Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Sessions
As a licensed psychotherapist in New York State, I am deeply honored to have participated in the initial launch of the then year-long UZIT training program in 2009. My journey included exploring a variety of integrative treatment modalities in an effort to deliver holistic and “healthier” healthcare to patients and caregivers. This invaluable training would provide adjunct support to my integrative psychotherapy practice in New York City with patients who struggled with anxiety, depression, chronic pain/illness, PTSD, trauma, eating disorders and addictions. In addition to EMDR therapy for the resolution of trauma symptoms, Focusing, Mindfulness, somatic therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and supportive psychotherapy, I am able to integrate my knowledge of this healthcare paradigm into my private sessions with clients. This integrative approach to healing supports clients who are challenged by trauma and symptoms related to a medical diagnosis and chronic pain. I graduated from the program with a 500-hour certification in integrative therapy and therapeutic yoga in addition to 200 hours of previously-earned yoga training. The UZIT program includes training in meditation, practice therapeutically-oriented yoga, essential oils, Reiki, nutrition and contemplative care.
Inspired by Donna Karan and designed by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, UZIT trains doctors, nurses or other allied medical professional and yoga teachers to provide its thoughtfully developed support services to target people facing chronic pain, illness, injury, burnout or stress, both in and out of a hospital setting, hospice care and nursing schools, senior care facilities as well as serving staff in educational settings and corporations. Its curriculum is uniquely designed to address the classic complaints associated with illness: Exhaustion, Pain, Anxiety, Nausea, Insomnia and Constipation (PANIC™). The program includes at least 50 hours of clinical rotation in a hospital or healthcare setting or in private or out-patient settings. The Urban Zen Foundation integrates Eastern healing techniques with Western medicine in a model that delivers compassionate and complementary, comprehensive healing healthcare.
In 2011, I was invited to return to the program as a mentor to new students. I am delighted to serve as a resource for anyone interested in the Urban Zen Foundation Therapy Program (UZIT) philosophy and can provide referrals to integrative practitioners in New York City and beyond. Currently, the Urban Zen Foundation collaborates with yoga studios such as Yoga Works, UCLA, Beth Israel and other hospitals throughout the country, as well as teaching institutions such as Ohio State, Cleveland State and Kent State. While participating in Donna Karan's groundbreaking initiative, I had the honor of training with Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Richard Freeman, Richard Rosen, Geoffrey Roniger, Pamela Miles, Tracy Griffiths, Lena Falth, Koshin Paley Ellison, Robert Chodo Campbell and Roshi Joan Halifax. I completed clinical rotations at Beth Israel Medical Center and Hope Lodge. The Urban Zen Integrative Therapy partners with the following: Johnson & Johnson, Kent State University, Ohio State University, NYU Langone Medical Center, UCLA Health Center, NYZCCC, Cleveland State University, American Cancer Society, Gaiam, the Frber Center, and more.
Developed more than two decades ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., mindfulness training helps a person live in the present moment in an effort to better handle the ups and downs of life. By intentionally bringing a non-judgmental awareness to breathing, body sensations, moods, thoughts and feelings--including fear, anger, frustration, desire, and self-doubt-–a person is better equipped to deal with the challenges of life. This very special kind of attentiveness enables one to acquire new insights about life situations, and in turn, develop ways to consciously respond, rather than react to the conditions of life.
How does one practice Mindfulness? People simply observe what arises in the body and mind, perceiving each experience as an event in their own field of awareness. This fuller, moment to moment, non-judgmental awareness known as Mindfulness frees one to make clearer and more attuned decisions. Most people report an increased ability to relax, greater resilience, more energy and enthusiasm for life, increased self-confidence and an enhanced ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term, stressful situations. The practice of Mindfulness teaches practitioners a way of being more deeply present in the body with a range of thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness is learning to work with what is, acceptance of reality, in a less reactive and judgmental manner.
Mindfulness is an elegant and simple approach to living a meaningful life. Western medicine is now recognizing Mindfulness as a powerful, evidence-based tool for dealing with trauma, PTSD symptoms, attachment deficits, chronic stress, pain, depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders, overwhelming feelings and emotions and many other medical and psychological conditions.
Meditation is an activity that calms the mind and keeps it focused on the present moment. It's normal for the mind to be busy and active. Meditation is not about emptying the mind, but allowing whatever is present to just be. People think that they can't meditate, or are failing at meditation because their mind is noisy. The practice of meditation is actually quite simple. When thoughts keep us distracted during meditation, we notice and observe present thoughts, feelings, emotions and body sensations, then gently guide awareness back to our breathing. You can practice watching and observing the mind in the same way you would gaze at the sky and watch a cloud pass.
Put simply, meditation is an activity of receptivity, of allowing thoughts, feelings and emotions to come and go. It is openness. As you practice, you will notice that meditation quiets the mind and helps you gain clarity and calm. You will develop greater compassion for yourself and others. Symptoms such as urges, cravings, addictions, anxiety, depression, impatience, poor concentration and attention, negative self-concepts, agitation, anger, poor motivation and accelerated aging may be greatly reduced. Meditation also helps you access your creativity--you will also work, play and sleep better. You will know yourself better. You may develop greater tolerance for others.
I personally love rituals and creating an altar or dedicated area of the home or office to sit, but this is not a necessary component for your meditation practice to be helpful. Another mistake is to avoid meditation because you can't devote the time that you think is necessary to do it "properly." We now know that sitting for five minutes is effective and restorative, and can give you the pause that you need to return to your daily life with clarity and balance. The benefits of a regular meditation practice generalize to all aspects of your life, on and off the cushion.
