Therapy

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Therapeutic Approach

I see my clinical practice as both science and art- working with the brain and the nervous system to process unintegrated experiences that are interfering with life, increasing awareness, and equally, honouring creative expression as a natural way of processing that increases positive brain/body chemistry and as a path leading to your authentic self, resilience and strength.  

My approach is gentle, warm, humourous and believing, as well as, neuroscience informed, mindfulness-based, mind-body integrated and relationship anchored. I work in collaboration with you, with a number of psychotherapeutic approaches, integrating the methods that I believe will be most helpful for you as you progress on your healing journey.

I work holistically so during our time together, I will turn our attention to your whole being, which includes not only your cognitive mind, where you create meaning, but your body which has direct access to your unconscious motivations and trauma responses which are responsible for up to 95% of your actions. Our pre-frontal cortex, conscious mind, picks up these deep impulses and tries to make sense of them, largely by creating reasons to justify our resulting choice of action. This is why it is so hard to change patterns and make lasting change. In order to make progress towards your life goals, we will need to become aware of your unconscious motivators and to heal at that level.

What happened in past relationships with important people in our lives usually finds its way into our current relationships, including the relationship between client and therapist. Together, we will use our relationship as a vehicle to notice and transform unconscious and deeply conditioned relational patterns if they are causing problems in the here and now.

After finding out where you are and in discussion with you, I will give homework which is really homeplay.  To accelerate recovery and set you up for lasting change with a balanced and rewarding lifestyle, I often ‘prescribe’ the research-based integration of physical exercise, mindrest, meaningful social engagement and creative expression to establish healthy optimism generating habits.

For recent and historical trauma, we will work with your mind and your body to release trauma from your nervous system and return you to a sense of safety and calm homeostasis.  From this place of root healing, you may choose to progress from one to one therapy onto wellness opportunities offered by Shimmering Tree (growth groups, retreats, workshops, energetic healing, mindfulness expressive art & dance nights and cocooning), that will help support and nurture you to blossoming into your fullest expression of being.  And you may find that a surprising amount of joy and letting go to a deep sense of ease and well being sneak up on you.   🙂

I specialize in:

  • Trauma Recovery in adults, children and teens – PTSD
  • anxiety & panic
  • depression
  • suicidal thoughts
  • anger management
  • abuse & neglect
  • attachment & relationship issues
  • separation or divorce
  • grief & loss
  • life transition
  • stress & overwhelm
  • burnout
  • women’s issues
  • fertility issues, birth trauma & loss
  • co-dependancy
  • self valuing & empowerment
  • setting boundaries & speaking up
  • family of origin issues
  • career, life path & purpose
  • existential questioning & spirituality

 

Call Cea at (250) 573-4225 or email cea@shimmeringtreecounselling.ca for a complementary 15 min phone meeting where you can ask questions and find out if her approach to counselling and therapy are a good fit for you.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

Methods

A few specific modalities that inform my approach are:

  1. Self Regulation Therapy (SRT)
  2. Hakomi: Mindfulness-based Therapy
  3. Mind-Body Attunement Therapy (MBAT)
  4. Mindfulness
  5. Mindfulness Expressive Arts Therapy
  6. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(Somantically-Based)(CBT)
  7. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills & Tools
  8. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy(ACT)
  9. Existential Therapy
  10. Energy Psychology
  11. Methods for Working With Children
  12. Growth Group

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Self Regulation Therapy (SRT)

Self Regulation Therapy is a gentle, effective, neuroscience-based trauma recovery method that treats emotional trauma resulting from physical, mental and sexual abuse, accidents, war, disasters, as well as chronic stressful events throughout one’s life that lead to symptoms like PTSD, low self-esteem and performance anxiety.

More information at: http://www.cftre.com/courses-seminars/what-is-self-regulation-therapy/

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Hakomi: Mindfulness-based Therapy

Hakomi is a mindfulness based, body-oriented approach that draws from Eastern spiritual traditions and Western methodology. Together we’ll bring awareness to your body’s structures and habitual patterns in order to access unconscious core material, including the hidden core beliefs which shape your life, relationships, and self-image. We cannot change what we are not aware of.

