Other focus areas for treatment:
Grief and Loss
Mind Body Disorders
Self Injury Behaviors
Combat Veteran Issues
Please scroll down for additional information about each topic.
• • •
Your call is welcome. 310-259-8970. We invite your confidential inquiry, questions or comments any time.
Grief and Loss
Loss is an unavoidable part of life. The grieving process is the means by which we grow into a place of acceptance and healing. Both grieving and healing are a process and are different for every person. No one can tell you the exact right way to grieve or how long it will take you to heal from the loss, but what is common for most of us is that we don’t “get over” a loss alone, nor should we be expected to.
Some examples of loss are: the loss of a loved one, the loss of a pet, the loss of a job or end of career, infertility, divorce, the loss of one’s dreams, a person who is still alive but electively absent from your life, loving someone who is self destructive, and the list goes on.
If you are having difficulty overcoming a loss and going through the stages of grief, you are essentially stuck in a moment in time and may need the help of a therapist to guide you through the process.
“The pain was necessary to know the truth. But we don’t have to keep the pain alive to keep the truth alive.”— Mark Nepo
Some life transitions are by choice: going to college, getting married, having a baby. Some transition comes from natural ends: graduating from high school/college, or retirement. And some are imposed upon us: an unwanted breakup or a sudden layoff from a job. Whatever our circumstances, it can be hard to navigate our way through the unknown. Life’s transitions present us with new problems or challenges, which requires us to respond in new ways.
Therapy can help to normalize the process through education and awareness and help you to leave the past behind so that you can step fully into the new chapter of your life whatever the circumstances surrounding your transition may be.
Mind Body Disorders
There are many types of Mind Body Disorders. Among them are migraine headaches, tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach aches, interstitial cystitis, vulovdynia, , neck pain, back pain, other skeletomuscular pains, whiplash, TMJ (clenching of the jaw), and many more. But there are also those Mind Body Disorders that don’t involve physical pain like, asthma, some allergies, hormone imbalances, autoimmune disorders, digestive issues, heart disease, breathing problems, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and many more.
This may seem unbelievable if you are new to this area of medicine and neuroscience, but let me assure you that if you are suffering with any of the issues above, there is treatment for you.
The important thing to remember is that no one is saying “It’s all in your head”. These issues are real, but, it is your unconscious mind and your autonomic nervous system working in conjunction that creates these “disordered” states. With guidance and education you can learn to break these unconscious connections and heal yourself.
Self Injury Behaviors
“Cutting,” burning, head banging, gouging at your skin are all forms of self-injury. Self-injurious behaviors are basically impulse control issues. When a person is experiencing negative feelings, the need to alleviate the emotional pain is a normal response, but when these feelings are perceived as being “too much to handle” or are overwhelming, then the impulse to get rid of these feelings NOW can lead someone to self injure.
Another reason why people self injure is because they feel “numb” and cutting themselves brings on welcome relief from the numbness. The person finally feels “alive” or “calmed” as opioids are released into the blood stream.
Many people begin self-injuring in response to trauma, sometimes even many years after the traumatic event. Working with a therapist to heal the trauma and to develop more adaptive and “life serving” coping skills can end the need to self injure all together.
For more information on self injury please check out this article:
Teens have unique life challenges. Not quite and adult, but no longer a child, they strive toward independence, or they avoid it out of fear and other dependency issues. Navigating this transition can sometimes take a caring “other”, meaning someone “other than” his or her parents. In the past the extended family or community leaders would have fulfilled this role, but in our “modern day” society, the therapist is often the one to provide the needed support. Not every therapist specializes in this area but I have been successfully treating teens for the past 15 years.
Relationships are as important to life as air, food and water. We are “wired” from birth to be in relationship with others and to seek connection. Using principles of Attachment Theory- understanding why your early experiences have shaped your adult relationships, creating new coping skills to deal with life stressors, will go a long way in creating functional, fulfilling relationships. You may have had positive role modeling growing up but still notice problematic patterns in your relationships. With understanding and commitment you can heal these patterns, thereby changing your all of your relationships for the better.
Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally to things as they are. That’s it! Simple, right? No not really. Our minds are constantly directing our thoughts to the past and to the future. It’s very rare that we are fully present in any given moment. But we can train our brains to cultivate awareness in the present moment by practicing this skill.
Many people confuse Mindfulness with Meditation. When you meditate, you are being mindful, but being mindful does not require you to meditate. You can be mindful in ANY moment, whereas you wouldn’t want to be behind the wheel of a car, close your eyes, and begin to meditate!
I can teach you how to see your thoughts as mental events that come into your mind like clouds across the sky instead of taking them literally, as well as the neuroscience behind WHY mindfulness works so well to increase well being and decrease stress and anxiety.
Sports Performance Enhancement
Science has proven that “mental rehearsal”, meaning visualizing yourself playing your sport at optimum levels, can be just as effective as actual physical practice.
A basic understanding of neural plasticity explains why imagining an act, and doing the act are not as different as they sound.
A study by Drs. Guang Yue and Kelly Cole that imagining using one’s muscles actually strengthens them!
Through a combination of neuroscience education, visualization exercises with neurofeedback training can substantially help improve performance by eliminating doubt and mental blocks that hold us back.
Like every character trait, perfectionism is both a “gift” and a “curse”.
Brené Brown, a leading researcher in the field of shame and perfectionism said this: “Perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
As a “perfectionist in recovery” I can teach you how to manage this character trait so as not to lose it’s “gift” (drive, motivation, thoroughness, discipline, exemplary performance, conscientiousness, etc.) while minimizing it’s “curse” or “shadow side” (unrealistic expectations of self and others, driven to the point of being unbalanced, not knowing when good enough is good enough, shame, inner judgment, worry and fear around “falling short”, never feeling like you are “enough”, anxiety and depression). You CAN break free of this “twenty-ton shield”.
Combat Veteran Issues
Veterans have their own unique culture, distinct from our civilian culture. Combat vets have an even different experience than non-deployed veterans after going to war. Understanding these differences and addressing other important issues such as the paradoxes in military life, helping combat vets transition back from war, and then again from active duty to civilian life , and providing education and appropriate treatment for stress and trauma, are all essential in helping the combat vet recover or transition effectively.
I have volunteered with the Soldier’s Project for the past 5 years treating combat vets from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I know first hand how important it is to first establish mutual trust and respect before someone can begin to heal. I am committed to providing a safe and respectful atmosphere for this purpose.
“ We are uncomfortable being in a vulnerable state and may be unsure if you are trustworthy or not because you are not in our circle of trust yet. Please have patience and don’t dismiss us.” – A retired Navy Chief
You may wish to read more about Combat Veterans Issues from our Articles library:
Saving the Lives of Those Who Save Yours
The Way I See It…Combat Vets and the problem with coming home