In recent years, science has begun to recognize the powerful connections through which emotional, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect health outcomes. This is often referred to as the mind body connection. Emotions and thought patterns can contribute to imbalances within the body, and therapies like visual imagery, meditation, yoga, and breathing are being used to reestablish balance and promote health. These therapies can all be valuable tools for increasing awareness of the body’s biological processes, such as heart rate and breathing patterns, in order to help you become empowered to manage emotions and mitigate their neurophysiological impacts. A list of current research studies highlighting the mind body connection can be found at the University of Minnesota and Life Foundation.
What is mind-body therapy?
Mind-Body Therapy is a mind body connection approach to healing that looks at a person as an integrated whole: mind + body + spirit. In contrast to traditional psychotherapy or "talk therapy," which focuses on life history and the analysis of thoughts and emotions, the Mind-Body therapist incorporates these aspects, but also is interested in the relationship between a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual experiences.
Therapy sessions include the combination of traditional talk therapy and biologically based practices, such as: mindful movement, yoga therapy, walking in nature, mindfulness exercises, meditation, somatic awareness exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, relaxation exercises, guided imagery, and visualization. During our initial session, we will discuss your individual needs and therapy goals, while developing an individualized plan. Please be aware, Mind-Body Therapy is not for every client and/or clinical concern; thus, we will discuss in detail at the onset of therapy if this approach is an appropriate fit.
Walk Talk Therapy
Walk Talk Therapy is just like it sounds - the client and the therapist are outside walking during therapy instead of sitting inside an office. Many clients express feeling more relaxed compared to sessions in the therapy office. If you are looking for an alternative approach to traditional talk therapy, walk talk therapy may be the right fit for you. Walk Talk therapy may used for a variety of struggles, including: anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, life transitions, and more.
Yoga Therapy will be available starting Fall 2019.
The individualized application of yoga techniques and principles for therapeutic purposes is called Yoga Therapy. Yoga Therapy is the application of yoga techniques to address issues related to thoughts, emotions, or behaviors, along with physical discomfort. Traditional talk therapy and Yoga Therapy are combined in order to incorporate the entire self; thus, including the mind and the body. Yoga sequences and mindfulness exercises are created individually for each client. The combination of yoga and mindfulness often leads to changes in the brain, alters thinking, balances emotions, opens sensory experiencing, and fosters awareness (Simpkins & Simpkins, 2014).
Yoga Therapy is often a helpful approach when treating trauma. Trauma-informed yoga provides the opportunity for individuals to find a connection between seemingly disconnected pieces. This allows survivors of trauma to move beyond trying to find the words to articulate how they feel and empowers survivors to tap into their inner resilience to heal. In particular, Yoga Therapy may provide survivors of body trauma a means of becoming reacquainted with their bodies, feel grounded in the present moment, while exploring the benefits of mindfulness as they flow breath to movement in guided practice and meditation.
Primary clinical areas of focus for Yoga Therapy include: perinatal mood and anxiety, stress, generalized anxiety, and trauma.
My clinical training includes completion of continued education workshops and training (e.g. Bringing Trauma-Informed Yoga into Mental Health Clinical Practice & Transcending Sexual Trauma Through Yoga). During my predoctoral internship, I created and led a 2-day Trauma-Informed Yoga workshop series for sexual assault survivors at California State University, San Marcos. My 200-hour Gentle Yoga Teacher Training will be completed at Soul of Yoga in Encinitas, CA in September 2019.
Somatic therapy is a form of body-centered therapy that looks at the connection of mind and body and uses both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing. The theory behind somatic therapy is that the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other. Through developing awareness of the mind-body connection and using specific interventions like body scanning, somatic therapy helps you to release emotions stored within the body.