Scientifically Supported Approaches That Inform My Practice

Internal Family System (IFS)

Navigating the Multiplicity of the Mind

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is the cornerstone of my practice. IFS is an evidence-based therapeutic modality that fosters deep healing through a compassionate and empowering lens. It is a way of understanding and interacting with your mind. It teaches that you are not broken. Rather, you hold an internal system that is working hard to protect and care for you, often through old patterns and beliefs.

Embracing Your Internal System

IFS shows that your psyche is not a single entity but rather a complex mosaic of parts, each with its own unique roles, perspectives, and emotions. Sometimes, these parts can be in conflict, which leads to your internal struggles. (e.g., “A part of me loves him, and a part of me hates him.”). In IFS therapy, we will work to create a connection to and compassion for these parts of self.

By simply dropping your awareness into witnessing and listening to your internal world, you can directly experience the positive intent behind all of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This journey of acquainting yourself with your internal system is one grounded in respect. It only moves as fast as your system allows — as your system gets to know you and trusts that you are accessing it to heal, not judge the extreme beliefs and emotions carried by the deeper wounded parts.

The Power of Memory Reconsolidation

An integral part to the power of IFS therapy is the process of memory reconsolidation, where we are able to experientially go back into memories and gain new insights, new perspectives, which changes the emotional impact of the memory. In other words, we can revisit memories of our past and heal them. IFS teaches us that so many of our triggers result from neural networks that are implicitly (unconsciously) linked to traumatic memory. The trauma doesn’t have to be of the “big T” variety. Often it’s the “little t” traumas — the moments of emotional misattunement in our childhood — that build into these implicit memories.

When we are in a state of overwhelming emotion or stress, the brain's timing-imprint system for memories fails, making past experiences feel as though they are happening now or just happened. By experientially entering these memories, we introduce the presence and compassion of your Self, the resident or core of you, offering a healing witness to experiences that had previously gone unacknowledged or unsupported. This approach naturally leads to the profound transformation of the emotional charge that goes with those memories with a sense of healing and vibrant aliveness that comes from entering into a state of inner harmony.

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A Pathway to Heal

IFS therapy is not just about acknowledging the multiplicity of the mind; it's about honoring and nurturing these parts to cultivate self understanding, inner peace, and wholeness. As we explore the landscape of your internal system, we find pathways to healing that are powerful and enduring, empowering you to live with greater congruence, integration, and resilience.

Integrating IFS into our work together offers a thoughtful, profound framework for personal healing and self-discovery, in which I guide you in meeting, understanding, and allowing for the compassionate engagement of each of your various parts. In this way, ICT becomes a journey toward not only releasing the pain of the past but also meeting the fullness of your Self in the present.

Somatic Therapy and Polyvagal Theory

The body remembers experiences. It carries the memories of physical, emotional and psychological traumas. This is where Somatic Therapy comes into play, supported by the insights from Polyvagal Theory. These revolutionary approaches shed light on our body's nervous system, allowing us to comprehend the source of many of our emotional and psychological challenges and to work directly with that source.

Understanding Your Nervous System

Our nervous system is in charge of controlling all of our body's functions and responses as we navigate through the world. When we’re faced with stress, trauma, or prolonged anxietxy, our nervous system can become dysregulated which can lead to anxiety, depression, chronic stress, or even PTSD. It's like having an alarm system that goes off from a slight touch leaving us in a chronic state of alertness even when there’s no real danger around.

In Somatic Therapy, we focus on the connection between the body and mind, helping us to understand how our bodies respond to and store emotional experiences. By becoming more attuned to these bodily sensations, we can start to recognize and address the signs of nervous system dysregulation.

Polyvagal Theory, on the other hand, provides a framework for understanding how our nervous system governs our social engagement system, fight-flight responses, and states of shutdown or freeze. It teaches us that our nervous system is constantly interacting with our environment, making split-second decisions on whether we're safe or in danger.

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Bringing Regulation and Safely

Through the combined power of Somatic Therapy and Polyvagal Theory, we work together to bring more regulation to your nervous system. This involves practices and exercises designed to help you establish a sense of safety within your body, allowing your nervous system to relax and recalibrate. Imagine being able to turn down the sensitivity of that alarm system, so it only alerts you when there's genuine danger, allowing you to live with a greater sense of calm and security.

By learning to regulate your nervous system, you can significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma. It's akin to learning the language of your body, enabling you to communicate with and soothe it in ways you never thought possible. This process not only helps in healing from past traumas but also empowers you with tools to face future challenges with resilience and grace.