It is important to find a meditation style that works for you, and there are many. Some find movement and walking meditation more beneficial than sitting. Others prefer working with a professional or finding a community to support their practice. Some of my clients report the benefits of using some of the guided meditation apps on the market developed for Android or Apple to help them sleep or to use as breaks during their busy day. There are also many types of meditation styles to research such as these for example: TM, Mantra, Mindfulness, QiGong, Zazen, Breath Awareness, Body Scan, Kundalini and Loving Kindness. Find what resonates for you!
Rigorous scientific research can measure the effects of meditation on a range of health variables. Please enjoy this article from the New York Times on How to Meditate and this article from Forbes describes the impact of meditation on the brain.
Stress Management + Reduction
Stress is present for all of us, especially when we live and work in busy cities and attempt to manage the demands of work-life balance. Chronic, unrelenting stress can affect one's physical and mental health. Stress regularly shows up in the body as pain and other symptoms in addition to accelerated aging. Stress can lead to insomnia and memory problems, increase one's risk of heart disease, have an impact on diabetes and arthritis, contribute to the development of eczema and autoimmune disorders, and even lead to reduced resistance and immune system depression.
Changing habits and negative thoughts can be a challenge for most of us, but with stress management support, it is possible to eliminate the old and adopt healthier, health-sustaining habits. Those who have a difficult time coping with stress on their own often turn to unhealthy ways of coping such as food, substances and behavioral addictions. Typically, clients who come for stress management are experiencing difficulty relaxing, feeling on edge and may experience sleep problems. These clients are typically busy and ambitious people who work hard and could benefit from approaches to help them find balance and comfort in their bodies and lives. Many clients often benefit from sampling a variety of techniques such as EMDR, guided meditation and mindfulness to find the techniques that provide the desired support.
Together, we will look at the many areas of your life to find the sources of your problems and find solutions. Areas of focus may include work, family and other areas. Techniques to help you relax, de-stress optimize your environment and learn to "breathe" in a way that serves your body are important aspects of integrative therapy sessions.
With stress and relaxation coaching you will learn to:
Identify the areas in your life that are causing stress
Develop coping strategies to reduce and manage stress in your life
Better understand your own body's response to stress
Establish healthy work and personal boundaries
Maintain an exercise regimen
Manage disease, pain or chronic conditions
Utilize techniques to manage stress such as meditation and breathing techniques
What are the benefits of working with a Stress Management Expert?
Enhanced clarity of thought and focus
Improved immune function
Reduction in unhealthy physical responses to stress such as increased cortisol and adrenaline
Improved emotion regulation
Increased energy and vitality and emotional well-being
Increased self-esteem and confidence
Control over unhelpful responses to stress
Healthy work and life balance
How does stress impact your life?
Stress can affect every area of life--physically and emotionally. In fact, stress plays a role in virtually every disease and condition, from the common cold to life-threatening diseases. Stress weakens the immune system. Unhealthy levels of stress contribute to the following symptoms:
Increased heart rate
High blood pressure
Anxiety, fear, irritability, frustration, hyperactivity
Decreased self esteem
Additional Integrative Therapies
Other interesting and helpful techniques that I regularly integrate into wellness coaching sessions
Body scans offer help for bringing deep awareness to the many processes of the mind and body. While in a state of relaxation, allow the mind to focus awareness on, and just notice parts of the body. Many people like to begin with the feet and work their way up the body, noticing any sensations such as: holding, tightness, agitation, softness, relaxation, pain, lack of pain, etc. Either before or after a body scan, practitioners often do a breath awareness exercise where the focus of attention is simply noticing breathing and any sensations or thoughts as you do this gentle exercise. Body scans can be helpful for individuals with chronic pain by focusing on parts of the body that are pain-free.
Guided Imagery is a therapeutic technique that is used by some clinicians during psychotherapy sessions to promote relaxation and healing. Imagery (thoughts or mental representations with sensory qualities) can help people achieve a variety of health goals, such as alleviating anxiety or depression, overcoming phobias, trauma recovery, reducing habits (overeating, smoking), healing from physical illness, and physical symptom reduction (i.e., high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, G.I. problems, chronic pain). Guided imagery is a two-part process. The first component involves reaching a state of deep relaxation through breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. During the relaxation phase, the person closes their eyes and focuses on the quiet, relaxed, "in and out" nature of breathing. Or, they might focus on releasing the feelings of tension from their muscles, beginning with the toes and working up to the top of the head, as one might do in progressive relaxation or body scans. Once relaxation is achieved, the second component of the exercise is the imagery, or visualization. Guided imagery is perfect for patients or clients who feel uncomfortable receiving help in a traditional therapist/patient session where "talk therapy" is the focus, or in addition to other therapeutic techniques.
Clinicians and therapists integrate guided imagery into a variety of other modalities such as EMDR. When woven into an integrative psychotherapy approach, guided imagery helps clients connect with their internal cognitive, affective, and somatic resources.
Guided imagery can be used for the following:
To relax and calm the nervous system
Learn and rehearse new skills
Learn to effectively problem solve through visualizing possible outcomes of different alternatives
Increase creativity and imagination
Enhanced performance and sports training
Healthcare and rehabilitative medicine
Medical practitioners such as nurses often use guided imagery with their patients to support patient healing and increase patient comfort. This is particularly true with Cancer patients, but also with patients who have other medical concerns such as anxiety before surgery. Studies have shown that individuals who participate in guided imagery experience an increase in activated T-cells which leads to improved immune responses. Guided Imagery is one of many tools that an individual may use as part of a regular self-care practice.
