Getting Started

Contact me to schedule a free 30 minute consultation, face to face. This will give you the opportunity to discuss what’s bringing you to therapy and for us to decide if working together is a good fit. I have a large referral network and can refer you to someone else if it is determined that we are not a good match.

Understanding

The advancements in neuro science have informed us that our brain is more mutable than we once thought. Science used to believe that we were not able to develop new neuropathways, however, science has now informed us that we can. What this means is, we are not stuck with old patterns of thinking. Neuroplasticity gives a chance to weed out old patterns of thinking that are unhealthy and create new patterns of healthy thinking. (Adapted from Richard Davidson, The Emotional Life of your brain [2012]).

When we are stuck in anxious ruminating patterns (or any unhealthy thinking patterns) it strengthens neuropathways, creating new neuronetworks. The goal of our work together will be to interrupt previous unhealthy patterns of thinking and create new, healthier ways of thinking which will in turn create new neuropathways and a new “default” mechanism.

Therapy meets Coaching

At Awaken Psychotherapy and Mindfulness Studio, I will work with you as both your therapist and coach.  I will utilize traditional talk therapy skills (mindful and compassionate listening, validating, and reflecting) to uncover the limiting core beliefs you hold about yourself that are keeping you stuck. Then, weaving together both Cognitive and Mindfulness interventions I will teach you skills that have the best chance of weeding out old patterns of thinking that are unhealthy. We will work together to create new neuronetworks.

Practice

At Awaken, we will teach you skills and we will practice skills them. I will encourage you to practice outside of our sessions, of course, with a loving kindness view that life is a practice and perfection is never the expectation. We will approach practice with a gentle, compassionate mindset.

Reasons to Practice

One important feature of any of these kind of behavioral interventions is the critical importance of practice-of training. This is one of the key insights of neuroplasticity….Cognitive Therapy and mindfulness training, although coming from completely different arenas, both recommended very strong practice on a daily basis and homework.” Richard Davidson, neuroscience researcher and author of The Emotional Life of your brain (2012).

Practice changes the brain.” Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence.

The point of practice is to cultivate awareness, kindness and openness, and let go of distraction, self-centeredness prejudice.” Acharya Judy Lief, author and senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.

Practice is the moment-to-moment creative enterprise of converting negative habits of body, speech and mind to positive experiences and expressions of self and others.” Robert Thurman, professor at Columbia University, author and co-founder of Tibet House in New York City.

(Collection of quotes taken from Terry Fralich, LCPC and lecture on Mindfulness).

Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness:

Paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zin

Mindfulness is when the mind is fully attending to what is on hand.” Barry Boyce

Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, being fully aware of what’s happening both inside yourself-in your body, heart and mind-and outside yourself in your environment. Mindfulness is awareness without judgement or criticism.” Jan Chozen Bays

Mindfulness is a skill-based practice that leads to greater intentionality, awareness, stability of attention, equanimity and loving-kindness. Over time, it minimizes negative states and cultivates positive states. Mindfulness is a practice of liberation and connection. Terry Fralich

(Collection of quotes taken from Terry Fralich, Mindfulness lecture)’

Why Mindfulness

Where is your attention throughout the course of a day?

On autopilot mode absorbed in stress, impatience, self-judgment of self and others, or even addiction.

Or

On mindfulness mode cultivating best intentions, patience, kindness, gratitude etc?

At Awaken, we will work to move your brain from autopilot to mindfulness mode because:

What you think and feel changes the brain in lots of ways. By applying mindfulness (focused attention) along with Cognitive strategies, you can change patterns, beliefs and habits.