What I Do
I work with individuals and couples who are experiencing being “stuck” regarding some area of their lives and/or people who are interested finding ways to change who they are in the world, assisting them to discover and move beyond the core beliefs and perceptions from the past that interfere with experiencing life in all its joy and fullness and to live more in alignment with their values and goals.
I’m not the “expert” who has all the answers or who will teach you some clever tricks that will somehow allow you to have a new life without effort.
After many years of working with people and training with some amazing teachers, I’ve learned that the barriers and answers for your life are inside of you. Rather than coming with a set of packaged advice and exercises, my training is in assisting the part of every person that seeks real satisfaction and wholeness.
Rather than knowing “the answers,” I know how to proceed step by step in assisting your own inner process toward wholeness.
The method is based on an approach that includes mindful awareness, nonviolence, mind-body wholeness, and safety.
Rather than a “ninety-minute hour,” I schedule a full hour and fifteen-minutes. This supports the spaciousness and natural pacing of each session.
Sessions start out in the familiar context of talking about what has been happening in a person's life that moved them to seek assistance in changing those things that are interfering with their ability to make the choices and take the actions that they desire.
The task of making a real life change involves mindfully becoming aware of how our past experiences shape our current perceptions of reality, leading to our day-to-day choices and actions.
Few children are fortunate enough to grow up in a home where all of their basic human needs are completely met throughout all the stages of development into adulthood.
If there are areas where a child isn't being provided with what they need directly, they may develop ways of getting those needs met indirectly. I call those ways "Survival Strategies," since they help a person get through their childhood with more of their basic emotional and physical needs being met than they would have without them, and that's a good thing.
The problem comes from the fact that our Survival Strategies, as important as they were during our childhood, become the way we see and respond to the world as adults. Our current behaviors, especially the ones that keep us "stuck", make sense in the context of what worked in the past. And the development of these early strategies is not usually available to our conscious mind.
The key to changing the way we view the world and thereby changing our choices and actions is to bring those early decisions into consciousness. "You can't do what you want until you know what you are doing." One of the most effective methods is through assisted self-exploration in mindfulness.
What I Don't Do
I do NOT diagnose or treat any behavioral, emotional or mental disorders.
If you have, or think you might have any of the above conditions, please seek help from a licensed psychiatrist, psychotherapist or social worker.
Having an adult stepson living with me who has schizoaffective disorder, I fully appreciate the role that his medication plays and the importance of the medical personnel who have helped him become stabilized enough to be able to come in from many years of living on the streets and have a safe and enjoyable life.
Ron Kurtz, the original creator of Hakomi, changed the description of Hakomi from a form of "psychotherapy" to "Assisted self-exploration in mindfulness."
He came to realize that many people who feel "stuck" are responding to beliefs that served them in the past but are no longer appropriate to their current situation. In other words, in these situations we're not dealing with an "illness" or "disorder" that needs "therapy" but a useful and creative adaptation to the circumstances in which they found themselves.
By and large, there is little value in having someone else point out or explain these strategies. "Understanding is the booby prize." By assisting people to be curious about their experiences while in a mindful state, they have the opportunity to discover for themselves the decisions that led to the creation of strategies that were valuable at the time but are less appropriate today.