More information at: http://hakomiinstitute.com/

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Mind-Body Attunement Therapy (MBAT)

Mind-Body Attunement Therapy is a dynamic intervention which combines the traditional interpersonal therapies of pioneers such as Bowlby with current neurobiological approaches influenced by Schore and Levine. It aims to create emotional well-being by working directly with the physiological elements of relational trauma, neglect, abuse, loss, and shame, stored in the nervous system. Interventions access deeply held anger, sadness and fear and gently discharge the energy by generating a sense of safety and being mindful of the sensory changes in the body.

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of bringing our attention and curiosity to our thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise without judgment. Learning to be more mindful is a key life skill that will increase your awareness and insight in service of transformation. It is so pivotal to gaining insight, facilitating healing and longterm success in reaching and maintaining goals that I incorporate it into all counselling, therapy and wellness activities I offer.

Although mindfulness been with humankind for millenia in many different cultures, it is only more recently that it has captured the attention of modern scientists and neurologists. It has been found

to have a positive impact on reducing the symptoms of stress– anxiety, depression, anger, negative mood states, substance cravings as well as improving immune system functioning, stress-related medical conditions and ADHD.

Their research has found that even after only a few weeks of a mindfulness-based program has been found to increase regional gray matter and connectivity in the brain in areas associated with learning, memory, attention, emotional regulation, self-referential processing and perspective taking. It supports the development of emotional intelligence (EI) skills which are more important to predicting success in life than IQ: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, adeptness in relationships.

Mindfulness has been the focus of a large body of research because of the powerful way it has been shown to reshape the brain, improve mental functioning, emotional well being and overall quality of life.

Applied mindfulness is at the root of my approach whether in therapy, counselling or any of the wellness practices offered at Shimmering Tree.

For more information: http://www.refreshingeducation.ca/mod/page/view.php?id=3686

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Mindfulness Expressive Arts Therapy

Mindful Expressive Arts Therapy is an active, often non-verbal, therapeutic means that helps the client to tell his/her story, process and reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self awareness, manage behavior, solve problems, reduce anxiety, aid reality orientation, develop social skills, and increase self esteem.

It can involve art-making, writing, movement, dance and/or role play. I often integrate expressive arts with other therapies to achieve the therapeutic goals of emotional and physical exploration and expression of inner experience, creating different perspective, understanding, integration, personal growth and symptom relief. No artistic ability needed to benefit from expressive arts therapy.

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Somatically-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

I use a somatic (or body) centered version of CBT. The basic idea behind this method is that our thoughts affect how we feel and, in turn, how we behave. This means that negative thinking leads to negative emotions, such as anxiety and sadness. These states of mind then impact how we behave (eg. isolating, procrastinating, self-medicating, etc.) and support further negative thoughts about ourselves, in a downward spiral. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques teach us how to identify and challenge thoughts leading to negative emotions and unhelpful behaviors. It also incorporates strategies to reduce overall stress and anxiety.

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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills & Tools

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is effective at helping people manage overwhelming emotions. Research shows that dialectical behavioral therapy strengthens a person’s ability to handle distress without losing control or acting destructively. While I do not offer the full program, I incorporate DBT skills and tools, as needed, to give you the building blocks for managing overwhelming or challenging emotions.

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Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life. The aim of ACT is to maximize human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life by teaching you psychological skills to deal with your painful thoughts and feelings effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you and helping you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you. It uses your values to guide, inspire and motivate you to change your life for the better.

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Existential Therapy

Existential therapy is best considered an invitation to recognize the ways in which you are not living a fully authentic life and to make choices that will lead to becoming what you are capable of being- to reclaim and re-own your life. My primary task is to help you to make new discoveries about yourself in the living moment, as opposed to merely talking about yourself. It is also to facilitate a deepening inner exploration. This approach emphasizes personal and interpersonal presence, working through resistance, the rediscovery of meaning and awe, and contemplative practices.