In our work together, you'll discover practical techniques to ground yourself in the present moment, creating an inner sanctuary of peace and stability.

Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB)

Our relationships play a pivotal role in shaping who we are, how we see the world, and how we relate to ourselves and others. Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) is a field that explores this profound connection between our brain, mind, and relationships, offering insights into how these elements interact to influence our mental health and well-being.

The Science of Connection

At the heart of Interpersonal Neurobiology is the idea that the brain is a social organ developed and refined through our interactions with others. There is growing evidence to suggest that the quality of our relationships can directly affect the structure and function of the brain, influencing such processes as emotional regulation, resilience and also the capacity for empathy and understanding.

We’ve all noticed how a meaningful conversation with a friend can immediately brighten our mood or how a conflict with a loved one can leave us feeling fragmented and exhausted. These experiences highlight the ways in which our social connections affect our emotional and mental states.

In our work together, we seek to tap into the transformative nature of healthy human connection. We work together to explore ways to assemble and sustain relationships supportive of your healing, becoming a source of nourishment for emotional resilience and well-being. Whether it's improving communication, deepening empathy, or fostering secure attachments, IPNB offers practical strategies to enhance the quality of your relationships. By integrating these insights into our therapy sessions, I help support you in creating a life rich in meaningful connections, contributing to your overall mental and emotional health.

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Hypnotherapy

In the realm of therapeutic approaches, hypnotherapy stands out as a unique and powerful tool designed to facilitate deep, transformative change. As part of my practice, I offer hypnotherapy as an optional modality, allowing you to bypass the critical mind and work directly with the unconscious. This process can unlock profound insights and promote healing at a level that traditional talk therapy may not always reach.

Empowering Your Healing Journey

Choosing hypnotherapy is entirely within your hands, emphasizing a personalized approach where your comfort and readiness lead the way. It serves as a powerful complement to therapy, offering alternative means to confront and heal from deep-seated emotional wounds, change persistent habits, and reshape ingrained beliefs.

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How Hypnotherapy Can Help

Hypnotherapy can be particularly effective for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, stress, phobias, and unwanted habits. It also works exceptionally well in conjunction with parts work, such as the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model. By facilitating a relaxed, trance-like state, hypnotherapy allows for a deeper engagement with the various parts of your psyche, enhancing the process of exploration, understanding, and healing of these parts.

This state of focused attention makes it possible to explore the root causes of your challenges and work towards resolving them in a safe, controlled environment. Whether you're navigating complex emotions or seeking to harmonize the different parts of yourself, hypnotherapy can provide a supportive pathway to deeper insights and transformative healing Memory Reconsolidation and DesensitizationHealing Trauma

The Role of Memory Reconsolidation and Desensitization

An important part of hypnotherapy’s effectiveness lies it its use of memory reconsolidation and desensitization to mitigate trauma's impact. This process involves revisiting and emotionally engaging with past memories to introduce new, healing insights. By doing so, we can alter the memories' emotional impact, transforming how they influence your present feelings and behaviours. Desensitization gradually reduces the distress associated with these memories, fostering a sense of calm and control over previously triggering experiences.

Memory reconsolidation is important because it addresses the root causes of emotional distress and behavioural patterns. Many of our reactions and habits are rooted in past experiences that have left a lasting imprint on our subconscious. Through hypnotherapy, we can revisit these critical memories in a safe and controlled environment, allowing your present self to offer compassion, understanding, and alternative narratives to these past events. This not only changes the memories' emotional charge but also empowers you to respond to current and future situations with greater clarity and resilience.

You Are in Control

It's important to know that during hypnotherapy, you remain in control. You can't be made to do anything against your will; instead, the process is one of guided discovery and healing, led by your own inner wisdom and readiness for change. Whether you're curious about hypnotherapy or prefer to stick with more conventional therapy methods, I'm here to support your choices and tailor our sessions to best meet your needs and goals.

Looking at all the different therapy methods I use might feel a bit overwhelming at first, but don't worry about having to figure it all out. When we work together, my job is to blend all these techniques into a personalized therapy journey that's just right for you.

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So, what does this mean for you? 

It means you now have a research-backed approach to embracing change, to work through your fears, and to cultivate a life that aligns with your aspirations. It means having a path that honours the complexity of your being - body, mind, and spirit - offering you a comprehensive and holistic route towards healing and growth.

Welcome to a journey where science meets healing. Welcome to Clinical Hypnotherapy and Integrative Change Work.