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Methods

Psychotherapy is constantly evolving field and it has become more and more efficient in the last 10 years.  Sallie‚Äôs approach is holistic involving body, mind, self and soul.  She works with many spiritual viewpoints and includes the newest developments in body centered therapies, Gestalt, movement, hypnotherapy, EMDR and Brain Spotting. What used to take years of in-depth work now can be accomplished with scientifically proven methods blended with traditional processes to create new neural pathways.  All real change is from the inside out. The world is shifting and we are called to change with it.

There are new methodologies, which are efficient and very effective in supporting the natural tendency of the brain and nervous system to release old patterns or injuries in order to return to health and balance. Extensive scientific research is proving that the brain has natural "plasticity" which allows it to restructure and reorganize. These results have profoundly impacted the field of psychology because it validates our capacity for neural pathways to change. This is great news! Lasting change is not wishful thinking but documented fact. It enables you to attend to interference and blocks which have developed from early experiences of loss, neglect, abuse and by involving the deep brain, find new ways of creating lasting change in perception, connection and self esteem. What is unconscious comes into a level of awareness in the present, allowing you to integrate into an experience of wholeness.

" As each of us crosses a threshold of awareness, a seeding takes place to discover our own innate wisdom. If we are mindful, we will discover new worlds, and new ways of expanding our wildest dreams. What we dare to dream is only limited by our imagination, that part of us that is infinite: an affirmation that we are not alone." Kathy Doore

Philosophy

I believe we are fully capable of rewiring the brian and the field of neuroscience is proving this changability regardless of past impacts in life. Stages of initiation which traverse shifts between the conscious and unconscious occur in every mythological system and religion where the old, self-concerned human being must die and a new one be born. This encounter with death is often accompanied by a deep existential crisis and an often agonizing search for meaning in life. This is the process which moves from the experience of the self as known, to the experience of the self as evolving through the unknown. This is where the individual enters the archetypal realm and finds meaning not just of a social identity, but of a deeper, more profound relationship to life. Most people who engage in this transformation process pass through initiation and become transformed.

To work with the unconscious has simple ground in experience for instance, there are roles we step into unconsciously because that is the way we learned to relate from very early life. One example of this is through roles of victim, villain, and rescuer. Once we see and articulate how these operate in our own life and relationships, a new way emerges naturally from a deeper knowing waiting below the surface.

"The hero takes the challenge of knowing the truth of life into every life experience and deed, where every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid, in the end, to a restriction of consciousness. The individual has only to discover his/her own limiting belief, and formula, and let the recognition of that belief or idea assist in breaking down old restrictions. Generally, we refuse to admit to ourselves or to our friends our own tendencies of self-protection by whitewashing the very nature even of our cellular reality to survive even though it is a fundamental ego reality." -Joseph Campbell

Personal Mythology

Personal myth is the vibrant infrastructure that informs our life. Consciously and unconsciously, we live by our mythology, which structures awareness and points us in the direction which ultimately becomes our path to deeper understanding of the purpose of our life.

Classically, the "hero's Journey" of transformation is the underbelly of all development and change. I will work with you to find comprehensive elements which apply specifically to your unique perspective on life which will help describe how the body is represented as an archetypal structure revealing your personal myth and unconscious physiological patterns which have taken root. Using direct experience through somatic awareness, and sequential unfolding, all of which contribute to the evolution of the self, you will uncover a new paradigm to live out of.

Together we will identify where myths have become outdated for life circumstances, and how your psyche naturally generates new mythic images which guide you in meeting needs, fulfilling desires, and accomplishing possibilities where the old myth or way of being is no longer effective. As consciousness changes, so too does the sense of self, and as we engage with mythic patterns, we find that they are precise catalysts which initiate changes in consciousness.

If the core of the personal myth were visualized as a sphere, the core would be biologically anchored qualities, involving requirements for survival such as nurturance and bonding. The middle layer is complex learning schemas, involving intentions and planning, and the surface level of the sphere involves symbolic representations of goals, ambitions, and ideas.

