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Why is my Practice symbol a Nautilus?

The Nautilus in its shell with its intricate spiral–symbolizing infinity–guides my approach in giving therapy. The life of the Nautilus represents the fact that nothing is permanent and change is a necessary part of growth and fulfillment. This humble sea animal embodies resiliency, adjustment, constriction, and expansion in life. The Nautilus begins to experience discomfort once it has outgrown its chamber — a life event. Constriction becomes an opportunity, a signal for growth. Unlike the Nautilus, when we experience constriction, we feel fear and become stuck, sometimes frozen. While change can be difficult, and the task ahead laborious, the Nautilus knows it must create a new chamber — a new opportunity. The adjustment is stressful. It has to live in between the old chamber as it works to build the new one. Yet once the transition is complete, it’s able to experience expansion and continue on in its renewed form. The Nautilus lives in the present moment of life experience, navigating the ebbs and flow of change without worrying about its next transition. It repeats the process of shedding the old shell and growing a new one, over and over, until it has completed its life cycle. Knowing this, I continue to give myself permission to explore, grow, and move through the constrictions and expansions while also experiencing joy in the precious present. This is the same space I hold for you.

 

What is Holistic?

A holistic lens means we navigate mental wellness by including the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical implications of your experience. This involves understanding the impact of social and environmental considerations such as race, class, or gender identity.

What is somatic?

Somatic means related to the body. Over time trauma and adverse childhood experiences are less about the story and more about the felt sense, the impact of the event- the stored memories found in the pain body which causes you to feel anxious, afraid, rage, frustrated, helpless, depressed, or out of control.

What is a Somatic Experiencing Approach to Trauma® 

The Somatic Experiencing Trauma Inst® is a school based on the teachings of Peter Levine.. To use an SE framework to treat trauma is a radical shift from traditional notions of psychotherapy interventions which favor a more conventional behavioral-cognitive approach (CBT). SE understands your body as a living organism with cellular memories and the ability to communicate emotions and feelings. Hence the term, “Feeling is healing.” An SE approach is less about the story and more about a dysregulated nervous system trapped within the emotional body. Pioneers of trauma therapy include  Stephen Porges, Ph.D. and Bessel Van Der Kolk

A Somatic Holistic Lens

Whether you’re seeking therapy or life coaching, a holistic somatic lens enables me to better understand the entire you, the whole complexity of you with your experiences. I draw from mind, body, social and spiritual teachings, including my training as a yoga instructor and trauma-informed Somatic Experiencing therapist. In therapy, my approach honors healing and the vital role reciprocity can play within the client/clinician relationship.

 

What is Organic Intelligence®?

Organic Intelligence® (OI) is a concept created by my advance SE trainer and faculty member Steve Hoskinson. OI can be best explained as that “gut feeling”, a knowing we all have experience within our bodies. In simplistic terms, this knowing, this feeling that often becomes dismissed. What we now know is this “gut feeling” is actually a neurophysical response to a situation, a stimulus. This “gut feeling” is a real phenomenon within Polyvagal Theory, which explains the viscera as its own nervous system that lives within our belly region and is actually an autonomic nervous system response, which I have learned to call OI working with Steve.

Why is a holistic somatic framework essential for working with trauma?

I developed a holistic somatic lens after being re-trained within the Somatic Experiencing Trauma inst, and working 15 years in the fields of mental health and social services. With Redefining Therapy, I wanted to offer an alternative approach to healing therapy based on being able to assess your particular situation by viewing the entire complexity and essence of you, the whole person. This including the intersects of family, community, and society within a comprehensive framework. I do not use any one specific tool or methodology. Holistic in this case means the ability to view trauma from varying perspectives including but not limited to ecosystems, narrative, critical, trans-personal psychotherapy, racial identity development, Kripalu Yoga®, and Somatic Experiencing®. This work can be best understood with this talk by Bessel Van Der Kolk