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Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Services Provided

 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors not external things such as people, situations, or events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think so that we can feel/act in a more positive manner, even if the situation does not change. Cognitive-Behavioral therapies are techniques in which client and therapist define, address, and formulate a workable plan for becoming aware of inaccurate or negative thinking and then problem solving and changing specific undesirable behaviors that are the result of these thoughts. These techniques are very helpful with a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, negative thought patterns, and low self-esteem, ADHD, and mood disorders.

Hypnotherapy

  •     www.wellness-institute.org/why-heart-centered-hypnotherapy

Some basics about hypnosis might help you understand the process better.

Hypnosis is simply an altered state of consciousness; a state of awareness of outside activity. Hypnosis works much like a magnifying glass in the sunlight. Focusing our attention allows us to use our mind in a much more powerful way. In simple terms, hypnosis is best described as being so absorbed in something that awareness of things going on around you fades into the background of awareness. For example: daydreaming, concentrating intently on a project, watching a movie, reading a book you can’t put down. And when the activity ends, it is common to have to reorient to the external world. This is also the case with hypnosis. This hyper-focused state occurs spontaneously and frequently as part of normal brain activity.

Hypnosis allows us to use more of our mind. Hypnosis is a vehicle of utilizing the power of the mind with intentiality. It is commonly believed that we are consciously aware of between 5 and 9 bits of information in any one moment and much of our life-long learning recedes into the unconscious realm. Hypnosis can help retrieve archived information from a part of the mind that is not fully conscious and apply that information to help solve a problem in the present.

It is important to know that everyone experiences hypnosis in their own way. Some people are disappointed because they expect to feel in a trance-like state. This usually happens when there is an inadequate understanding of how hypnosis works. However, even when a person thinks hypnosis hasn’t worked, targeted symptoms still improve within a few days. More commonly, people describe a hypnotic trance state as experiencing more than one level of awareness simultaneously. Most people in hypnosis are conscious of what is occurring in the moment, while simultaneously becoming aware of other information that seems to simply pop into awareness.

People often ask, what is the best way to use hypnosis for Change?

The answer to this question is simple, yet profound. Our imagination changes our internal experience. If you don’t believe it, just begin to imagine something dreadful. Even before you are consciously aware of it, your body goes into fight or flight or freeze mode. This occurs because parts of the brain are unable to discern between what is really happening and what we fear might happen. Negative imagining contributes to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and physical illness, and always makes an already difficult situation worse. Recognizing and changing spontaneous, negative imagining is important to improving our quality of life.

So why don’t we engage more in imagining positive things, especially when we know it can change our mental, emotional and physical being? Actually, the answer to this has to do with survival instincts left over from earlier stages of our development; and somehow we are more suspicious of believing we have a role in creating positives in our life when we are of believing we have a role in the negative things that occur.

Try a quick experiment yourself to test this out……

Here is a quick experiment to try with yourself that will help you to experience the role your mind and imagining plays in how you think and feel. Close your eyes and say “no” to yourself a few times. Notice how “no” registers physically in your body. Then try the same thing with saying “yes” to yourself. What happens? What differences do you experience?

Can everyone be hypnotized?

Most people have differing talents for hypnosis and this has to do with our sensory system and imagining. For example our sensory system enables us to imagine by seeing things, hearing particular sounds, experiencing physical sensations that go with what we’re imaging and we can even imagine smells and how a particular thing tastes. However, many of us find we’re only able to imagine well in one or two of these sensory modalities. So remember that everyone experiences hypnosis in their own way.

Clinical hypnosis is specialized to focus on emotional and psychological conditions for which people enter psychotherapy. It is used for a variety of other issues. For example, when combined with other therapeutic modalities, it can enhance the outcome of therapy. Specifically, Clinical Hypnosis is an effective treatment for a variety of psychological and emotional conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety, panic, specific phobias
  • Depression
  • Resolving internal conflict
  • Enhancing concentration, academic and athletic performance
  • Habit disorders like smoking, over-eating
  • Stress management and relaxation
  • Interruption and re-patterning of intense emotional states
  • Eating and body image issues
  • Improving performance and goal achievement
  • Improving Self-Esteem

services

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR is a mind-body system therapy considered to be a mainstream therapeutic approach. EMDR is used to address everything from resoling the effects of life trauma to enhancing personal performance, rebuilding the Self and healing anxious beliefs.

Initially, EMDR was developed to help resolve the effects of a life trauma. EMDR works with the cognitive (thoughts), emotional, neurological, and somatic (body) systems, When used for resolving the effects of trauma, EMDR helps to identify, process, integrate and release negative emotions and memories, and it is used worldwide to help victims of trauma to heal and move on with their lives.

