Do you feel empty inside, like you have lost touch with joy and meaning in life?
Do racing thoughts or overwhelming emotions keep you awake at night or prevent you from being focused during the day?
Are you feeling stuck in a rut, feeling like the life you long for is somehow out of reach?
Do you feel overwhelmed by a challenging event in your life such as divorce, cancer, career transition, or loss of a loved one?
Are you experiencing physical pain or symptoms that you feel might be connected to stress, emotions, or trauma?
What is Body Psychotherapy?
Body Psychotherapy is a cutting-edge approach to counseling that incorporates the whole self; body, mind and spirit. We are more than just our thoughts, in fact, emotional experience is a physiological response.
The method of body psychotherapy that most informs my work is called Hakomi. Hakomi Therapy is often described as guided self-study in mindfulness. Developed by Ron Kurtz, the word Hakomi is a Hopi word that translates to "How do I stand in relation to these many realms?" During sessions, you will be guided to notice what is happening in the present moment in your body, mind, and emotions. Sensations and emotions are given space to be felt. We will take time to ask what your body knows, trusting that your body carries information that can connect you to a deeper level of awareness.
The body holds your stories, your beliefs about yourself and the world, as well as your deeper wisdom and guidance. Your body may be trying to tell you something through the message of an illness or physical symptoms.
Some of the most powerful opportunities for growth and change are when we experience something rather than merely talking about it. We study experience by bringing it into the here and now, giving permission for all parts of us to be welcome.
I will help you to go slowly, at a pace that is comfortable and safe for you. I will help you to learn tools to become more embodied, to find experiences of safety and grounding in your body. Over time, you will come to a place of greater stability and ease, physically and emotionally. With new awareness comes the ability to change old habit and patterns that are no longer working for you.
Some areas we might explore:
- Chronic Illness and Pain
- Childhood and Attachment wounding
- Intense Emotions
- Physical symptoms
- Self-esteem, self-talk
- Life transitions
- Body image
Some questions you might have...
How does body psychotherapy therapy differ from standard talk therapy?
Body psychotherapy works very directly with nonverbal experience and does not spend a lot of time in conversation and analyzing. Instead of staying in the thinking mind or trying to figure things out, you will be guided to pay attention to your inner experience. We will take time to ask what your body knows, trusting that your body carries information that can connect you to a deeper level of awareness. Body psychotherapy is experiential and experimental. Some of the most powerful opportunities for growth and change are when we experience something rather than merely talking about it. In fact, we can only access neural patterns associated with our core material by turning our awareness to our immediate, felt experience. I will continually suggest small experiments designed to teach us more about how you experience your life or to encourage you to try new things.
What is the role of touch in body psychotherapy?
Working with the body can include careful and deliberate use of touch, such as offering comfort during times of intense emotion or grief. Specific touch can be used as an experiment to study automatic habits and reactions that are relevant to your presenting issues. If it doesn't feel safe to you we don't have to use it. I will always ask permission before touching you and will keep asking if the contact feels appropriate and helpful.
Can body psychotherapy be helpful for managing chronic pain and illness?
Chronic pain and illness can affect every part of your life. You may feel that your body has betrayed you, or that you do not know how to fight the illness and maintain a loving relationship with your body. You may also be struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger, which can cause the pain to feel worse. Body psychotherapy can help you to bring mindful presence to your body, which can be a very effective way to cope with the pain. I can help you to learn practices such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, and healing imagery, which have been shown to be beneficial for managing pain. Bringing mindfulness to the body can help you to recognize the difference between the physical sensations and the emotional reaction to the sensations. Body psychotherapy sessions can help you to connect with your inner healing resources of strength and self-love, so that your body becomes your friend, not your enemy. Listening to your body can help you to make clear choices about treatment or lifestyle changes that are more supportive to your well-being.
Can body psychotherapy be helpful for healing trauma/ PTSD?
If a traumatic incident from the past is reliving itself over and over again in your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Trauma is a biological process of the nervous system; we cannot just talk ourselves out of experiencing the effects of trauma. Because body psychotherapy works directly with the sensations and nervous system responses, it can be extremely helpful for resolving trauma. In body psychotherapy sessions, I will help you to go slowly, at a pace that is comfortable and safe for you. I will help you to learn tools to become more embodied, to find experiences of safety and grounding in your body. By allowing sensations to be experienced only a little at a time, they will move through the body and integrate. Over time, you will come to a place of greater stability and ease, physically and emotionally.
How does change and healing happen in body psychotherapy sessions?
Healing happens when we integrate parts of ourselves that have been ignored or disowned. It is impossible to change our thoughts, emotions and behaviors until we are aware of what these are; until they are brought into consciousness, held with compassion and gentleness. By slowing down and staying with present-moment experience of body, mind, emotions and memory, we can integrate old parts of ourselves into a new place of consciousness. It is like taking apart the strands of a tapestry with care, to see how it was woven together to form the images of our life. From there we can choose to weave new strands in; new beliefs, new behaviors, new awareness of who we are. Through the process of integration we become more in touch with our innate joy, energy and passion for life, with more presence for ourselves and others in relationship.
Affordable Counseling Rates
60 minutes $75
It is my philosophy that therapy should be affordable. Although most psychotherapists in the Boulder area are charging $100-$200 per hour, I have decided to keep my counseling sessions at the low cost of $75 per hour, matching my massage therapy rates, with the intention of making ongoing therapy accessible to more people.
I also understand that if you are seeking therapy for chronic illness, you may be under financial strain from medical bills and lost wages. If you are seeking the support of therapy, but you are afraid you may not be able to afford regular sessions and are seeking an even more reduced rate, please contact me to discuss financial assistance.
Thank you for taking the time to read over these forms prior to our first session together. I will have two copies for you to sign; one for my records and one for you to keep.