Psychological approaches that engage with mythic imagination, tracing directly back to the work of Freud, Jung, and Adler, are collectively thought of as "depth" psychology because of their emphasis on unconscious processes. Today experts in the field describe depth psychology as a form of mythology and a carrier of oral tradition because myths talk to the psyche in its own language and symbol.

Counseling which honors the way of the shaman, mythic identity, and depth psychology do not necessarily work from a model of pathology but rather from a transformational and relational model.

"With the complex psychological and spiritual needs of modern people, psychotherapy would be more effective if it focused on the individual's evolving mythology rather than on the linear medical model of pathology, illness and treatment." Joseph Campbell

In depth psychology, the tension between competing aspects of the psyche (i.e.. old and newly evolving personal myths, or tensions caused by differences between cultural demands on personal truths) is seen as a neutral and unavoidable aspect of personality development. Such tension stimulates the psyche's energies and regulates the personality. As one works with these mythic conflicts, one becomes increasingly capable of embracing a larger view of self that integrates both of its sides: light and shadow, positive and negative, masculine/feminine. Symbols are a primary vehicle for helping the psyche reconcile opposing tendencies that reside within. The mediation and integration of opposites is necessary to form a synthesis which evolves into an expansive and more inclusive level of organization and integration.

This personal unconscious, traditionally focused on in a psychopathology model of treatment, addresses only the narrow dimension in which we identify our characters, namely the sequence of motivated memories we call our personal past. Individual memories are the places where our energy/physiology have become embedded and constricted in a limited number of experiences.

Jung's theory of individuation articulates where new levels of awareness which are in the process of integration must submit to continual transformation for development to proceed. The result of this submission to transformation is that the two-fold split between conscious ego and the unconscious is healed; the inner and outer experiences dissolve and are replaced by a sense of unitary reality.

"It is as though original unconscious wholeness and oneness with life, in which it began and out of which we had to emerge, can now be recovered, in part, on a conscious level." Edward Edinger


Body Centered Psychology

The same process of initiation, death, and rebirth unfolds in Somatic Psychology as a person allows an old structure of patterned psychophysiological armoring to dissolve before the new one establishes itself. Sometimes this happens in an instant and other times it occurs slowly and gradually. Body symptoms ( e.g. physical armoring, tensions, postures) occur on the interface between the different identities and to stay authentic, then, one needs to identify the edge of what is known about ones self and then trusting organicity go beyond it into what is unfamiliar.

Hakomi allows you explore and understand how you create your own experience. In other words, how and why experience gets organized in just your way by contacting the feeling, deepening into it through sensation and exploration and looking at how it is organized, how it developed and what keeps it in place. Through experiments in consciousness and mindfulness you develop a perspective on it, studying/ owning it, and re-owning the power that creates it.

"Perception is always an act of creation and choice." Ron Kurtz

Body/mind (Somatic) Psychology enables one the ability to directly experience sensations through the body and link them with varying degrees and levels of consciousness. This form of "direct experience" reveals belief systems as they manifest physically, emotionally, and psychologically. As awareness is allowed to surface in the therapeutic environment, free of judgment, it can organically unfold into full consciousness, promoting insight, transition, and evolution.

Basically the discovery of our unencumbered selves reveals the discovery of how the body acts as a living blueprint for our identity. It holds a key to directly experiencing and evolving our own myths into efficient, accurate, guiding paradigms. The body not only reveals imbalance created by defensive patterns and false belief systems but also presents an internal, unexplored wilderness filled with a multitude of interconnected communities.


Pre and Peri Natal Psychology

Working through the first blueprint of our prenatal and birth experience helps us go to the source of belief established in our cellular memory. In acknowledging this fundamental experience,we may discover for instance that the anesthesia given at our birth has affected us through life. We may feel it is too hard to face life directly, and alcohol is used a natural antidote the same way anesthesia was used at birth.

Birth blueprints reveal both wisdom through natural impulses and reflexes, and global assumptions about life itself. Simple interventions and experiments are used to help increase awareness within the context of birth to unlock long held limiting beliefs and struggles. This allows perspective and thus a new freedom to become disidentified with those limits.