The usefulness of guided imagery techniques have been shown to be effective in helping individuals learn or modify behaviors such as:
Learning to relax
Changing or controlling negative emotions in response to a particular situation
Preparation for future changes (divorce, moving, job changes)
Habit control and eliminating or reducing undesirable behaviors (smoking, obesity)
Increased pain management
Coping with difficult situations (relatives, family events, a difficult boss)
Learning new and desirable behaviors (assertiveness training)
Increasing motivation (work, homework)
Learning to manage stressful or anxiety-producing situations (public speaking/presentations) by mentally rehearsing the needed behavior(s)
Guided imagery techniques have been found to be effective with a variety of concerns such as:
Phobias (including agoraphobia, panic disorders, social phobia, and specific phobias)
Generalized anxiety disorders (GAD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Behavior disorders in children and adolescents
Acute and chronic pain (and other physical disorders)
Guided imagery has also contributed to the achievement of skills and overcoming anxiety in normal life situations that include learning or improving skills, performance enhancement, test taking, and public speaking. Visualization and imagery, along with hypnotherapy, EMDR and behavioral techniques, have been applied to the fields of business, industry, child rearing, education, behavioral medicine, and sports. In my Manhattan psychotherapy practice, I integrate guided imagery into psychotherapy and EMDR sessions with patients as needed.
About Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW
Holistic, Integrative Licensed Psychotherapist, Kimberly Seelbrede maintains a successful private practice working with New York City clients online and in-person, providing therapy, coaching and psychological consultations. In her role as a trauma-focused therapist, women’s emotional health + relationship expert and mind-body consultant, her strategies blend practical psychology, cutting-edge treatments and evidence-based therapies while honoring eastern mindfulness practices. Her practice is guided by her intuitive skills to create positive, sustainable change and transformation. With extensive, post-graduate training and an eclectic approach to therapy and healing, Kimberly provides psychoanalytic psychotherapy, EMDR therapy, specialized eating disorders, compulsions and addictions approaches, brainspotting, mindfulness, DBT, CBT, solution-focused therapy, focusing-oriented therapy, hypnosis, yoga therapy with the Urban Zen Foundation UZIT, and specialized couples therapy training utilizing Gottman and Emotionally Focused Therapy. Kimberly’s clinical expertise includes: anxiety, depression, relationships and couples therapy, sex therapy, women's hormone health and autoimmune disorder coaching, family therapy, addictions, recovery support, compulsions, trauma resolution, stress management and relaxation support, performance blocks, loss and grief, shame, crisis situations and life transitions. Kimberly conducts psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations in her office, or worldwide via phone, FaceTime, Skype or a HIPPA-compliant platform. Kimberly's interests include: lifestyle change and transitions, women’s emotional health and mentoring, motivation and change, mindfulness, meditation support, successful communication, professional burnout, self-care and managing chronic pain and illness.
Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW supervises graduate students of mental health and allied health professionals in the areas of case consultation and the successful integration of alternative therapies into their private practices. She enjoys helping professionals build their private practices. Her background in the performing arts has enabled her to develop a special niche and work successfully with VIP’s, talented, creative, high-profile and celebrity clients. Kimberly Seelbrede has worked with some of the world’s most well-known personalities from athletes, international pop stars, TV personalities, entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, C-suite executives and Fortune 500 CEOs. She provides therapy exclusively online to busy New Yorkers, and coaching to professionals in other cities in the US and worldwide.
Therapy + Healing Philosophy
As an integrative psychotherapist working in-person or online via teletherapy, I'm delighted to offer a unique approach to emotional health and healing. My goal is to blend contemporary psychological practices, intuitive guidance and the wisdom of the ancient healing arts. The heart and soul of my approach is to help clients develop insight, self-awareness, self-acceptance, authenticity, self integration, respect for one's body, embodiment, healthy boundaries and self-care practices.
PSYCHOTHERAPY, COACHING + CONSULTATION CONCERNS
Depression and mood disorders
Anxiety, OCD and compulsive disorders
Eating disorders, emotional eating and body image issues
Feeing “not enough,” “undeserving” or “unworthy”
Women’s issues, coaching and mentoring
Sexual and relationship issues for individuals and couples, sex therapy
Celebrity, high-profile, gifted and talented individuals
Grief, loss and bereavement
Adolescents problems (behavioral, emotional, familial, academic challenges)
Addictions / drug addiction / process addictions / substance abuse / behavioral disorders / alcoholism
Adult survivors of abuse and alcoholism
Childhood, developmental trauma resolution of traumatic events, complex PTSD
Self-sabotage and self-defeating behaviors, self-harm issues
Self-esteem issues, negative self-concept
Performance blocks using EMDR therapy
Surviving and managing relationships with borderline or narcissistic individuals / partners
Environmental stressors and crisis therapy
Phase of life issues, life transitions
Work, creativity and career issues
Life purpose, existential and spiritual growth
Online therapy via telephone, Skype or a HIPPA compliant service
Individual Adult Psychotherapy
Marriage / couples / relationship problems
Psychological consultations and behavioral health concerns
Coaching, executives, optimal + peak performance
Weekend intensive workshops for couples
Coordination of services with school, medical practitioners, legal counsel, etc
Addiction evaluations and assessments, process addictions, substance abuse and alcohol misuse
Consultation and evaluation for addictions and eating disorders, potential in-patient residential treatment
Parent and new parent education and coaching
Clinical supervision for obtaining licensure or creating an integrative psychotherapy practice
Private practice building business and consulting
Presentations and workshops
Mindfulness, meditation and stress management coaching and instruction
Recovery support for individuals including their families
Self-care support and wellness coaching
Referrals to medical and allied professionals in New York City and beyond
An Eclectic Therapy Approach
Psychodynamic / psychoanalytic psychotherapy / interpersonal psychotherapy
Couples counseling / Gottman / emotionally focused therapy
Mindfulness / meditation support
Brainspotting for attachment and trauma resolution
Short-term and goal-oriented therapy
Cognitive therapy for depression
Online Therapy For New York City, Manhattan, New York State + Metropolitan Area
I offer online therapy, coaching and psychological consultations to high-functioning clients using video therapy on the internet. Online therapy allows you the comfort, convenience and flexibility of receiving high-quality therapy with an experienced therapist from your home, office or hotel through encrypted, secure video conferencing. Many find online therapy to be just as effective as psychotherapy sessions conducted in-person. Online therapy delivers services to clients who may be unable to seek face-to-face mental health services due to health or physical limitations, location, travel, work schedule, parenting and other circumstances. The hassle of losing time because of commuting, travel and scheduling problems can be reduced with video or phone sessions. Online therapy is not appropriate for everyone especially for those struggling with psychotic symptoms, severe depression, bipolar disorder, certain addictions or a medical or mental health diagnosis that requires hospitalization.
