Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Invitation to Retreat

The shorter days and cold weather of winter invite us to retreat, take stock of what's happened, contemplate change, and emerge with newfound energy and focus. That's what I'm planning to do- hopefully with a weekend in the mountains of North Georgia. No matter what, I will create some solo time and space to cultivate the seeds of life within me. I'm not referring only to the literal seeds of life some of us carry but the spiritual or transpersonal side of ourselves, as well. We are ripe with potential.

The business of life often distracts and disconnects us from our personal hopes and dreams. If we wish for something different, we must make time to envision it. Envisioning work is quite fun. What kind of relationships do you desire for yourself? What kind of community? Career? World? It's essential to do this powerful imagining work because we live in a world that's far from perfect. If we don't imagine a better world for ourselves, who will? This is the first step towards creating it.

Fellow local counselor and writer, Baraka Elihu, highlights the importance of retreat in her book, Birthing Ourselves Into Being, likening it to the third trimester of pregnancy. It is a time to align our inner worlds with the outer transformation about to take place. By taking time to lay the groundwork for the next chapter of our lives, we allow for a smoother transition. A retreat is any place where you can hear your inner voice, steadying and centering yourself before stepping out on the journey.

Only you know what you need to do to prepare yourself for the next stage of your life. How can you make space to tune into the beginnings of change brewing inside of you? What will give you a sense of comfort during this important time? Perhaps there are muses you can look to- real or imagined- for a source of support. Maybe you'll find guidance in the natural world. Change can be disorienting but this natural experience leads to an inner transformation. Let it be one that you desire.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Approach

My approach is eclectic! Just as each of us is unique, what helps you may be different than what helps me. So, the most important thing is getting to know you! In every case, I seek to use what works- that is, what studies have shown to be effective or what is evidence-based. Some methods I draw upon are:
  • Mindfulness
  • Guided imagery 
  • Grounding or Centering
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Expressive Arts
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Bibliotherapy
  • Seeking Safety
Every counselor, including myself, also brings with us all of our personal and professional experiences in life. My passion for women's issues, LGBTQ issues, and trauma treatment comes directly out of my experience. I love connecting with others and sharing my belief that you're not alone, you can feel better, and we'll figure this out together. The resilience we're capable of never ceases to amaze me.

The number one ingredient in effective counseling, which has been proven time and again, is the quality of the relationship between counselor and client. For this reason, it's hugely important to come in and meet with a counselor and see what it feels like. You deserve a powerful connection to help in your healing work. In order to get the most out of counseling, finding the right fit is key.

Seeing as it is the second week of December, I want to wish you a holiday season full of the best kind of gifts- whatever it is you're wanting and needing from yourself, others, and life at this particular time. I'm wishing for our safety, happiness, and health- exactly when we need it most. Be well!