Finding the approach that will work best for you is a dynamic and creative process that we will explore together. That said, there are certain techniques I go back to over and over as I see their usefulness in helping individuals move through stress and into a more peaceful and empowered life.
Relationship Building The relationship between the counselor and the client is the foundation for all of our work together. This relationship, built over time, provides the safety needed for emotional expression, relational healing, trauma resolution and deep insights. Modern neuroscience reinforces what we already know: the deepest healing happens in connection with others who are safe and supportive.
Cognitive/Behavioral Approaches Living with and overcoming our old patterns is all about learning to dance. Sometimes you move towards what you fear, what makes your knees shake and your palms sweat, because the avoidance is keeping you from living fully. Other times you take a step away from a situation that is unhealthy, codependent, or emotionally draining. Cognitive behavioral therapy is about getting to know your habit patterns (thoughts and behaviors) that contribute to feelings of fear, immobilization and lack of empowerment. Once these patterns are brought into the light of day, you can work to change them.
Balancing the Nervous System At the same time, we are more than our thoughts and our behaviors. We are a bundle of nerves as well- and I mean that in a good way. Our bodies gather information from our experiences traveling through the world and store them in their sensory memory banks. We learn what is safe, and what is unsafe and develop habitual physiological responses based on past experiences. Working with the nervous system is a powerful way to build resilience in the face of fear and restore a sense of connection and safety in the world. I use Polyvagal Theory, breathing techniques and a range of guided meditations to help clients access their body's wisdom and integrate experiences stuck there. All work is trauma-sensitive taking into account the most current research on safe and therapeutic interventions for trauma processing.
Expressive Arts Finally, creativity is a tool that many clients find useful in their process- and that I find useful in my own. I always keep supplies on hand and we bring them out when a problem or experience is best addressed using markers, crayons, paint and paper. While I find it useful to explore themes that arise in creative exercises, I am also deeply impressed with the extent to which the simple act of engaging in creative activities calms and balances the nervous system, and eases anxiety.
Lillian Harris Counseling PLLC 3 Fundy Rd. Suite 2 Falmouth, Maine 04105 (207) 619-3563 email@example.com