Relationship Counseling, Couples Therapy + Sex Therapy in-person or via online Video Counseling
In my therapy practice with couples in New York City I’ve successfully helped couples heal and mend the wounds of emotional and physical infidelity. I enjoy working with partners who desire a healthier and more satisfying relationship and those who crave more passion, exploration, novelty, mystery, surprise and desire. I work with high-functioning couples who would like to enhance their relationship and reestablish intimacy and connection. I also work with individuals at various stages of relationships including: newly-formed relationships, couples seeking pre-marital counseling, new parents seeking support, those considering separation or divorce and the newly single and ready to date. I draw from attachment-based theory, helping couples understand their own attachment style as well as that of their partner. Clients can learn to communicate their needs and "hear" the needs of their partner, as well as develop a shared vision or goals, learn acceptance and compassion for self and the other, heal trust issues and infidelity and develop new relationship and communication skills. Clients are also guided to identify and de-escalate when they experience triggers, address sex and intimacy concerns and understand how the past and family of origin issues may be impacting the relationship in the present. I am a sex positive therapist which means that I am aware of and accepting of a range of consensual sexual expression and lifestyle practices. This may include various forms of kinks, fetishes, and polyamory without judgment.
Online Video/Phone Consultations, Referrals, Second Opinions, Psychological Consultations
I provide psychological consultation sessions that are time-limited and problem or goal-focused. Some individuals and families consult with a mental health professional for educational purposes, a clinical assessment or diagnosis, a second opinion, help with a specific personal or life challenge, support for a difficult transition or crisis and to obtain resources to other collateral support such as psychiatrists or treatment facilities and rehabs for addictions and eating disorders. Clinical consultations allow a client, parent or family member to explore concerns, problem-solve with a professional and make decisions or changes in their lives that move them forward when they feel unsupported or "stuck." I am delighted to share my trusted resources to complementary, alternative and conventional medical referrals in New York City and beyond. Consultations are not psychotherapy and can be done long distance using an online service such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Simple Practice or via telephone sessions. I provide professional supervision consultation for new therapists seeking licensing and those with existing practices who are interested in blending integrative therapies into their private practice or building a private practice.
Coaching and therapy For women’s Issues
In therapy sessions, women commonly express feeling overwhelmed and depleted, or a common theme of feeling “less than” or “not enough.” Women have harsh inner dialogues, and an internalized voice that is often pervasive and unforgiving. Women are invalidated throughout development with many messages stemming from society and culture with a focus on outward appearance. Social media has created an even more toxic environment for women. Women frequently feel shamed for having needs and suppress even the most basic of needs. Rarely do women have time to pursue creative passions and endeavors that replenish them. Women are deserving of healthy and fulfilling relationships, including the primary relationship with yourself. You also deserve to embody your sexuality and enjoy passionate pursuits. Women-specific counseling and mentoring offers a safe space for you to talk about your real needs and all the places that cause you pain and suffering. Helping you connect to your “true self” does not have to feel threatening to other parts of your life. It can enhance other aspects such as parenting and your relationships. It can also give you the support and courage to release all the areas that no longer serve you. Intimacy and vulnerability can be accessed in ways that can be transformative for your life and can generalize to your friendships and romance. I provide online video counseling or online therapy via a HIPPA-compliant platform for women who would like to explore enhancing work/life balance as well as reclaiming “self” and sexuality. We can also meet in-person if that works better for you.
