What is yoga informed psychotherapy?
When the mind and body are on the same page, healing is possible. Did you know that 70-80% of all communication is non-verbal? It’s not about what you say, rather how you are saying what you say. Yoga informed therapy focuses on what is happening in your body to inform and and shift emotional, behavioral, and cognitive patterns. For example, I may call your attention to notice the shifts in your tone, volume, facial expressions, and heart rate as you share an event. All of these subtle cues hold a wealth of wisdom if you’re willing to be curious and listen. Together, we will incorporate skills like breathwork, meditation, mantras, affirmations, and/or thought reframing to help you process the event.
1. You notice anger in your body. We can use “Lion’s Breath” to help release and soften it.
2. You notice feelings of depression, sadness, or low self-esteem. We can incorporate “Breath of Joy” to energize your body, lighten your mood, and laugh a little (this breathwork exercise is so fun!).
3. You notice fear/anxiety. We can incorporate “Chair Mountain Pose” or “Child’s Pose” while reciting affirmations of “I am safe. I am here, now.”
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
I’m still confused, is this a yoga class?
No, somatic and yoga informed psychotherapy are not about exercise or physical fitness. Instead, it uses the body as a means to gain awareness of our emotional, cognitive, and behavioral patterns.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say because therapy is not a “one size fits all.” Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.
During your first session you and I will discuss treatment recommendations. Your recommendations will be customized to fit your main concerns, strengths, and goals. When first beginning therapy, I usually work with clients on a weekly or biweekly basis. I often find that clients maintain this consistency until they have met their desired goals and then reduce their frequency to what’s needed. At this time I do not offer 1 time per month sessions to begin.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.
Do I have to do yoga?
Not at all. I will respect and tailor my approach to include only those things that feel right and best to and for you and your body. There is also a misconception that yoga equals bending your body into wild and crazy poses. Yes, one of the 8 limbs of yoga includes the physical postures (asanas), along with 7 other principles (ethics, meditation, breathwork, mindfulness, etc). When incorporating yoga into the therapy space I respect each bodies strengths and limitations. A pose can look as simple as a “Chair Mountain,” “Child’s Pose,” or supported rest via “Shavasana.”
Okay, so how woo woo are we talking?
[Insert laughter]. Being a trauma informed therapist I only practice within the comfort level of my client. You will always have choice about how much or little to experiment with incorporating body-based interventions into session. Again, I am bringing the body into the therapy room, whereas more traditional talk therapy only focuses on your mind and can keep you stuck in the same patterns. My clients often come to me saying something along the lines of, “I’ve been in therapy before and it kind of worked, but I needed something more.”
If it’s also helpful to know, please know that I will not be reading birth charts, talking about the phases of the mood and retrograde to explain what you’re experiencing, nor pulling tarot, to name a few. I do not have the training nor expertise to do those things. If these practices and beliefs are something that resonate with you and you are passionate about them, I welcome you to incorporate them into session. I will meet you with curiosity and compassion.
Say less! What’s next?
I’m honored that you are interested in taking the next step. Click below to schedule your complimentary 15 minute “Discovery Call.” During your call I will ask you to tell me a bit more about what brings you to therapy and what you’re hoping to get out of therapy. Then, I’ll tell you a bit about my practice and answer any of your questions. If, for any reason, I am not the right fit or you’re looking for something different than what I provide, I’m happy to help you work through the process of finding someone who is the perfect fit for you.