Improving the relationship you have with yourself is the key to help you open up to new possibilities and create the life you want.
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Eugene, OR
Supervised by Melissa Bravo, PhD, CCTP, NCC, LPC
Men are frequently told to be strong and independent. In some situations this advice can be beneficial. However, in the realms of emotional awareness, vulnerability, and healthy connections with other people, being strong and independent is often counterproductive. I help my male clients increase awareness of their thoughts and feelings and to explore the impact they are having on their life. The more emotional skill men develop, the better equipped they are to meet life's challenges.
Trauma is at the root of a lot of society's problems. Trauma has been shown to impact the brain, nervous system, hormones, and health outcomes. Healing from trauma can be challenging because it is physically and emotionally stored in our bodies and is unaffected by attempts to 'think about it differently.' Primarily, we have to feel our way through the healing process which can be very intimidating depending on the level of trauma someone has experienced.
Patterns of dysfunction tend to get unconsciously passed from one generation to the next. Interrupting this cycle is difficult and often takes a lifelong commitment to learning new skills and exploring alternative behaviors. It's not fair that some people have to deal with this type of trauma. But if we don't take on the responsibility to engage in breaking the pattern, it's almost guaranteed that next generation will be impacted in a similar way.
I have completed multiple trainings in IFS and it is my go-to modality. I like IFS because it is depathologizing, meaning that all symptoms serve a beneficial purpose even ones that may not appear to on the surface. I assume that my clients have good intentions for what they do and this helps us explore what's happening with curiosity instead of judgment. Of course, we want to change some of our behaviors. But I think it's important to have compassion for attempts to get our needs met.
I am trained in EMDR and find the use of bilateral stimulation to be helpful in the processing of traumatic memories because it helps ground the experience in the present moment. I also frequently use resourcing techniques such as safe space imagery, a container and protective and nurturing figures to help my clients. Feeling distressing feelings can be extremely challenging and having tools to mitigate the intensity can be hugely helpful.
Emotions are physically stored in our bodies. When we pay mindful attention to the sensations in our bodies, we can often connect them to specific feelings and thoughts. I use somatic techniques to help my clients move the energy that is stored in the brain-body system so that it can be released. The bottom line is that avoiding the feelings in our bodies keeps us stuck and we can carry emotional baggage around with us for years. Facing our feelings can provide us with a felt sense of relief.