Women’s Mentoring Online Sessions
Relationship dissatisfaction, recovering from infidelity and betrayal, blocks to intimacy and trust, healing from break-ups or divorce, divorce transition, dating again
Feeling “not enough” or “unworthy of love”
Fear of abandonment in relationships, losing “self” in relationships and boundary problems
Repeating patterns such as finding “unavailable” partners, co-dependency
Body image issues and concerns, dissociation
Difficulties communicating needs and desires
Overcoming loss, unresolved grief
Owning shadow aspects of yourself
Repressed anger and rage
Role and identity, career concerns
PCOS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, nutrition deficits that impact mood, hormonal struggles, weight concerns
Post-menopause, perimenopause, post-pregnancy, hormone imbalance
Sexual problems, inability to orgasm, pain during sex, sex drive concerns, sexual compulsivity, sexual fear and aversion, shame related to sexuality, recovering from negative experiences, reclaiming sexuality after abuse, recovering from childhood sexual abuse, assault, violence, harassment, religious and cultural concerns, gender non-conforming, queer, transgender, LGBTQ+, kink, fetish, BDSM, sexual orientation, bisexuality, alternate lifestyle, poly lifestyle, open relationships
Coaching and Therapy for Men’s Issues
Men face their share of stress and pressure in today’s society. The early messages for men and boys is to “shut down” and not express emotions, and when they do, their authentic feelings are often met with reactions that induce shame. This leads to the suppression of normal and healthy feelings and emotions, and a reliance on coping skills that can be detrimental to masculine development, such as externalizing (acting out) and eventually, serious health problems. Men frequently lack the healthy integration of important parts of the “self,” they minimize feelings and emotions, fearing that they may appear weak. Many men have pressure to provide for their family and be “successful” producers in society, this contributes to fear, paralysis, stress and overwhelm. They choose work that may be financially rewarding but less so on a personal level of satisfaction. Not all women understand the unique pressures that men face as a result of society and cultural conditioning, leading to disconnection and alienation of “self.” As men age, they also experience sexual concerns that impact intimacy and their relationships with their partners. Working with a therapist can help men who have been conditioned to “shut down” and begin to feel less shame and guilt about embodying their “true” selves and honoring needs that deserve to be expressed and met with acceptance and support.
Psychotherapy For Adolescents + Adults
In order to determine if psychotherapy is right for you, a consultation in-person or online can help us explore how best to work together, either short-term or long-term. After your initial assessment, I will give you my opinion, and together, we can discuss your needs and create a treatment plan to move forward. We will also consider the duration of treatment and the approach or combination that will serve your goals. I have expertise in anxiety and mood disorders, women’s issues, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, relationship problems, sexuality, identity concerns, self-defeating patterns and self-sabotage, lack of purpose, goal setting, spirituality, family of origin issues, trauma/PTSD, attachment deficits, self-esteem, transitions, loss, wellness coaching and an integrative therapy approach that addresses chronic pain and medical challenges.
Personal Transformation Coaching, Peak Performance + Professional High-profile Client Coaching NYC + Worldwide
Coaching is not therapy. Coaching clients are goal-oriented individuals who seek results in their lives. Hiring a transformation coach who is skilled to help uncover obstacles, as well as guide and support you in your journey is a powerful resource. Having help and guidance as you practice new behaviors can be incredibly supportive. Some individuals seek an expert "strategist" to guide efforts towards growth and change. Successful coaching unearths the stubborn and often unconscious dynamics that keep people anchored in their present reality, without addressing the underlying drive and dynamics, coaching fails. Partnering with a skilled life coach can be encouraging and empowering, and can help clients navigate change and the challenging aspects of their lives. Whether it’s taking control of one's health, losing weight, career issues, focusing on goal-attainment, repairing a relationship, getting "unstuck" or transitioning to a new chapter in life, coaching can provide the needed inspiration and support one desires. Working with a licensed trained psychotherapist can yield exceptional results. I regularly offer EMDR for blocks and peak-performance enhancement, mindfulness, meditation techniques, solution-focused strategies or cognitive and behavior techniques to my clients, combined with coaching strategies to help "stuck" clients move forward. I often use a model of depth-focused coaching to help clients dig a little deeper into the unconscious to facilitate the removal of blocks and patterns.
therapy for Depression
Clinical depression is a complicated condition that can be treated with supportive and interpersonal psychotherapy, medication and a collaborative approach to identify the biological and psychosocial factors that may have contributed to a patient's depressive symptoms. Some types of depression are: major depression, dysthymia, postpartum depression, premenstrual, seasonal affective disorder, atypical, situational and bipolar. Depression can be mild and show up with seasonal changes and it can be debilitating and interfere with activities of daily living, life skills, relationships, employment, hope and may also include the desire to end one’s life. Depression treatment is generally supportive in nature, and may require help with daily structure and coping skills and often requires working with other mental health professionals who are able to prescribe antidepressant treatment. Interpersonal psychotherapy, CBT and EMDR therapy can be effective treatments for depressed patients as can antidepressant use, light therapy, vitamin D, amino acids, supplements and other complementary therapies to discuss with your doctor.
therapy for Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms bring many into therapy for the first time. They include: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety, separation anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Not all clients experience anxiety in the same way. For some, anxiety is a distress that presents in a specific situation such as performance, public speaking or test-taking. For others, anxiety may be experienced as chronic, and ranging from mild to debilitating, including uncomfortable physical symptoms. Anxiety sufferers are best helped by understanding emotional conflicts, environmental and genetic factors with treatment that may include talk therapy, CBT, stress reduction techniques, Somatic Experiencing (SE) and EMDR Therapy to target early trauma, memories and present-day distress.
Therapy For LOSS + BEREAVEMENT, Transitions
Losing something or someone is difficult and complicated for many reasons. Loss can include a loved-one, pet, health, job, lifestyle, home, identity, status, and more. Loss, especially when significant to the individual, requires mourning and grieving that loss, experiencing the associated feelings, and eventually, moving forward. Psychotherapy can give the individual a safe place to grieve and feel the sadness. The healing process is different for everyone as is the length of time required to heal.
