developing the art of living in the here & now
Treatment Modalities: The Essential Components of This Work
Modality One: Mindfulness Based Therapy
The first essential component of this therapeutic work is the cultivation of awareness in the present moment. Healing requires us to pay attention to what is occurring with a mind of wisdom and a compassionate heart. Mindfulness is the simple but challenging practice of being aware of our experience as it is occurring versus being caught in our thoughts, interpretations, beliefs and the stories we tell about these experiences. Mindfulness when woven into the psychotherapy process, acts like yeast to bread, lightening and lifting the weight of heavy thought and worried mind while allowing us to experience and release the stress, tension and emotions that build up and block our capacity to connect to joy.
Modality Two: Compassion Focused Therapy
The second foundational component of this transformative work is to grow our capacity to practice compassion and to understand how to facilitate shifts out of the threat and the drive systems into the contentment system. We need to cultivate compassion because it helps prepare us for healing by creating a sense of safety, acceptance and readiness. For many of us, however, this is not easy because of self-criticism, feeling unworthy and a long history of internalizing negative and critical messages. There is a synergistic effect when we support Mindfulness with Compassion. Fortunately, Mindfulness becomes easier when it is held in a field of compassion because we are less likely to get caught in self-criticism, shame and other negative thinking patterns that pull more and more of our attention away from the present moment.
Modality Three: Somatic Experiencing
The third component of this therapeutic approach is Somatic Experiencing. This approach to healing values the wisdom of the body while prioritizing the value of staying resourced. With these practices, we learn to grow our capacity to connect with difficult material but without getting overwhelmed by it. We learn to move through unresolved emotions and traumas so we feel less burdened. We learn to ground awareness in the present moment through the bodily senses and clear orienting in the present moment. Somatic Experiencing supports our capacity to stay present and resourced as we show up for life and love the life we live.
Modality Four: EMDR
The fourth component is bilateral stimulation and it is available when indicated to enhance the other three foundations of this healing practice. The utilization of bilateral stimulation via Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) supports our capacity to be with and process difficult memories as well as emotions such as fearfulness, anxiety and dread. Many find it easier to process things they would rather avoid with the support of EMDR. Bilateral stimulation better enables the mind’s capacity to process and integration traumatic experiences that are either held out of conscious awareness or are avoided due to the emotional distress that they cause. Many patients find it remarkable and report they have never experienced anything like this before.