How important is choosing a therapist?
Over and over again, the research has shown that the single most important factor in the outcome of psychotherapy is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client. A good therapeutic relationship, one in which you feel safe, connected, and supported, can help heal the early wounding that is hampering you now and change those early imprints.
How do I know if you’re the right therapist for me?
I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation in order for us to determine if it’s a good fit. During that time we will talk about what is bringing you to therapy, what your hopes and goals are, and what you feel is holding you back. From any questions we’ll both get a sense of whether we can work together. If not, I can give you referrals to other therapists I trust and feel could help you.
How do you work?
Psychotherapy has come a long way in the last 20 years, and we have learned that change takes more than talking or analysis. It requires having new experiences that actually change the way your mind and body are wired. I work experientially to facilitate this process.
I do this through our relationship by using techniques and modalities that bring your whole being into therapy, integrating mind, body, and emotions.
What do you mean by “new experiences?”
It is often a new experience to be listened and attended to and held within the deep compassionate presence of someone who has no agenda other than to be there with and for you. By working with the body and the emotions and not just talking it out, you have the opportunity to bring awareness to processes inside you that usually go on unconsciously.
You may discover how you organized yourself around your early life experiences in ways that are limiting you now. You will learn to trust the natural movement of your emotions, sensations, and energy so they don’t get stuck but keep moving you forward in life. And by bringing mindful attention to all these processes, you will develop more compassion and acceptance for yourself.
How do you work with the body?
The most basic way I work with the body is to ask you to bring attention and awareness to it and what is going on inside you. Research is now showing that the neural networks of our hearts and our guts are quite complex and strongly interact with our brains. Our colloquial language even acknowledges it when we talk about feeling or knowing something in our gut, or speak of our heart’s desire.
Another way I work with the body is to use touch. So much of how we learned before we had words was through our bodies and deeper structures of the brain connected to the body. The quality of touch and affection we received, or didn’t, was a huge component of our early learning. It has left its imprint in your body as well as your psyche.
For these reasons, I integrate hands-on body and energy work. I am sensitive to when and how we move from sitting face-to-face to working with you lying on the table fully clothed. I work collaboratively with you on this to find the kind of touch that best meets your needs and will be the most nourishing and effective.
I am trained and certified in Rosen Method Bodywork and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, which I integrate and use as seems appropriate in the moment. There are different levels of healing that can happen in this hands-on work. I am also licensed as a massage therapist and a member of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy.
What if I’m not comfortable being touched?
Anything we do is always collaborative and with your full permission and consent. Sometimes I ask people to use their own hands to touch themselves. For example, it might be very soothing to put your hand on your heart when you are feeling hurt or upset. Touch in itself can be very healing but only when it is wanted.
I recognize that many people have been hurt by unwanted touch, or physical or sexual abuse, and I have a great deal of experience working with both children and adults to whom this has happened.
I am always respectful of your boundaries. There is no pressure to do anything that does not feel comfortable to you and I always ask. Sometimes just exploring the “no” that comes up in response to an inquiry and supporting it, can be very healing in itself.
Who can benefit from the therapy you do?
I work with all kinds of presenting symptoms and conditions: anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), bipolar.
In order to benefit from the work I do, you must simply be ready to engage at a deep level with yourself, body as well as psyche, and want change badly enough to commit to the process.
As with anything you do, mindset is essential to success.
What about medication?
If you are currently taking psychotropic medication, that is between you and your prescribing doctor. Research shows that a combination of medication and psychotherapy is better than medication alone. You might find after a while, depending on your diagnosis and the type of medication you are taking, that you’ll be able to cut down the dose and eventually go off it. If you are not on medication, but think you might need it, I suggest waiting until we’ve met so we can assess it together. My general attitude is that sometimes the right medication at the right time and the right dose can be beneficial, providing support to do the inner work, but that for most people, it’s not actually needed. I recommend and sometimes give essential oils and flower essence remedies to people when I feel they will be helpful.
How often do we meet?
In the beginning, it is important to come at least once a week. This helps us build our relationship and maintain a safe container for the work we are doing together.
Once we’ve established momentum, if you desire it, we can experiment with biweekly sessions to see how you do.
As we near completion, we can taper to monthly sessions as you make the transition out of therapy.
I am also available for short-term “tune-ups” after you’ve left and gone out on your own.
How long will therapy take and when will I know when I’m done?
This is different for everyone. It depends so much on where you are in your process, if you’ve been in therapy before and how that’s gone, what your commitment and goals are, and how ready you are for change. This is a question I’ll be more easily able to assess and answer after our initial free 15 minute phone consultation.
I’ve had a very few people get what they need in just a few sessions. Usually these people aren’t looking for big life changes and/or have had a lot of previous therapy.
The majority of people wanting to make major changes in their psyches and lives take a minimum of a year.
We’ll both have a sense of when the end is near. The paradoxical truth of good therapy is that it’s sad to see it end and we have to part ways, as we’ve become very close in the process. It is through this closeness that the deepest change happens.
What is your fee and do you take insurance?
My fee is $120 for a full hour session.
I am currently accepting two insurances, Presbyterian and Christus Health Plan. I am willing to provide invoices for other plans if you have out-of-network benefits. You can call your insurance company to inquire. It will be up to you to pay for your sessions and get reimbursed in that case.
Be aware that using your insurance requires me to diagnose you with a mental disorder in order to prove “medical necessity,” and that your insurance company then has the right to dictate your treatment and cut off funds for it when it sees fit.
If you do not have insurance or enough funds to pay for therapy, I suggest you go to https://www.opencounseling.com/new-mexico/santa-fe for low fee counseling.