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Energy Psychology

Energy psychology (EP) is a collection of mind-body approaches to treat psychological and emotional problems, facilitate health and well being, and improve human performance. These models and methods are usually used within an integrative or holistic approach to practices such as psychotherapy, counseling, coaching and integrative medicine. EP focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behaviors, and known bioenergy systems (such as meridians and the biofield). These systems and processes exist, and interact, within individuals and between people and are influenced by cultural and environmental factors.

In the clinical world, EP models have been beneficially applied to assessment and treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, pain, stress, psychophysiological issues, and self-sabotaging behaviors by a broad range of healthcare providers, to regulate affect and promote emotional and physical health. Treatment results have been shown to be enduring and relatively rapid, with little to no adverse effects, and usually experienced as self-empowering by clients and patients.

There are currently over 60 research studies, including multiple Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) published in professional and refereed journals, confirming the treatment value of EP. These findings suggest that EP meets the criteria for evidenced-based treatment.

“With increasing globalization there has been a growing curiosity in psychological practice about non-western methods of dealing with disturbances within the human organism. Not based on Western rationalism, these methods do not rely on insight and understanding, but on shifting internal states of bodily experience. Energy psychology techniques and procedures can bring about remarkably rapid changes in the way people feel and move through the world.”                             

Bessel A. Van Der Kolk, MD, Medical Director, The Trauma Center, Brookline, MA Professor of Psychiatry, Boson University School of Medicine

“Nature has fashioned a way to encode survival behaviors and we can use this knowledge to de-link the patterns that lead to fear response. I have found using EP methods with my patients that I’m able to de-link this response so that the person is no longer stuck in their past. We are in a very exciting time!”

Ron Ruden, MD Author of When the Past Is Always Present: Emotional Traumatization, Causes, and Cures

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Methods For Working with Children

I use Mindful Expressive Arts, the sandtray and play in combination with specialized Self Regulation Therapy techniques to support processing, rehabilitation, and emotional, cognitive and physical integration of the child. If a threatening event occurs during a child’s development, such as a difficult birth, fall or separation from a parent, trauma may occur, interfering with physical and neurological development that stage, which can result in developmental delays and other problems. Self Regulation therapy can help improve or correct these issues.

Sandplay therapy is a creative form of psychotherapy that uses a sandbox and a large collection of miniatures to enable a child to explore, process and integrate the deeper issues.

Play is how children process and each of the methods I use offers the child verbal as well as non-verbal ways of ‘telling his/her story, ‘ expressing emotions and coming to resolution through embodied imagination, in the safety and comfort of an attuned adult.  See Child Therapy space

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Growth Group

Connect to core self, develop inner resources & capacity for joy

Once a week, I lead a growth group at the Shimmering Tree Kamloops space that integrates the key elements needed to feel good and maintain balance.  Learning new skills to calm our nervous systems, to fully inhabit and enjoy the wisdom of our bodies, to explore, process and express in rich new ways, will not only improve our ability to handle life’s challenges, especially after loss, trauma or overwhelm, but improve the quality of our lives.

I draw on my experience in Self Regulation, Hakomi, and Mindfulness Expressive Arts therapies, trauma sensitive yoga and Linda Graham’s applied neuroscience work to offer a fresh whole person nurturing growth experience.

Each group session we touch into, engage and develop the 5 aspects of Self:

  • physical (yoga, walking meditation, movement to music, rest & relaxation)
  • mind (learning new relevant information, physical and mental skills, discipline, mindrest, perspective on own mind and emotions, actually rewiring the brain for resiliency)
  •  essential self (self awareness, compassion, healing)
  • creative (expressing self through art, writing, dance, verbally)
  • social (engaging with other individuals in a safe, supportive, similarly focused group)

 

This group gives you the opportunity to nurture your whole being, to re-set, and be increasingly balanced and energized- able to be the person you want to be being throughout your week.  See more

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Through the gateway of feeling your weakness lies your strength.

Through the gateway of feeling your pain lies your pleasure and joy.

Through the gateway of feeling your fear lies your security and safety.

Through the gateway of feeling your loneliness lies your capacity to have fulfillment, love & companionship.

Through the gateway of feeling your hopelessness lies true and justified hope.

Through the gateway of accepting the lacks in your childhood lies your fulfillment now.

                                                               Eva Pierrakos

 

 

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