Therapy for crisis management
Crisis counseling and management is intended to be brief, It is not the same as ongoing psychotherapy. Providing support for individuals, couples or families using crisis intervention therapy is focused on minimizing the stress of the event, if possible, providing emotional support and enhancing immediate coping skills. Crisis counseling involves careful assessment of the situation, planning, strategizing, treatment and focusing on the client’s immediate situation, such as needs and safety. Clients who seek counseling for a personal or professional crisis may need a more robust form of support, including extra sessions and extended time until the situation is resolved or they are feeling more resilient and better able to cope without the help of a mental health professional, psychotherapist or psychologist.
Therapy for Addictions + Compulsions
I view addictive behaviors as symptoms of other underlying, unresolved issues and have developed a special interest in recovery support as well as having received specialized training in this area. Addictions such as substance abuse and process addictions are complex problems and can be successfully treated when other co-occurring difficulties are addressed, such as depression, panic disorder, ADD, Aspergers and personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Many may have more than two conditions that contribute to maladaptive coping responses. Some common addictions include: alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, shopping, video games, the internet, sex, pornography and work. Successful treatment for addictive behaviors is an integrative approach that may include some combination of psychotherapy and behavior treatments. EMDR therapy using addiction protocols, psychodynamic psychotherapy and dialectical behavior therapy or DBT skills are also very effective forms of treatment.
Therapy for Trauma Treatment and PTSD
Early trauma and chronic, developmental and complex traumas that have impacted a patient's development and attachment relationships are the most difficult to heal. Psychotherapy can help validate the patient's experience, work through any feelings of shame and confusion that may have been internalized, process the traumatic experience or event and help them understand how their current life is impacted by traumatic experiences. Psychotherapy can help individuals identify triggers in daily experiences that creates symptoms and contributes to familiar self-defeating patterns and dynamics. While talk therapy can be a good place to begin for some trauma patients, EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing are excellent treatment options to provide symptomatic relief and truly heal from trauma.
Loss + Bereavement Therapy
Losing something or someone is difficult and complicated for many reasons. Loss can include a loved-one, pet, health, job, lifestyle, home, identity, status, and more. Loss, especially when significant to the individual, requires mourning and grieving that loss, experiencing the associated feelings, and eventually, moving forward. Psychotherapy can give the individual a safe place to grieve and feel the sadness. The healing process is different for everyone as is the length of time required to heal.
Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Sessions UZIT
My interest in mind-body techniques and complementary medicine has allowed me to journey to some amazing places including workshops and training opportunities with experts in the field of integrative and functional medicine. Using my training with the Urban Zen Foundation and my yoga therapy training (RYT 200 + 500 hours), I help clients address anxiety insomnia, stress, trauma and chronic illness using a combination of guided imagery, breathing techniques, body scans, meditation and mindfulness. I've studied both aromatherapy and Reiki. Using the brilliance of neuroplasticity, western psychological theory, and the power of cutting-edge nutrition, yoga therapy, chakra work and other somatic psychotherapies, I truly enjoy helping clients who are open to these techniques heal on many levels. Together we can decide what might work best for your particular needs. Some examples of integrative therapy include: mindfulness training, lifestyle recommendations (nutrition, meditation, exercise, yoga and sleep), boundary work, shadow work, creative play, journaling, somatic therapy and more.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an evidence-based and active therapy that has a long history and tradition used in both short and long-term treatment. Psychodynamic sessions include the process of increasing self-awareness, encouraging self-expression, understanding conflicts, developing insight into the behaviors of self and other, unearthing unconscious content that can interfere with functioning and understanding patterns and dynamics that may have origins in the past but are played out in the "here and now." This form of therapy uses the relationship between patient and therapist to heal. The interpersonal relationship tends to be the focus of sessions as an active example of other relationships in the patient's life, so that patterns and distress can be "worked through" and not repeated outside of treatment.
EMDR Therapy, Brainspotting + Somatic Experiencing Techniques
As an EMDRIA-approved, level I + II trained EMDR therapist, I have enjoyed great success with clients using EMDR therapy for a variety of chronic, longstanding difficulties as well as recent traumatic incidents. I enjoy using EMDR therapy because it works, and can be a stand-alone treatment or integrated into ongoing talk therapy sessions to speed the healing process. I provide trauma resolution for PTSD symptoms, and healing for attachment deficits, developmental traumas, medical trauma and chronic physical and emotional abuse. Additionally, EMDR is an effective therapy for anxiety, obsessions, phobias, compulsions, panic attacks, depression, self-esteem, eating disorders, addictions and more. For individuals with anxiety, emotion regulation problems and in addiction recovery, elements of EMDR therapy can help clients develop and strengthen self-soothing inner resources. A combination of EMDR and coaching is an effective treatment combination for sports and peak performance enhancement and creative and performance blocks and can be seamlessly integrated into coaching sessions with executives and high-profile, performance-oriented clients. Brainspotting, another technique developed by David Grand, PhD, combined with EMDR psychotherapy is a technique I use to address attachment issues, unresolved trauma, pre-verbal trauma and performance problems. EMDR is an evidence-based treatment that targets many symptoms and conditions including trauma, negative memories, phobias, fears, anxiety, addictions, compulsions and performance difficulties. Originally used to treat Veterans, EMDR therapy is now one of the most efficient and effective trauma/symptom treatment methods that allows clients to fully heal from their psychological wounds. EMDR can successfully be integrated into psychotherapy sessions. Many clients find EMDR to be more effective than other forms of therapy including CBT and traditional “talk therapy.” EMDR is especially helpful with performance and creative blocks.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on examining and changing maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. CBT tends to be a short-term approach that is highly-effective for many with empirically-tested techniques supporting an increase in skills and a change in behaviors. CBT is an effective solution for a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression and addictions/substance abuse.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT was originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. With time, DBT skills and techniques have been found to be helpful for individuals who struggle in many areas of life including substance abuse and addictions. DBT treatment combines ideas of awareness, acceptance and change from mindfulness with a range of psychological theories. Because DBT skills are practical and can be generalized into many areas of life, DBT can be successfully integrated into treatment plans and used in a variety of treatment settings. DBT uses mindfulness and other skills to help increase emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness with the goal of helping patient's cope, de-escalate, and self-regulate.
