What Is Integrative Counseling
Unlike other types of therapy and counseling, an integrative approach addresses your total health. Focus is on the entire picture - mind, body, and spirit. When we experience distress and trauma in our lives, our state of mind is deeply connected to our physical body and is impacted by the foods we eat and the lifestyle habits we choose. For example, by making important diet and lifestyle changes, this alone can eliminate depression and the need for depression medication. This is because a lack of certain nutrients can cause chemical imbalances in the body that can trigger depression and anxiety. Hand in hand with nutrition, when we engage in certain types of exercises, we stimulate the body to produce chemicals that are natural anti-depressants. Our ability to heal from psychological trauma can also be either helped or hindered by the quality of our life. Helping clients develop healthy coping skills and empowering them to make the changes necessary in their lives is much more achievable when addressing the whole picture.
Rather than a single approach, integrative counseling also uses a variety of different approaches and tools based on the unique life circumstances and world views of each person.
Why Get Counseling
Generally, counseling is sought after an upsetting event or crisis that challenges our existing coping skills or brings up overwhelming feelings and distress. Some common reasons include:
- A child becomes a teenager and seemingly insurmountable arguments occur.
- A long standing problem with a drug or alcohol addiction has become too much to bear.
- Self-defeating behavioral patterns stand in your way.
- You've lost interest in the activities you normally enjoy doing and find yourself wanting to stay in bed or overeat.
- You're consistently feeling sad or weighed down and unsure of the reasons why.
- You've been avoiding others because you feel empty and alone, and now feel isolated.
- The future appears hopeless and it's difficult for you to find a reason why life is worth living.
- The discovery of an affair or an emotional disconnection has left you feeling angry and hurt.
Sometimes, our biology seems to have turned on us and we inexplicably develop feelings of depression, rage, worthlessness, or persistent anxious and fearful feelings and yet have no idea why we feel this way.
The decision to seek help can be a big one, and for most people it’s scary and difficult. In the United States, we're raised to think that we should be able to handle everything on our own and that seeking an outside opinion is a sign of weakness. This is compounded by the fear we’ll only be let down, dismissed, or rejected. The need for counseling in far less in countries where families and communities have a much stronger support structure. In Greece and Italy, for example, problems are openly talked about with family, friends and neighbors. Support is a natural part of this process negating the sense of loneliness and isolation often experienced in other westernized cultures.
As humans we are resilient, but it’s hard to filter out all the “noise” from the environment and the many demands that life puts on us. Many frustrating attempts to solve a problem may not have worked, leading to a sense of helplessness and frustration as to why things never seem to work out. Some of us want relief from physical or emotional pain, yet that relief seems elusive. Many of us struggle to grasp what our emotional needs are, let alone figure out how to express them. It’s an edgy, vulnerable place to open up and talk about things that traumatize us.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes, we all need help and support.
It's perfectly normal and natural to reach out for this support when we need it, and far from being a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength to know when to ask for help. The best leaders are those that have a solid support structure. Humans are meant to interact - to share - to support each other - to help each other. If we can't get these things from the people around us, then it's time to talk to someone else who can help.
How Can Integrative Counseling Help Me?
Counseling can be a tremendously powerful tool. It can raise us out of the pits of depression. It can transform stress, worry, and anxiety into peace of mind. It can bring relief from addictive behaviors, increase self-worth and self-esteem, and help us to release guilt and traumas. In short, it's a problem-solving tool for handling life's challenges.
Why Choose Me
My passion is helping people on the brink and in crisis, and my goal is to empower you to access your strengths and mobilize your natural capacity for change. I do this by getting down to the root cause of your distress, and helping you permanently dig out those roots.
Aside from the trauma of a loved one passing, there's one single root cause of all forms of distress. It's a belief in the illusion that we are a victim of our circumstances, that we are powerless, and that we have no real ability to change those circumstances. The truth is the exact opposite. It's all about your thoughts and how you use them. The circumstances you're experiencing at this very moment are all the direct result of your past thoughts and beliefs which have radiated out different energy frequencies and attracted to you every single event in your life. They're also the result of the influences, beliefs, and perceptions of others who you have allowed to define you and determine how you should live. We each have the power to completely transform our lives once we understand how limitless we really are and that we are each very powerful creators. By learning how we created the reality we experience today, we can learn how to make some small changes to instead create the life of our dreams tomorrow.
Ask yourself the following 5 questions about the most common high-stress subjects:
- If you believed you had the power to change any situation in your life today that you didn't like, would you stress about it?
- If you believed you had the ability to quickly erase any debt, would you stress about money, mortgage, business, or car payments?
- If you believed you had a health condition that you could cure, would you stress about your health?
- If you believed you could bring balance to your relationships, would you stress about conflict?
- If you believed you could change your career to one that you would love waking up to every day, would you stress about your job?
If you believed you had the limitless capacity to shape your life by using the power of your mind, then what would happen to your stress? Your anxiety? Your depression?
One of the single most powerful tools my counseling offers you is to break free from the powerful illusion that we are victims of circumstance.
I’m dedicated to inspiring my clients to transform all forms of stress into peace of mind. Once we cultivate this state of mind and embrace our power, then we be become truly limitless.
In my practice, I cultivate a mix of theories and our sessions are highly personalized depending on your needs. I use effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance. My style is warm, direct, and very practical. I can assure you I will do much more than say “uh huh, uh huh” and "how does this make you feel?" Our sessions are very engaging!
While my website can help you find information about me, I invite you to call me for a free consultation to explore how we might work together. My clientele is diverse in age, gender, cultural background, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and spiritual practice.
What Is an Integrative Counseling Session Like?
Every session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. We begin by discussing the issues and concerns that bring you to me. Often, we end up taking unexpected tangents as we work towards the causes of your distress. Sessions are very dynamic and interactive as we uncover unconscious triggers and get to work understanding and diffusing these triggers.
After each session, you'll follow through by taking action on what we've discussed and integrating changes into your life between sessions. For this reason, I prefer to schedule sessions no more than once each week as integrating these changes takes time. Therapy is most effective when you're an active participant, both during and between sessions. You must be willing to take responsibility for your actions and be committed to working on self-transformation.
As our home as our home environment is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to our health, happiness, and state of mind, our sessions will take place in your home unless you have a preference otherwise or you are remote.
Can You Help Me Get off Depression Medication?
Although I'm a drugless practitioner and believe that in most cases, food and lifestyle habits are the most powerful "medicines" on earth, in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. A healthy goal is to slowly wean yourself off medication in a slow and controlled manner as you begin to achieve a balanced and centered state of mind. It's very important to work closely with your medical doctor during this transition. If your doctor is not open to helping you work towards freedom from reliance on medications, then I would strongly recommend choosing an integrative or naturopathic doctor, both of which have a holistic approach to health.
It's well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, integrative counseling addresses the cause of our distress and the behavioral patterns that curb our progress. Depression and anti-anxiety medications also carry serious side effects and can cause secondary health problems. Let's work together to either reduce or eliminate your need for these medications.
Are Our Sessions Confidential?
Absolutely. You can be secure in the knowledge that whatever we discuss will be kept in the strictest of confidence. No information will ever be disclosed without prior written permission from you. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule as required by laws which require appropriate authorities to be notified immediately.
BEGIN WITH A FREE CONSULTATION
Schedule a 30-minute chat with me, where we can explore the issues you would like to work through and how my integrative counseling can help.