EMDR and Brain Spotting

In traumatic experiences, we get tangled up because our neocortex tries to process the event rather than our reptilian brain. This results in a traumatic memory becoming invasive as it tries to resolve. We have dreams and feelings as if the event just happened again, and again, and again. The brain and nervous system gets obsessed by this cycling sometimes with crippling effects to daily living.

EMDR uses dual attention (left and right) stimulation through tapping or sound eliciting a portion of the brain which houses REM(deep dream) sleep. From this place you can witness, and maneuver around the impact of trauma in creative ways releasing the charge physically and emotionally, and reset your system. The brain doesn't pay attention to "reality" or imagination here, it just appreciates having another channel to operate on, and it shifts. This resetting of the nervous system, brings a shift in perspective and a terrible event no longer dominates awareness but is moved naturally into the appropriate place as harmless memory and an event of the past.

Brain spotting allows an even simpler approach to connect with myth and body patterns directly through the brain and nervous system directly. We will use music or soothing sounds which alternate between the left and right which naturally allows ever deepening awareness. This way of involving the left and right hemispheres, plus the development of a spot outside the body which connects to a the place in the brain where a memory of experience is actually stored. This helps the brain connect to reflexive (automatic) patterns in the deep brain complex promoting the processing of neural pathways, integration of new insights, and expanded states of consciousness.

What is unconscious comes into a level of awareness in the present, integrating your conscious self with what has been under the surface. In the past this transition from the old to a new mythic identity has required in-depth uncovering and often tedious focus. Brainspotting allows the epic nature of a trauma or life experience to instantly be revealed in the reflexive NS and just as quickly release its hold in order to evolve into balance and higher functioning. It is a "new technology" that is very effective and emerged from EMDR through the work of David Grand.

Spirituality and Shamanic counseling

The reality that transcends consciousness and appears as the spiritual background of the world is, in psychological terms, the unconscious. Often we lose trust in our own guidance system. This work brings back the sense of clarity and wonder with our deep knowing and the unseen realms. Sometimes doing a simple ceremony will formalize a passage into a new way of being. This is something which is designed by both of us to connect with the sacred.

The goal of life is enlightenment and not the treatment of psychopathology. Shamanic counseling is used for problem solving, discovering your own spiritual power, recovering lost essence, and finding wisdom to deal successfully with daily life.

Joseph Campbell eloquently describes the shamanic support "supernatural aid where one has only to know and trust, and the ageless guardians will appear...the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side...and he rides on the great rhythm of this historical process" (Campbell, 1988, p. 72).

One way of working with shamanism is through journeying which uses an induction to allow a relaxation process where visual and kinesthetic symbols emerge to promote a shift in consciousness. Deep imagery is the primary mode of knowing totalities and your own innate wisdom guides your journey. These knowings emanate from the whole and refer back to the whole. Knowing through imagery involves growth, healing, and the singularity, and concludes that as we as individuals return to our own natural center recovering our own empowerment. Shamanic journey and process can focus treatment on pain management, fears, phobias, and depression as a state of de-spiritedness (a loss of internal or energizing force), and journeying can prove beneficial to alleviate feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Martin Rossman (1987), author of a guided imagery program for physical illnesses, states that the advisor encountered in imagery can be understood to be a spirit, messenger, communication from right to left brain, or a symbolic representation of inner wisdom, but the term actually used does not affect the process. He says that the process is a mystery and can be reasonably explained psychologically, neurologically or metaphysically, and none of the explanations are exclusive of one another. Lewis believes that journeying is an effective way of receiving a personal sense of inner guidance that is helpful in promoting change on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Life symbolically or actually dismembers our ego sooner or later, and the primordial shamanic tradition presents us with a viable pathway for negotiating the unknown labyrinth of our human evolution both personally and culturally. Before literal death, the shaman engages in conscious confrontation with death. To the shaman, the inner spiritual meaning of death is transformation. As Joseph Campbell (1988) said, "Say yes to life even though you know it will devour you" (p. 135).

Therefore, the modern psychotherapist steps into the role of the shaman by providing an environment to discover mythic perspective, which assists and empowers individuals in connecting with their personal mythic structure of guidance within the greater mythos of the world (Campbell, 1988; Feinstein & Krippner, 1988).