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My Approach

Santa Ynez Valley Therapy is client-centered counseling. We will focus on your goals and make sure the work we're doing together leads to positive change. That's why I don't believe in a "one-size-fit-all model". I'm here to support you through learning new tools that you can actually use to improve your quality of life. We'll explore what is holding you back from your goals and check in regularly to measure progress. I will always be transparent with you and encourage my clients to do the same. The therapist relationship is a sacred one; I honor my clients' time and hard work. Therapy can be challenging but it doesn't have to be uncomfortable. Read below for more about my approach:

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Mind/Body Connection

Our minds and our bodies are intimately intertwined. We cannot treat one without addressing the other. I take both a cognitive behavioral and somatic (soma means body) approach to therapy.  Learning tools to help regulate your nervous system, can lead to better mental and physical health, improved relationships and a more fulfilling life.

Integrated

As stated above, there is no "one size fits all" model that works for everyone. We are all unique individuals with unique experiences and surroundings. By taking a holistic approach, I use a combination of modalities in my practice to best benefit you including, but not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Somatic Therapy

  • Multicultural

  • Solution-focused

  • Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT)

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Emotionally-focused therapy

  • Relational Life Therapy

  • Motivational Interviewing

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Relational

We don't exist in a bubble. No matter our social nature (e.g. introverted or extroverted; social or isolated) we are influenced by our interactions with other people. As humans, we are built for connection (literally, our brains are built to relate to others). Without connection we cannot thrive. By taking a relational view of life, we are able to explore patterns, learn new skills in order to improve our life and those around us.

 

As Terry Real of Relational Life Institute says: "Nothing is more important in our lives than our relationships. A great relationship boosts your immune system, opens your heart, and keeps you vital and creative.

The Big Picture

Similar to my relational approach to therapy, I always look at life and relationships with a systemic lens. This means I look at how our surroundings, past and present, impact our current experiences. We are all affected by our society's culture, our families of origin, past generations, and much more. If we just look at ourselves in isolation, we cannot possibly address the reality of our situation.

 

Think about how you act, feel or think when alone. Now think about how you act, feel or think around others. It varies with each person or group. This is just one example of  why looking at entire systems is so important.

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 “A major contributor to the genesis of many diseases... is an overload of stress induced by unconscious beliefs. If we would heal, it is essential to begin the painfully incremental task of reversing the biology of belief we adopted very early in life. Whatever external treatment is administered, the healing agent lies within. The internal milieu must be changed. To find health, and to know it fully, necessitates a quest, a journey to the center of our own biology of belief. That means rethinking and recognizing—re-cognizing: literally, to “know again”—our lives.”

-Gabor Maté

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