Areas of Expertise:
Generational Family Relationships
Trauma-Focused Therapy is a specific approach to therapy that is rooted in understanding how the traumatic experience impacts an individual’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. The purpose of trauma-focused therapy is to learn about trauma, re-establish safety, identify triggers, develop healthy coping skills, decrease traumatic stress symptoms, and process & integrate traumatic memories. The ultimate goal is to re-establish integration to self and the community.
I use the modality of EMDR to work with PTSD. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (E.M.D.R.) is a powerful method of psychotherapy developed in 1987 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, who made the chance observation that eye movements (or other forms of bilateral stimulation) can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts under certain conditions. E.M.D.R. seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information, and helps to relieve many types of psychological distress and trauma. Although the client will not forget his or her painful or traumatic experience, the goal of E.M.D.R. is to reduce such a memory from a full-color painful memory to a distant black and white integrated photograph.
Trauma isolates; the group re-created a sense of belonging.
Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms.
Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts them.
Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group exalts their humanity.
-Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence- from domestic violence to political terror
Judith Herman, M.D.
Our bodies are a walking history of our life experience. I work with this history to release muscle and emotional tension and pain that have built through the years. The therapeutic relationship provides a place of safety in which healing begins. I, as the therapist, read the body, resonate with its energy, feel the emotions, listen and hear the words. All healing is the “release of fear”. Most of us are healing from learned adaptive patterns, lack of spontaneity, lack of energy, increased anger, intimacy issues, loss of self-esteem. The techniques I use will help you regain trust in yourself, increase the vibrancy of your body, deepen your connection to your mind and body, and feel hopeful again.
My passion for somatic-body-oriented psychotherapy is mainly influenced by Bioenergetic Analysis. Bioenergetic therapy blends traditional psychotherapy with a body-oriented approach. Based on the connection between mental, emotional and physical health. Bioenergetic therapy focuses on freeing blocks to the natural flow of energy in the body. Symptoms of unhappiness and stress such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or decreased sexuality can be linked to chronic body tensions which inhibit energy flow. Over time, chronic tensions, often out of our awareness, can also lead to physical disease such as heart attacks, ulcers, and headaches. By working directly with the body to relieve tensions and release blocked emotions, we can become more free, more relaxed, and more able to enjoy life.
“Our bodies tell our stories: where we have been, what we have been encouraged to do and prevented from doing: what we have attended to or ignored in our daily lives: what we have learned directly through felt experience: and what we have acquired by way of education.” – Leonard Pitt
Generational Family Relationships
This is another area of great interest for me. Growing up in Mexico in a different culture and then having the opportunity to immigrate to the United States was an experience that enriched my approach and understanding of the cultural dynamics surrounding first generation adult children of immigrant parents. I can provide a great support and genuine understanding of the challenges, advantages and uniqueness of growing up in this country in a household in which culture, values and even language could interfere with communication and bonding.
I myself am building a home where two cultures are acknowledged and respected. For parents that have immigrated to United States to raise their children, I can provide a safe place for understanding and growth. There can be many feelings of confusion, fear and inadequacy for parents to navigate work, children's school, language and an unfamiliar environment. This is an important and unique challenge families face daily. You are not alone, you can explore new and old values and traditions to create your own way of living.
"People who feel emotionally secure, who feel there is someone they can turn to in times of need....are better able to perceive when someone is in distress but also more willing to respond to that suffering...if people tend to feel and behave in a certain way, it is becasue their brain circuits are organized a certain way." -Sharon Begley (2007)
My work with couples is influenced by the approach from Emotionally Focused Therapy (E.F.T.).
(E.F.T.) is a short-term, systematic and empirically tested intervention to reduce distress and create stronger, more secure attachment bonds in adult love relationships. This approach was formulated by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 1980's. This highly effective approach to couple therapy focuses on emotion, rather than the content of the specific problem a couple is facing as the essential transforming element in therapy. The empathetic responsiveness in our relationship will create safety. My goal is to guide partners into responsiveness with each other to foster secure bonding and create new kinds of interactions. It is very rewarding to witness how a secure connection offers a safe haven to go to and a secure base to go out into the world.
Most of the couples I work with feel a betrayal of trust, feel insecure in their relationship and block trust. Repair is possible!
"We are never so vulnerable as when we love." -Freud
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk to blossom."