I come from an attachment-based perspective, which means that we will look at how important relationships were formed in your life as a child and the impact that these relationship bonds have on your current relationships in your life as well as the way that you perceive yourself in relationship to others. As infants, our primary needs are to feel safe and cared for by our caregivers and if there was a disturbance in this bond, attachment wounds may be formed that can affect our interactions in future important relationships. By identifying your attachment style and healing any wounds, you can develop healthy, sustaining relationships with yourself and with family members, romantic partners, friends, and other important relationships.
Let’s write your new life story for recovery from eating disorders!
I strive to empower my clients to “write a new life story” in their recovery from eating disorders. Narrative therapy helps us externalize the problem from your ‘self’, to look at it from a new perspective, and to form a different relationship with it. We can also write a new ‘life story’ that empowers you to see your world without the presiding issues taking center stage. We might delve into:
Who are you without an eating disorder? What would you say to the eating disorder if you could talk to it? What are you truly hungry for? Together, we can separate who you are from the eating disorder, strengthen your authentic self, develop healthy ways of coping, and eliminate any place for the eating disorder to dwell in your life.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
I am trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and use its principles to help clients create a full and meaningful life while also coping with the pain and stress that inevitably come with life’s circumstances. ACT’s core message embodies “accepting what is out of your personal control (such as emotions, feelings) while committing to action that will improve your quality of life”. Using mindfulness skills, I guide my clients to approach emotional experiences from a fresh perspective where they can deal with painful or unpleasant feelings in such a manner that they have much less impact on the client’s wellbeing. Clients define the values that are truly important and meaningful to them and work towards creating a life that is inspired by these personal truths. In working with eating disorders, ACT is particularly helpful in defusing – or distancing yourself from – painful or unhelpful thoughts, finding acceptance and making room for unpleasant feelings without avoiding them, and engaging fully in the present moment with an attitude of openness and curiosity. Through this work, my clients find peace with their lives, accept themselves fully, and participate in a world that is constructed of their own personal values where there is no need for destructive behavioral patterns.
Body-Centered and Somatic Techniques
I have some training in body-centered techniques like Somatic Experiencing (trauma treatment developed by Dr. Peter Levine) and incorporate these techniques in sessions as appropriate. Body-centered psychotherapy can help your body release itself from a trauma-based place such as flight, freeze or flee and move into the balanced and natural state of “flow”. Together we will help you reconnect to your body in a safe way, read its messages, and release any unhelpful or un-needed emotions it is holding.
Additional techniques that may guide our process include mindfulness practices, wherein we work on accepting the feelings that lie underneath the destructive behaviors, body- and breathing-centered techniques to calm and center the body, cognitive behavioral approaches, wherein we work to change a belief that leads to a destructive behavior, and dialectical behavioral approaches (DBT) including emotional regulation and distress tolerance.
In our time together, initial goals or paths might change directions, move at varying paces, or alter their course altogether in pursuit of self-acceptance, and this is all a part of the process of counseling.
Achieving the change you desire is a process and I help my clients understand that a commitment to the therapy process – even when it’s uncomfortable at times – is the best gift you could give to yourself.
I deeply appreciate you allowing me into your world to experience your life story and giving me the rare gift of sharing your recovery with me. I know that together, we can embark on your path of freedom!
I am personally aware that the most crucial part of therapy is the relationship between you and me, and in order for you to grow and thrive there needs to be a basis of trust. I make it my personal goal to create the atmosphere you need to develop trust so that we can move down your designated path to recovery together. I strive to provide multiculturally competent counseling to individuals, couples, and families of diverse backgrounds.
I am also committed to helping you get as much support as possible during this process, as I know that recovery can feel very challenging and intensive. I regularly consult with doctors, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and other professionals to provide you with the best care possible and am a resource to community centers and facilities.