I’ve been in your shoes.
I’ve felt small and anxious. I didn’t know my worth or how to access my power. I have felt out of control. I have wanted perfection.WhenI felt I couldn’t reach it, I gave up – depressed, low, unable to change patterns. Negative self-talk, obsession. Body image issues, disordered eating. Confusion, lost, existential dread, without purpose.
These are all things I know.
I also know about healing. How to make changes. How to drag yourself through the mud and work hard; face your triggers. This work focuses on your healing and transformation.
Wherever you are on your journey, that is where we begin. You are in the right place!
I’m a body-centered therapist.
A body-centered psychotherapist integrates mindfulness, somatic awareness, and body-oriented techniques into their therapeutic approach.
Hakomi, developed by Ron Kurtz, is a form of psychotherapy that recognizes the profound influence of the body on emotional and psychological well-being. The body is a gateway to accessing and working with deeply held beliefs, memories, and emotions.
A body-centered psychotherapist aims to help clients explore and understand their experiences by focusing on bodily sensations, movements, and nonverbal cues. By attentively observing and tracking these somatic expressions, therapists can access implicit memories and core beliefs that may influence clients’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Through gentle and mindful interventions, the therapist assists the client in exploring and transforming these patterns, leading to increased self-awareness, emotional healing, and personal growth.
A body-centered psychotherapist incorporates mindfulness and somatic awareness to help clients access and work with deeply held experiences and beliefs through their body’s wisdom.
We’ll usually start our sessions with…
… mindfulness or a body scan to slow down and see what’s happening beneath the surface. We’ll take time to learn about you, using your mind and emotions to guide us.
A body scan is a mindfulness practice that systematically brings attention to different body parts. It is typically done in a quiet and relaxed setting. During a body scan, the individual mentally scans their body from head to toe or vice versa, paying attention to physical sensations, areas of tension, and overall bodily awareness.
The practice begins by bringing awareness to the breath and gradually moving attention to different body regions. The person may start with the head, noticing any sensations or tension present, then move down to the neck, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, hips, legs, and feet. The goal is to observe sensations without judgment or attempting to change them.
The body scan serves multiple purposes in mindful practice. It helps cultivate present-moment awareness and deepens the connection between the mind and body. By intentionally exploring bodily sensations, the individual develops a greater sense of bodily awareness and can notice areas of tension or discomfort that may be overlooked in daily life. The body scan practice also promotes relaxation, stress reduction, and a sense of grounding in the present moment.
The body scan is a valuable mindfulness technique that enhances body awareness, relaxation, and overall well-being.
During this exercise, you might say, for example, that your shoulders feel particularly heavy – like they have “the weight of the world on them.” We might put a weighted blanket on your shoulders and explore further.
How does that feel?
Do any memories pop up?>
Tell me about the world you’re living in now.
Getting down to it…
Here’s what you can expect from the core of our work together:
Learn to witness yourself – step outside the immediate drama plaguing your mind. When you take a step back, you can see the bigger picture. You become less upset if you can slow down and witness your anxious thoughts. Name it to tame it.
When mindful, we slow down and get curious about what we notice in ourselves, others, our environment, and the present moment. Recognizing the present moment is essential for dealing with anxiety and trauma. It also allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures in life just by noticing.
You can be the person you have dreamed of. Together, we explore how life could be if we change some of your current habits, thoughts, and beliefs. How would it feel to be completely self-confident? You would notice that maybe you walked differently and talked without fear. You may feel more free and in touch with yourself.
Awareness is the backbone of therapy. We use mindfulness to self-study. Get some insight. Find clarity. Stop saying, “I don’t know.”You become willing to look deeper into yourself. Look at the hard stuff. Question your decisions. See how you really feel.
Anyone who has anxiety has probably heard the words, emotional regulation. How can we keep these emotions under control? This becomes extremely important with panic attacks and reexperiencing trauma. It’s ok to have emotions, but we don’t want to go outside the tolerance window. Our sessions will explore self-care and resourcing, allowing you to feel safer and more in control.
Reducing negative self-talk…
I’m sure you know how bad negative self-talk is. It’s one of those things that probably has never been helpful. It always makes you feel worse. How you talk to yourself matters! The words you say live in your consciousness. How can you expect to be happy when you are constantly insulting and putting yourself down? We work directly with self-talk and find alternative options to say. We also explore the pain around this negativity.
Self-compassion means treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance during difficult times, similar to treating a dear friend. It involves self-kindness, recognizing shared humanity, and practicing mindfulness. It promotes well-being and a healthier relationship with oneself.
