Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
My path to becoming a behavioral healthcare professional has been atypical. I am a University of Michigan Ross School of Business graduate, former corporate finance executive and internationally ranked professional ski racer. Today, having found my true calling, I hold a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and am a Licensed Psychotherapist, Interventionist and Recovery Coach.
My personal and professional journey with the processes of family system dysfunction, addiction, relationships, therapy and recovery has given me significant insight into the causes and conditions that underlie virtually all forms of separation from our authentic selves. Regardless of the presenting issue(s), the solution is likely quite simple though not at all very obvious to even the keenest or determined mind. Grounded in knowledge and experience, I am able to partner in releasing blockages that have kept my clients from attaining peaceful lives of vibrant connection and sustainable abundance. I feel both honored and privileged to help a person rediscover, or perhaps discover for the first time, his or her true and vibrant self.
The work necessary for healing and expansion is rarely easy. A good fit and a high level of trust between a skilled professional and a motivated client are essential. As humans we are physiologically and psychologically designed to resist the truth. Tools that once helped us survive can hinder us from attaining the lives we deserve – lives with true intimacy, balance, and independence.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
My clinical approach is wide-angled. We are all on a limitless journey of self-discovery. We can learn to view ourselves kindly despite past traumas, toxic relationships and resulting defensive strategies that were once necessary but no longer serve us. My philosophy is rooted in the belief that a person is inherently valuable regardless of the nature of past behaviors. We can, if we choose, grow through life’s inevitable trials and losses and establish a loving, authentic and sustainable connection with ourselves and others.
Vernon Howard, philosopher and author, profoundly shaped my philosophy on life and counseling. He wrote: “The shocking revelation that you are no one at all is healed instantly by the understanding that you need not be anyone at all." Most people, to one degree or another, pressure themselves and are blindly driven to “become” someone other than themselves. They struggle with just “being.” They are unhappy, on tilt, insecurely moving literally or in fantasy, from one “shiny” promising person, place, activity or thing to the next. They rarely pause long enough to reflect on their thoughts, identify their emotions or connect with tell tale bodily signals - never at rest, always seeking ineffectively in "fight/flight" response. Largely disconnected, operating dangerously or walled off and controlling, these individuals engage in a drama dance of relational and emotional immaturity, isolated from genuine adult connection.
The integrated individual, on the other hand, dwells neither in prolonged "stuck" emotional states of happiness nor sadness but rather lives mainly in a state of aliveness and mindful equanimity. Wholly integrated individuals have learned to not fear their feelings and that joy and sadness are but temporary aspects of human existence. They have learned to be active participants in life. They come to experience the highs and lows as a new found "felt sense" connection with self, others and surroundings. They evolve and settle into a state of regulated emotional awareness.
Many individuals who struggle with mind and mood altering chemicals, alcohol, food, money, sex and relationships have bought into modern society’s outright lie on how to “be” or achieve a better this or that. They do not live in the here and now of reality and are shut off from their True Inner Selves. Their feelings and emotions, and ultimately their souls, who they truly are, remain shrouded. Their precious and authentic identities are not visible or recognized. They exist in a blunted or fearful reaction to life rather than living as active participants. To one degree or another this is a description of most of us until we decide to no longer setle for less in our lives. The healing can be a fine tuning or a massive overhaul.
My counseling philosophy involves leading each client to the realization that she or he need not be anyone at all, just self. My goal is to forge a partnership and create a safe and nurturing environment in which clients can discover and remove blockages from their authentic selves. The meaning and purpose of life is discovered through expanding choices and realizing personal agency.
“The spontaneous movement in all of us is toward connection, health, and aliveness. No matter how withdrawn and isolated we have become, on the deepest level, just as a plant spontaneously moves toward sunlight, there is in each of us an impulse toward connection and healing.”
- Drs. Heller & Aline LaPierre, Healing Developmental Trauma.
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
Everyone deserves to heal. We all have within ourselves the means to profoundly transform our lives. The purpose of my practice is to help people return to their original state of wholeness and move forward with a fulfilling life experience.
Renowned Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, stated, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” I believe virtually all persistent problems in adulthood come from unresolved and misunderstood developmental and shock trauma that occurred at a critical point in life.
A child’s nature is inherently precious, vulnerable, perfectly imperfect, dependent, spontaneous and open. When children and adolescents experience trauma in the form of less-than-nurturing caregiving, parenting and environments, they can develop problematic Core Issues that define them in adulthood. Trauma is stored in every cell of the body including the cells of the complex nervous and memory systems. Traumatic pressures lacking a release valve at the time of occurrence can lead to a lifetime of dysfunction which often manifest as obsessive compulsivity involving drugs, alcohol, sex, food, money, work, technology, etc. Resulting relationship challenges, mood problems, physical illness, anger and control issues lead to a gradual disconnect from one’s innermost self. Regardless the severity of maladaptive trauma response in adulthood, full-blown addiction versus a pattern of unhealthy relationships, low-grade anxiety versus chronic depression, there is an organic solution that can deliver nothing short of miraculous transcendence.
My approach in working with all my clients is holistic, existential and practical. It incorporates several practice modalities to facilitate healing, growth and maximized functioning in all areas of life. These therapies include Post Induction Therapy (PIT), NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Existential Talk Therapy and Life and Recovery Coaching.