ones that will create healthier behaviors and beliefs.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): an offshoot of CBT, DBT has been especially effective in helping those who struggle with suicidality and/or Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s basis is mindfulness and also incorporates skill building in three areas: distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The goal is to reduce suffering and create a life worth living through synthesizing polar opposites and learning to live within the gray areas of life.
While these therapies can be used to treat the entire range of mental health and life concerns, issues I tend to see most frequently include:
Social and relational concerns (including social anxiety)
Borderline Personality Disorder
Stagnation (or being “stuck” as many people refer to it).
In addition to in-person therapy, I offer electronic therapy services via a secure and confidential telephone or interactive videoconference. These sessions are treated the same as face-to-face sessions. I offer this service as it provides clients with greater flexibility, convenience, and access to mental health services.