“The only constant in life is change” -Heraclitus, c.500 B.C.E.
What does ancient philosophy and mental health have in common?
Our modern brain is incredible!
It has thousands of evolutionary years pre-programmed into the ways we act, think and create connection.
Neuroscience began to discover plasticity in the early 1920s which means that even though it is pre-wired for best-fit-for-survival, we can change how our brains respond to stress,
ultimately changing the physical and emotional experience we have of the very thing that stressed us.
Overtime we not only feel the difference in our responses to stressors,
science can actually see changes in brain structures, hormone/stress levels and functioning of organs (such as the heart and digestive system).
Why shift those neural networks?
Well, although survival-focused functioning worked for our ancestors, it can get in the way of enjoying life in the modern world.
It helped our ancestors survive to vividly remember encounters with predators but the same structures activated today might look like...
Constantly replaying a negative thought, memory or interaction over & over in our minds...
Griping tightly to details about a traumatic event, causing us to feel like it's happening all over again...
Physical anxiety like unease, heaviness in the chest, pain in the stomach or tension in the muscles...
It can prevent us from sleeping, being present or communicating with others...
It can impact our appetite, resulting in eating too much or not at all, decrease motivation and energy...
The list goes on.
At Golden Spiral Counseling I want to help you reconnect to your authentic self, the person under all those stuck emotions, overwhelming thoughts and ineffective behaviors. Holistic approaches can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma and help you through difficult life transitions.
Let's face it, being human can be pretty hard. It can also be pretty amazing, pretty messy and pretty rewarding. Sometimes it is difficult to see past our struggles and that is completely normal.
Likewise, just because it's normal doesn't mean we have to stay feeling that way.
We are meant to return to state of internal balance and compromising parts of who we are often leads to an unbearable disconnect, both physically (from our bodies) and emotionally.
Holistic healing is the concept that we cannot define wellness by only one part of life.
Holistic healing is taking into account all aspects of well-being and aligning them so we can experience life in vibrant fullness.
Holistic wellness is the process of intentionally returning back to the natural flow by reconnecting to your truth, your needs, your emotions and your body.
Mindfulness of the body, mind, emotion and self can be explored through each modality listed here or more often, through a combination of these.
I use eclectic modalities that I feel, compliment one another in terms of processing, accessing emotion and building effective coping skills. The sky is the limit with how we combine interventions, making it customized to exactly what you need in the moment or for the week.
Holistic Interventions in our sessions could include but are not limited to:
Psychoeducation about the brain and it's influence on the body's physiological systems (and visa versa); when we understand WHY we experience certain reactions when stressed, it allows us to recognize that many "symptoms" of mental health concerns are normal reactions.
DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) interventions allow clients to acknowledge opposing forces in their lives (such as the desire for change and feelings of being stuck in current struggles) so that they can learn applicable ways to shift out of negative patterns and into intentionally effective behaviors. For more info on DBT therapy visit What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)? - DBT Self Help
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): EMDR is an evidence-based practice shown to effectively reduce symptoms of trauma. Trauma can simply be defined as any life experience too overwhelming for the brain to process and understand. For info specific to EMDR therapy check out About EMDR Therapy - EMDR International Association (emdria.org)
Somatic awareness and processing; becoming attuned to the emotional energy within our bodies, thought and beliefs so that energy can be released and recycled into that which supports emotional wellness and healing.
Artistic interventions; using art to process is an expressive and non-judgmental way that allows us to access parts of the brain and emotional experiences that might be otherwise hidden.
Mindfulness interventions; although the term implies that our minds will be full in the process, mindfulness is actually intentionally focusing the mind on one experience in the moment. In sessions this can include practices like body scans, breathwork, visualization and more.
Exploration of spiritual connections; defining what your own spiritual beliefs are, what they mean in terms of how you live your life and how you can practice those beliefs with an open heart.