Lifekey Counseling
Mindful Counseling for Complex Trauma: Anxiety, Shame, Stuckness

The more our world threatens to change the self, the more energy we use to stabilize it. But it is changeable. All of our strongly held beliefs were once new ideas and doubtable. All our tired old habits were once just things we were trying out, playing with, even those that seem unbreakable now. The self was once fresh and flexible. Within us there is still that possibility of re-creation. Deep within, the maker of the self remains. The child map-maker is still a part of us. His blueprints are there. They can be reexamined. It is by increasing sensitivity that we reach the map, the map maker and the possibility of change. By accessing the core, we find not just the created self but the power that creates it.

~ Ron Kurtz, Body-Centered Psychotherapy, p. 167

In focusing my career on those therapies that bring a felt and lasting change, I have been drawn to ‘transformative’ approaches in connection with trauma theories.  These are approaches that directly change the way we treat ourselves and therefore the way it feels to live in our skin and be the person that we are.  In practical terms, we study together the ways that your mind organizes and adapts around traumatic memory.

My theory of change focuses on internal ‘integration through differentiation’. This is a natural cycle of pulling apart, identifying and defining individual parts, and bringing those defined parts back together into a cohesive whole. One assumption here is that external relationship patterns echo internal relationship patterns. The way we relate to ourselves directly affects our relationship with others.  It is our ability to love and be loved, and it is often entangled by conflicting beliefs about self – by the many ways we contain parts of self in the wake of trauma.

This model is informed by Hakomi Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Existential Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Narrative Therapy, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and Adaptive Information Processing. Techniques used — often involving bodywork and mindfulness — commonly bring awareness and acceptance at a core level, decrease long-held defenses, and develop an ability to ‘take in’ missing experience: that which we simultaneously ‘yearn for’ and push away. (“I want to be loved while convincing others I am unworthy,” “I want to be taken care of and instead present as self-sufficient and without need, taking care of others while not letting them take care of me,” etc.)

Click for more: Hakomi Body-Centered Psychotherapy

Click for more: EMDR

“The inability to get something out of your head is a signal that shouts, ‘Don’t forget to deal with this!’ As long as you experience fear or pain with a memory or flashback, there is a lie attached that needs to be confronted. In each healing step, there is a truth to be gathered and a lie to discard.”
~ Christina Enevoldsen

“All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell its story. It wants to dissolve like a thousand writhing snakes that with a flick of kindness become harmless strands of rope.”
~Geneen Roth

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