Integrative Counseling Approach

I use the word “counseling” a lot because it seems to be a more comfortable and familiar concept. While it is a good word, “psychotherapy” much more accurately and meaningfully describes the nature of the counseling I strive to provide my clients. Psychotherapy is derived from the Ancient Greek psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and therapeia meaning “healing, medical treatment.” Psychotherapy is the artful and scientific treatment of a person’s soul – the entirety of a person – for the sake of enduring healing and wholeness.

The “entirety of a person” can largely be understood through five lenses. We are cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, spiritual beings and all these facets are deeply interconnected. Treating and intervening with any of these elements of a person can be healing and very likely minimize the symptoms of suffering. There are so many angles to access healing when we stay aware of how dynamic a human is.

The focus of my studies, training, continuing education, and clinical psychotherapeutic work is an integrative approach to healing and wellness, that strives to consciously incorporate facets of the person, for the sake of sustainable enduring change. Symptom reduction in addition to deep transformative wholeness.

The spiritually awakened person is free from the tyranny of suffering in the midst of suffering. 

James Finley

As a psychotherapist, I meet you where you are, whether it be trauma, crisis, grief, stuckness, anxiety, etc., and I pay close attention to what is hurting and hindering you. While paying close attention to your suffering, we also come across things like self-worth, motivation, wisdom, calmness, compassion, courage, etc, and connect with those qualities to sustainably do the work of healing. And while doing this work, we almost incidentally come across something even deeper – an inherent wholeness that is the God-given preciousness of you underneath the rubble of life’s wounds, failures, betrayals, and disappointments.

Through the careful work of paying attention to you and your thoughts, behaviors, narratives, triggers, coping methods, systems, beliefs, strengths, and patterns, we discover and re-discover the vast inner resources which are always present to you and mysteriously sustain you even in your suffering. Together, we utilize various techniques and interventions to gently and effectively cultivate these inner resources toward your increased wholeness and healing.

…awakening is the increasing ability to recognize the suppositions that frame our perception – or, in other words, to look at the lens we previously looked through.

Cynthia Bourgeault

This is a way of understanding integrative psychotherapy, which has been largely informed by my teacher and mentor James Finley. It is the paying attention to and treatment of the whole self. Caring about and treating the suffering symptoms that burden you right now and simultaneously noticing and connecting with deeper resources that have withstood being obliterated and dominated by the wounds and struggles.

In that process, you experience another awakening that involves your current road to wholeness and not just managing the symptoms of this challenging season of life. There is an important implication to become aware of here. Psychotherapy, at its best, recognizes that pain and struggle are not simply symptoms to be coped with and potentially overcome, but also, opportunities to become even stronger and healthier than the person we were before the suffering.

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