Since most people seeking EMDR do so because of a life trauma, some background information about how trauma affects our central nervous system may help with understanding how EMDR can help. When memory for the actual event can recede into unconsciousness, the central nervous system encodes it along neurological associational pathways. This encoding process is one of the ways our mind-body system has of never forgetting a situation that was perceived to be threatening. This system for self-protection is tied in with the fight or flight responses that is part of our hardwiring. It is easy to see how it helps us when we are really in danger. However, when the memory system for a past event perceived to have been threatening is triggered in our current life, this can cause us all kinds of difficulties. EMDR appears to facilitate the central nervous system in accessing memories encoded along associational pathways, and in processing, integrating and releasing conscious and unconscious memories of these past experiences.

Recollection, when we have it, comes back through mental pictures, sounds , thoughts, smells, emotions and/or body sensations, and is associated by the brain to other, similar experience that have occurred during our life . The wrinkle is the brain encodes experience through memory in various locations, according to our perception and incoming data from our five senses. Sometimes a component of a positive experience can be encoded on the same associational pathway with a negative experience. This is how memory is encoded and also how it comes to consciousness during the EMDR process. Perhaps this explains how people who have experienced EMDR often comment about how seemingly disparate bits of memory come to consciousness sequentially during the processing. What appears logical is actually neurological.

What happens during an EMDR session?

During EMDR you (as the client) recall a situation you want to address. I, as the therapist, simply elicit information from you related to the experience and guide you through the process. Simultaneously, bilateral stimulation is used. This could be looking back and forth with your eyes, or the use of tones or vibrational pads which you hold.

We stop frequently to explore your experience, and each time something new comes up for you, the process is repeated.

We work together as partners in the process, and we stop anytime you feel the need to do so.

What is bilateral stimulation and how does it work?

Bilateral stimulation is a process whereby alternating sides of the body are stimulated in some way during EMDR. Bilateral stimulation during EMDR may be the same as what occurs during REM or dream sleep when rapid eye movements occur. It is thought that this process may aid in the integration of unconscious material.

Bilateral Stimulation is done in several ways. For example:

  • The clients eyes follow a light bar that moves back and forth during the process
  • The client listens to tones through earphones
  • The client holds theratappers, one in each hand. They vibrate at varying times, first one then the other, thereby creating bilateral stimulation to the body.

People often experiment with these methods and choose what suits them best; and often these methods are used in tandem.

Important things to know about EMDR therapy

If you decide to pursue EMDR therapy, there are some things for you to know:

  • You are in control of the process and it is your own brain and central nervous system that does the processing and releasing.
  • We work together as a team in the EMDR process.
  • EMDR may bring up strong emotional responses. This is an expectable part of the releasing and integrating process.
  • Memory processing may continue between sessions via memories, dreams, emotional surges, and/or physical sensations. This is to be expected.

Emotional Freedom Technique

This acupressure technique has been proven to be a powerfully effective and gentle therapeutic tool. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are many energy points that merge and enter the brain at specific points on the body. EFT involves teaching you how to tap and stimulated certain points that help reduce the effects of distressing memories and negative emotions. Negative emotions are a disruption in our nervous system. When you alter this disruption the negative emotion is relieved and a relaxation response is achieved. As a result, clients find that utilizing this technique is an effective adjunct to healing negative beliefs and traumas. EFT can effectively address fears, phobias, anger, grief, anxiety, depression, traumatic memories, worry, guilt, and all limiting emotions.

Process Acupressure

Process Acupressure (PA) was developed by Aminah Raheem, Ph.D. as a holistic way to work with the active energy of both body and soul for healing and growth. She has taught the method internationally for more then twenty five years.

PA is an exceptionally effective method for facilitating a deep, supportive, and potentially transformational experience. It is a gentle and simple way to enhance health, personal awareness and growth.

The session is given while the client rests on a massage table, fully clothed. The practitioner applies firm, gentle finger pressure to specific acupoint combinations, and encourages the client to notice what they are experiencing. Often, by acknowledging and addressing what arises in the mind, emotions, body and spirit during a session, positive change can begin to occur. The unique essence of the individual is magnified and brought into clearer focus.

The client is empowered to choose the pace and depth of this exploration at all times. A full session lasts about one hour.

PA can stand alone as a therapeutic modality or it can be combined with psychotherapy or other bodywork modalities. It does not replace medical care, and is not appropriate for severe medical problems or psychosis.

