Integrative perspective on mental health & psychotherapy
I understand clients’ experiences holistically through an integrated biopsychosocial lense
❁ I’m attentive to relevant biological factors such as temperament, genetics, medications, physical illness, impact of stress and trauma on the body, etc.
❁ Psychotherapy tends to focus on the psychological part including conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, wishes, and behaviors related to ourselves, others in our lives, and the world around us.
❁ I also understand the client as an individual embedded in a social/political world and I try to be attentive to the intersection between the person and factors such as culture, race, socio-economic class, political context and history, gender, sexuality, and larger systems of oppression.
Type of therapeutic approach I practice
I consider myself an integrative psychotherapist in that I draw on elements from different psychological approaches. I work from a base of relational psychodynamic therapy and integrate perspectives from attachment theory, trauma psychology, intersectional feminism, and social justice. Earlier in my career, I was also trained in different forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, narrative exposure therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Although I am not trained in or provide somatic therapies, I became immersed in the world of body work and somatic approaches following a physical ailment and these experiences color how I approach providing therapy. I often recommend somatic approaches as complementary to our work together.
Relational and deeper therapies help people by:
❁ Weaving together a narrative of their life and how they came to be the person they are. I find that such a narrative lessens the feeling that there is something “wrong” with a person or that they are “defective”, “bad”, “weak”, “broken”, etc.
❁ Facilitating self discovery and developing insight, including identify patterns between past and present, and between thoughts, feelings, relationships, behaviors, wishes, somatic experiences, etc.
❁ Being attentive to important attachments and relationships in people’s lives, both from past and present, and helping them understand the impact of these relationships and patterns of interactions between themselves and others.
❁ Providing people with the space to experience the transformative power of a genuine connected therapeutic relationship.
❁ Being attuned to people’s emotional experiences, and helping them understand, experience, and work through various conflicted emotions with someone who will listen deeply, witness, and hold.
❁ Helping people develop the capacity to hold and tolerate painful emotions and states. This includes helping them decrease their efforts to cope with pain by excessive distraction, avoidance, denial, etc.
❁ Helping people identify directions of meaning and value in their lives and supporting them as they seek to live in congruence with their values.
❁ Helping people understand the impact of larger structural, political, economic, cultural, climate, etc factors on their self, community, and wellbeing.