Developed in the 1970s by psychologist Dr. Eugene Gendlin at the University of Chicago, Focusing-Oriented Therapy is non-directive as the therapist guides the client to connect to the "felt sense" which then allows the client to explore troubling emotions and feelings, helping them turn inward and find the answers needed to heal. Focusing can help clients access their own inner wisdom and strength by inviting the non-judgmental attention to body sensations, inner "knowing," thoughts, feelings and imagery which may come in the form of words or pre-verbal and non-verbal experiences. Experiences and traumas reside in the body and long for attention even when they have not been consciously thought or verbalized. Focusing-Oriented Therapy can support one's own natural healing while increasing insight and awareness, helping clients gain a broader perspective of current and historical circumstances that have created pain, suffering and blockages. This powerful technique can reduce anxiety and depression, resolve individual and collective traumas, heal feelings of loss and neglect, increase performance skills, improve emotional regulation, increase relaxation, support immune function, support clients with medical and pain issues, support decision-making and more. It is this locating of the felt sense and its shift that causes true psychological change, empowerment, the restoration of self and enhanced well-being. Focusing-oriented therapy can be conducted using online therapy and video sessions.
Mindfulness is the practice of moment-to-moment awareness of feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations as well as an awareness of the environment and one's surroundings. Mindfulness, as a philosophy, has more recently become a widely-used and helpful practice in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Additionally, mindfulness is an empirically-validated practice with data that supports its efficacy and application in a range of clinical and non-clinical settings. A mindfulness practice includes the observation of feelings, emotions and sensations, a non-judgmental presence and the awareness and acceptance of the present moment.
Recovery Support, Aftercare + Consultations for family members
Individuals just released from addiction or eating disorder inpatient treatment can benefit from supportive care following rehab stays. This may take the form of individual psychotherapy, EMDR trauma treatment, and when helpful, family therapy. Getting a loved-one into treatment and finding the right program requires help, support and resources. Additionally, family members experience strong emotions related to the experience of having a family member who is addicted and at-risk. Consulting with a mental health professional can help individuals and family members make better decisions Recovery support can help clients and family members with the following concerns:
Build on the useful tools learned during rehab as maintenance care
Maintaining motivation and staying focused on personal goals
Support for creating healthy and safe boundaries for self and others, identifying needs, communicating effectively, learning to ask for help, and self-empowerment
Repairing relationships and gaining support for maintaining the energy, passion and desire for healthy relationships
Help with engaging in activities and relationships that replace the desire to use drugs or engage in harmful behaviors
Creating a self-care practice that nourishes mind and body, maintaining support and positivity
Learn to identify cravings and triggers
Celebrate important gains, achievements and learn to make healthier choices
Support with structure, activities, exercise, nutrition, socializing and sleep hygiene
Help with learning to be present, tolerate discomfort and live in the present moment
What happens in therapy and counseling sessions?
Even though you may have good friends and family members to talk with, a psychotherapist or psychologist with professional training is able to see things from a different lens and even challenge and support you in ways that the people in your life cannot. Therapy helps people gain relief from unpleasant feelings and thoughts, create more fulfilling and meaningful relationships, and gain more pleasure and control in their lives. Effective psychotherapy and counseling helps clients get to the root of their difficulties and learn ways to become more self-aware, cope with difficult emotions, improve mood, gain control, feel connected to others, develop the skills to handle future problems, and live more fulfilling and satisfying lives. Therapists can provide support, practical problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for many life challenges and issues. Many people also find that counselors or psychotherapists can help with career concerns, managing personal growth, professional relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, parenting challenges, developing healthier habits, connecting to the body, understanding thoughts, feelings and emotions, balancing the stress of daily life and goal-setting.
High-achieving, successful individuals often experience emptiness, unhappiness, disappointment, loneliness, stress, anxiety and interpersonal problems. These concerns can lead to less than desirable coping solutions such as addictions, alcohol and drug abuse, eating problems and sleep deficits.. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help their clients discover helpful solutions. Many lasting benefits can be obtained from personal, couples or group therapy. You can learn more about therapy from the American Psychological Association or APA.
How do i know what to look for in a therapist?
When you choose a therapist, you should feel “heard” and “seen” as well as understood and certainly not judged for the concerns that led you to seek counseling. A “good fit” is often described to explain how you should feel about the psychotherapist, counselor or psychologist you choose to work with. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with your potential therapist as the process requires an investment of time and emotional energy. Your therapist should have good interpersonal skills as well as empathy and compassion. You should choose a therapist who has training in the areas that you are seeking help with. Some therapists have received specialized training in areas such as trauma, addictions or eating disorders. If your problems are serious enough to impact the quality of your life and your ability to function, you may need to find a specialist or someone who specializes in your particular problem. Many therapists have received general psychotherapy training and consider themselves generalists and are able to treat a range of difficulties. Some psychotherapists have received specialized training in addition to graduate school which helps them specialize and be experts in that area of healing
Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Psychoanalysts and Psychiatrists—Whats the Difference?
