We currently live in an exciting time, whereby a “new biology” has been scientifically-validated in the area of consciousness (intelligent energy) by leading researchers such as Dr. Bruce Lipton (researcher and cell-biologist), Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (researcher and physiologist), Dr. Deepak Chopra (researcher and physician), Dr. Joan Borysenko (researcher and psychologist), Dr. Joe Dispenza (researcher and chiropractor), Dr. Herbert Benson (researcher and cardiologist) and many others. Bruce Lipton, as an example, was a medicine professor and researcher at Stanford University for many years. His seminal research into epigenetics explains how our thoughts are energy that influence the field of consciousness and impact our health, right down to the level of our cellular DNA.
Together these researchers align to bring forth information that explains how we have an energy system (metaphysical) that interacts with our biochemical bodies (physical). For example, the energetic power of emotions such as love or fear and how it influences health or disease. Or, the energetic ability of the Sun to foster all life on Earth. This ancient knowledge is slowly being integrated into our Western medical model, therefore many are still unaware of this physical and metaphysical interaction.
The Counselling Approach
My approach works on three main human systems: the mind, the body, and the spiritual (metaphysical) systems. Together we will explore these systems through talk therapy to assist me in understanding your view on life. We will then integrate practical home exercises and at times use psychotherapies (see below) to positively impact these three systems. You may consider that we will be tuning an instrument, and that instrument is you!
My goal is to empower you to understand how these systems work, to learn practical tools for self-management, and to feel empowered in areas of mind, body, and spirit.
Below are some of the “interventions” or “psychotherapies” that we may utilize:
Energy Psychology is a somatic (body-based) therapy that rewires the nervous system (e.g., neuroplasticity) through our nerves and energy systems. It incorporates come techniques rooted in what is often called tapping, or more appropriately, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). As David Feinstein (Clinical Psychologist and Researcher) explains, Energy Psychology is a combination of techniques/therapies used for stress-related or traumatic memories. In my opinion, there are aspects of EMDR, CBT, Sensorimotor, and other therapies within the Energy Psychology framework.
By sending electromagnetic impulses to the brain, Energy Psychology techniques interrupt the intense emotional response the memory has been causing. While many other therapies require analyzing old memories and their deeper meaning, EFT works with acupressure points similar to that of Chinese acupuncture.
Although many think Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is quite new, it was originally designed in the 1990s to help people who suffer from repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It is based largely on the seminal work by Dr. John Kabat-Zinn who created Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that has been proven effective for a wide-range of stress-related disorders. Click on the following links to read more about MBCT and the upcoming courses (available for ages 14 and up and for specific groups upon request)
Research has since proven MBCT to be effective in reducing stress in many other areas of a person’s life, ultimately reducing the signs and symptoms that stress can cause both mentally and physically. It combines the ideas of traditional cognitive therapy and eastern meditative practices to foster new attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. These skills are then applied to everyday life to better cope with stressful situations, unwind from the stresses of life, reduce the negative biological effects that stress causes, and ultimately have a new relationship with the present moment. If you believe that stress impacts your life in a negative way, and you are motivated to change this, MBCT will likely benefit you. For more information click here.
There are many types and ways to meditate. Meditation itself can be traced back to the roots of Vedic knowledge, which are the roots of Hinduism and Buddhism. This does not mean that meditation is aligned with any religion, but instead allows people to train their “mind” for improved control in many aspects of life. This is why elite athletes use “guided imagery” (which is a type of meditation) to train their brains for improved sports performance. Meditation is now highly researched as it has been shown to rewire the nervous system (i.e., neuroplasticity), heal the brain and body, and even activate new areas of the brain beyond non-meditation levels. Often times, the most difficult thing about meditation is finding a meditation practice that works for you and then taking the time to make it a daily routine. A couple of resources in this area is to read/listen (on Audible) to Eknath Easwaran’s “Passage Meditation” or the classic book by Lawrence Leshan (Psychologist) called “How to Meditate.” Meditation often seems difficult to learn, but trust that we are all able to meditate if one adopts a dedicated practice and seeks advice along this journey. I like to compare it to the gym and getting a personal trainer to ensure you have good technical form, so that you don’t get bored with your exercise routine, and to ensure you can see some positive results. For those that tell themselves “I tried to meditate before… and couldn’t quiet my mind”, you will likely benefit from incorporating these techniques into your daily meditation practices.
Hypnosis, often referred to as hypnotherapy, is a process of guided relaxation that leads a person to an inner state of concentration and focused attention at a subconscious level. This focused state of awareness is often called a trance, an altered state of consciousness. Everybody is in a trance during different parts of the day, for example when you realize that you just drove several blocks without realizing how you got there. This type of therapy can access deeper parts of the sub-conscious mind to assist with phobias, anxiety, depression, and is often used for spiritual or faith-related growth. Click here to watch a one-minute video of Dr. Brian Weiss explaining Past-Life Regression Therapy. Click here to watch Dr. Weiss explain how we are essentially a “soul” having a human experience on Earth. To learn more about Past-Life Regression Therapy offered please visit the website of Dr. Brian Weiss (Psychiatrist) at http://www.brianweiss.com for more detailed information on how this may benefit you. The Newton Institute, started by Dr. Michael Newton, is another organization doing similar research.
It is a body-centered approach that aims to treat the somatic symptoms of unresolved trauma. While traditional talk therapies utilize the words of a person as the entry point for treatment, this type of therapy depends on the bodily experiences of the individual as a gateway to awareness and improved mental health. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® draws from somatic therapies, neuroscience, attachment theory, and cognitive approaches, as well as from the Hakomi Method. Since the first course in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® was offered in the early 1980s, it has gained international acclaim from a wide range of mental health researchers. Please click here to learn more about this empirically-validated therapy that is often not well understood by many health professionals.
Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) focuses on the effects of conscious or unconscious memories that are having a negative impact on your life. At times these memories, knowingly or unknowingly, interfere with the way a person views or interacts with the world and the way they relate to other people. The use of EMDR in therapy can help people reduce vivid, unwanted, repeated recollections of traumatic events in their lives. Visit the following site for more information: http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr
Over the past decade, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has become one of the most researched and validated interventions for a wide scope of disorders and issues. ACT (pronounced “act”) is considered to be a newer form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that utilizes the strengths of traditional CBT while also incorporating newer research proving the effectiveness of various mindfulness principles to make changes in brain function. Click here for more information on ACT.
Over the past 30 years, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has become one of the most validated forms of therapy for Psychologists and is often recommended by Physicians and Psychiatrists for a myriad of disorders and issues. In CBT, the therapist and the client work together as a team to identify and solve problems. Therapists help clients overcome their difficulties by changing their thinking, behavior, and emotional responses. For more information on CBT visit https://www.beckinstitute.org/get-informed/cbt-faqs