 

Energy Psychology

  •         www.energypsych.org

What is Energy Psychology?

ACEP (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology) defines Energy Psychology as follows: “Energy Psychology is a family of evidence supported integrative modalities that balance, restore, and improve functioning by combining physical interventions rooted in mind-body traditions (using the acupuncture system, the chakras, and other ancient systems of healing) with modern cognitive interventions such as imagery based therapy. Energy Psychology methods blend the bio-energetic insights of these modalities with the best of contemporary psychological practice. ”

Energy Psychology combines effectively with cognitive-behavioral therapies and many other styles of therapy successfully addressing psychological issues like anxiety, phobias, depression and traumatic responses. In addition its use enhances the relaxation response, increases feelings of well-being and reduces emotional and physical pain.

These therapies are based on the acupoints used in traditional Chinese medicine and the chakra centers identified in Bio-energetic medicine. Energy Psychology (EP) is the name for a broad range of psychological treatments that utilize the human energy system. Included in this group are treatments such as Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, Breath work, Emotion Code, Process Acupressure, Tapas Acupressure Technique and many other such therapies. Each of these intentionally utilizes and combines one of the human energy systems -such as the meridian system, the chakra system or the aura system – during psychological treatment.

Psychological therapies such as EMDR (Eye-Movement, Desensitization and Re-Processing) and other deep therapies that access subconscious material, may act energetically as well (that is, they may cause energetic releases and healing). However, such therapies do not intentionally utilize one of the body’s energetic systems and are not, therefore, called “energy psychology” therapies.

There are also many energetic healing modalities that do not use psychological processes – such as chi gong, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology, therapeutic touch and so forth – and these, too, are not called “energy psychology” treatments. The term “Energy Psychology” refers only those therapies that use both psychological interventions and energetic interventions together in a particular treatment format.

Why Use the Energy System for Psychological Healing and Growth?

Traditional psychotherapy has utilized the power of speech to transform emotions. Through talking about one’s feelings, experiences and struggles, one is often able to come to a better understanding of oneself, develop new ways of viewing things, and begin to consider new alternatives. However, discussion alone does not have the power to significantly change one’s innermost world. Experiential therapies such as Emotionally Focused Psychotherapy, Focusing, EMDR, Ego-state Therapy and other mind-body approaches, (see descriptions of these approaches in the section entitled “Counseling” on this site), do act deeply to help release emotional blocks, foster healing and change emotional patterns. Energy Psychology techniques add one more unique therapeutic dimension. By correcting a disruption in the energy system, these techniques can bring complete balance within a disturbed internal pattern and virtually “re-wire” the inner world.

“Re-Wiring” the Inner World

From the point of view of Energy Psychology, painful physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms are the result of a disruption in the energy system. When the disruption is corrected, symptoms will be replaced by healthy functioning. For instance, a phobic response to spiders would be replaced by a calm response to spiders. All aspects of the phobic response would be normalized. Therefore, physical sensations of distress (such as tense muscles, racing heart, lumps in the throat or sensations in the pit of the stomach) are alleviated. Disturbed thought processes (such distorted perceptions and catastrophic expectations) are normalized. Negative emotions (fear, panic, anger, helplessness, confusion, etc.) are replaced by inner peace. Unhelpful behavioral tendencies (flight or fight or freeze responses, for example) are corrected. All of this can be achieved using the natural resources of the body’s energetic system.

Energy Psychology techniques can be used to treat a large array of distressing symptoms including the following types of problems and more:

  1. worries, fears, anxieties and phobias
  2. painful memories, grief and traumatic experiences
  3. stress, burnout, exhaustion
  4. anger, rage, resentment, irritability
  5. moodiness, sadness, depression
  6. insecurity, low self-worth
  7. relationship difficulties
  8. performance issues
  9. limiting beliefs

How Is Energy Psychology used in Therapy?

Energy Psychology is used as a particular treatment within therapy. The qualified therapist is not “technique-oriented” but rather “client-oriented.” The therapist selects the appropriate therapeutic intervention depending on the client’s moment to moment needs. Depending on the training and orientation of the therapist, he or she may choose any one of a multitude of interventions, from empathic listening to hypnosis and everything in between. Energy Psychology techniques are only one of the possible ways to help a client work through an issue – therefore they are simply tools that are utilized by a qualified therapist within the context of a good therapy. Like all other psychological interventions, EP techniques do not work with every single client. However, clinical experience shows that most people can benefit from EP. Because Energy Psychology is powerful and can cause deep emotional release and restructuring, it is best employed by trained and licensed counseling professionals.