Humor in therapy involves laughter and lightheartedness to facilitate healing and growth. Humor can help clients gain new perspectives, challenge negative thinking patterns, and explore sensitive or difficult topics in a more comfortable manner. It can also promote emotional resilience, reduce stress, and enhance well-being. It’s also just fun, and I love to laugh.
Get ready to emerge more authentic and more ALIVE!
You’ll feel more integrated, more self-love, and more empowered.
You’ll feel less anxious and less depressed.
You’ll know how to make boundaries that support your health and well-being.
You’ll communicate more effectively in your relationships and feel more secure.
And perhaps most importantly… you’ll have the resilience to feel your pain without the need to hide or run away.
I hope you’re ready to start because I’m excited to work with you! Call today and let’s schedule your free consultation: (512) 522-5803.
My Journey To Therapy
My path and healing journey has been long and winding, with many stops along the way.
As a child, I was interested in philosophy and world religions. After a brush with near death, my dark night of the soul, the first of many, I got very involved with art.
I had an eating disorder and literally and figuratively wove my way out of it. I became a weaver and did that as well as drawing and painting every day after school.
I became obsessed with finding my truth and sharing my vision. I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and moved to Washington State after graduating, where I lived in a log cabin with a wood stove.
My Growth With Yoga
I got really into yoga and started taking a yoga class every day.
All of a sudden, that is where all my money went. I became really interested in Forrest yoga and decided to do her teacher training in Seattle. The training was life-changing.
I read about 50 books to get certified and changed so much through the process. I became really fascinated with Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine and started studying them.
Learning About Eastern Practices
I decided to enroll at Heartwood Institute in Garberville, CA. The program was for nine months, including living there. The massage program was focused on Asian massage modalities, and I would simultaneously be studying nutrition from a Chinese Medicine perspective. I was so excited.
As luck would have it, it was not meant to be. I was at an East Coast ashram when I was called and told that the program had been canceled. I was advised that I could come for the “Healing with Whole Foods” immersion with Paul Pitchford, but after that, I would want to go somewhere else to learn massage.
I was recommended to a small program in a very obscure place, Crestone, Colorado. At the Crestone Healing Arts Center, I learned the following:
A big focus of the program was on Chinese Medicine. I spent many hours studying acupressure points and their uses.
Certified Massage Therapist Near You
I moved to Denver, Colorado, because I had a massage license there because of my school. Denver was great. I quickly got a massage job and felt so happy.
After a year, I started the 11-month program at Boulder College of Massage Therapy because it was known as the “Harvard” of massage schools. I desperately wanted to pass the National exam, and BCMT would give me the western anatomy and kinesiology knowledge that I needed.
Ultimately, I passed the exam but decided to stay in Colorado and move to Telluride. I worked in the spa at the ski lodge and massaged hundreds of people. I really started to get a lot of experience working with the body.
What surprised me was how much people wanted to talk. They wanted to tell me their story. They cried, and they remembered things. I would touch an area on their body, and they would become flushed with emotion. I became very interested in how the body, mind, and heart interacted. Some of these clients came for bodywork but needed much more. There was a lot of pain and trauma in these injuries.
The Body-Mind Connection
This interest in the body-mind connection led me to study Polarity Therapy with John Chitty. He introduced me to Peter Levine’s work, Somatic Experiencing, and taught me about the nervous system and how it reacts to trauma. Polarity therapy bodywork taps directly into the nervous system. After studying Polarity, I decided to take it further and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to take an entire Cranio Sacral program with Etienne Peirsman.
With Polarity Therapy and Cranio Sacral Therapy, I felt like I was returning to my Acupressure roots that I learned in Crestone. There is a subtleness to the work that feels like meditation.
Amidst all this, I was working at Ten Thousand Waves, a famous Japanese bathhouse in Santa Fe. I was working on more clients than ever, and I got injured. I thought my life was over because I felt so clearly that this was my path as a healer. I loved working with people and enjoyed the unique relationship I got to have with them.
Mindfulness of The Body
I had an astrologer I worked with in Santa Fe. He told me to treat my life like a treasure hunt and follow the clues. I decided to enroll in grad school to become a counselor. I picked Prescott College because it allowed me to focus on Somatic Psychology. I also chose to study Hakomi Mindfulness Body Psychotherapy in Boulder simultaneously. This was a two-year training in which I drove from Santa Fe to Boulder every other month for five days. My life was full – working at Ten Thousand Waves, studying in grad school, and traveling to Boulder to study.
Eventually, I realized I wanted to move and had my eye on Berkeley, CA, because there is a Hakomi training program there. There is also one in Austin. In the end, I chose Austin. I’m glad I did, and I have been here since 2018. I came right before the pandemic and did my first year of counseling all telehealth! I love going to Barton Springs and taking walks with my mini labradoodle in my free time. I feel so lucky to do this work and excited to dive deep with you!