A psychotherapist is a mental health professional who may have an MD, Master’s or Doctoral degree and may use “talk therapy” as well as “somatic-based therapies” to help people experience and understand their emotional life. Psychotherapists may be psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, counselors and marriage and family therapists. They have varying years of foundation training, and some, not all go on to receive advanced, post-graduate training in specialized areas. Psychiatrists are MD’s and are able to prescribe medication but may not provide psychotherapy, some do. A psychologist has a doctoral degree as a foundation in psychology and may or may not have received additional expertise and training in a specialized healing modality. Some Psychologists work in research, others provide therapy. Psychoanalysts have been through an extensive training experience which includes their own psychoanalysis or psychological exploration. They help people develop awareness of unconscious aspects of the mind. Some training institutes are allowing individuals with any graduate degree (law, history, as examples) study psychoanalysis and become psychoanalysts. You may not know whether your therapist has had their own in-depth therapy, it’s a question that you can ask. In my opinion, good psychotherapists have had their own good therapy.
how long will i need to be in therapy?
Your personal needs and goals are always a priority, and will shape the time you spend in sessions. Many individuals desire focused, structured and time-limited sessions with a clear plan, targeting specific problems or goals that can be met within a relatively short period of time. Other difficulties require a more intensive focus and may take longer to resolve. This is especially true when people have been struggling for a long time and patterns and habits are rigid and entrenched. Some will do best with once weekly sessions, while others benefit from meeting twice weekly, or more when in crisis. Consistent sessions allow clients to examine patterns and dynamics that may interfere with healthy functioning.
What kind of therapy should i be looking for?
Increasing insight into problems and self-awareness is one goal of therapy, but unfortunately, that alone does not always lead to the desired change. For this reason, and with certain clients, it may be necessary to implement behavioral changes and track progress between sessions. Some clients need targeted, specific types of therapies that resolve symptoms related to trauma. The duration of treatment is highly variable and depends on many factors, including: the nature of the problem, client motivation and having realistic goals for change. Depending on client needs, one may benefit from a number of different therapeutic strategies and techniques. In your initial consultation, you should work with your therapist to figure out the best approach for you. Therapists may use or combine the following approaches: psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, relational therapy, interpersonal, humanistic, gestalt, attachment-focused therapy, trauma resolution techniques as well as evidence-based therapies such as EMDR therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT to name a few.
What is Integrative Psychotherapy and how are people helped by this approach?
EMDR therapy can increase the capacity to experience calm and comfort in the body, release trauma, uncover hidden blocking beliefs that may be sabotaging success and happiness or contributing to anxiety and depression, reduce the impact of negative experiences
Address dissociation, body image, eating disorders, compulsions, addictions, substance use or abuse and obsessions using cutting-edge therapies such as EMDR, focusing, somatic experiencing techniques and brainspotting, mindfulness meditation, biofeedback techniques, guided imagery, breathing techniques, restorative yoga therapy
Learn more adaptive coping skills and self-soothing techniques and develop nurturing self-care rituals
Process and heal painful feelings of loneliness, disappointment, sadness, loss, grief, guilt, shame, anger, envy and fear
Develop enhanced attention and awareness through relaxation techniques, mindfulness and radical acceptance
Resolve trauma and abuse symptoms, develop healthier boundaries and heal early attachment wounds
Unearth parts of yourself that are dissociated and explore areas of spirituality and your true nature
Connect with shadow aspects of the self for healthier integration as you learn to set healthy boundaries
Heal physical symptoms of disease and pain by connecting to sensations and trauma held in the body, habitual thoughts and unexpressed emotions
Learn breathing techniques to support the relaxation response
Are my therapy Sessions confidential?
It is important to know that everything you say during psychotherapy sessions will be kept confidential. The only exceptions are when there is a danger that you may harm yourself or someone else, or in active cases of abuse. Mental health professionals are obligated by law to disclose that information to the appropriate authorities. These situations are rare. Most people find it a great relief to have a safe place where they are able to share what's on their mind with a non-judgmental, supportive and trained professional.
what Life changes can you expect with effective therapy or coaching?
Reframe current life circumstances and gain a different perspective
Learn to manage difficult work and personal transitions and changes such as marriage, new baby, mid-life problems and aging
Gain the support needed to get through difficult times such as loss and change
Learn to feel and live a more authentic life, accept feelings of being “different”
Develop healthy self-esteem and resolve persistent negative “self-states”
Develop healthier coping skills, habits and boundaries
Have healthier personal and work relationships
Develop awareness of any repetitive patterns that interfere with success and happiness by understanding how past dynamics interfere with the present
Learn to better manage difficult people both personally and professionally
Develop a path of purpose and life fulfillment
Heal from past trauma and abuse and process traumatic memories and dissociation
Increase insight and self-awareness and identify innate strengths
Improve communication, learn conflict resolution, develop better listening and self-assertion skills
Address depression, sadness, feelings of despair and isolation
Learn helpful coping skills for stress, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks
Relieve stress and insomnia and learn relaxation responses
Manage destructive patterns that include drinking, eating, drugs, addictions and self-harm
Understand negative and habitual patterns of thinking and behaving
Resolve writing, creative and other performance blocks
Mourn losses such as separation, divorce, miscarriage, infertility or the death of a loved-one
Develop effective parenting skills
Address problems related to chronic pain, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, medical procedures and diagnoses
Heal from sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, domestic violence and natural disasters
Resolve sexual and identity concerns
Manage feelings of overwhelm, feel more embodied and develop an awareness connection between mind and body