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Focus Areas

 
Grief

My goal in grief counseling is to provide compassionate care and a supportive environment for clients experiencing the pain of loss. This means freedom from judgment or pressure to “move on” from grief. Grief looks and feels different for each person. It is my hope that in our work together you will feel seen, heard, supported and accompanied.

I am a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care provider through the MISS Foundation.

 

Learn more here: Guiding Principles in Compassionate Bereavement Care

Resources:

MISS Foundation Grief Education – Articles for bereaved families and those who want to help

Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico

Mesilla Valley Hospice Bereavement Services

 
Pet Loss

The loss of an animal companion (a pet, working animal, or other special animal in our lives) can cause intense grief. The time leading up to the loss can also be very challenging, such as when an animal is sick or aging and death is nearing. Supporting clients as they navigate the loss of an important animal in their life (pets and beyond, including working partners such as K9s or horses, or other special animals) is an area of focus for me. This can include exploring the meaning of the relationship with the animal, and finding ways to honor that relationship in an ongoing way. I also offer support for veterinarians and other animal care and animal rescue professionals who experience loss and challenges related to their work.

Resources:

 

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

American Veterinary Medical Association – Euthanasia, Pet Loss, Support Hotlines

Vet Vine Virtual Pet Loss Support Groups

Pet Loss During the Pandemic – My article in the June 2020 issue of Your Pet Magazine offers resources and support for those experiencing pet loss during these challenging pandemic times.

How Our Pets Help Us Cope – My article in the March 2020 issue of Your Pet Magazine describes the role our pets may have in helping regulate our emotions, and tells the very special story of a boy and a dog.

 
Nature Therapy

The natural world offers much in the way of healing, from a quieter place to reconnect with feelings, to a guide for experiencing the seasons of life, and a chance to observe and relate to wildlife, the landscape, and natural phenomena. Experiencing nature and exploring ways to care for nature can both be great sources of healing and meaning.

I am certified in ecopsychology, an approach that combines ecology and psychology to consider how human wellbeing and the health of the natural world fit together. I invite clients to discuss their experiences with nature whenever it is meaningful for them to do so.

Nature Walk and Talk Therapy

I now offer Nature Walk and Talk Therapy for clients in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area. We meet up at a local trail and complete a standard therapy session (50 minutes) while walking together outdoors. We walk at an easy pace to allow for conversation, and there are benches and stopping points along the way. Before we do this type of therapy together, a regular teletherapy session is needed to assess whether walk and talk therapy is the right fit for a client’s needs, including confidentiality considerations (walking in a public place) and any health concerns.

Please reach out for a consultation if you’d like to explore this option.

Additional Resources:

Nature as a Therapeutic Partner

 
Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a therapy modality developed by Michael White and David Epston in which the therapist assists the client in creating a new life narrative (story) based on the client’s strengths, skills, and values. I like to think of narrative therapy as harnessing the power of story for healing.

Working together in therapy, we can use this story-focused therapy framework to:

  • understand where your story came from and where you want it to go

  • identify and externalize negative messages that falsely define you

  • identify the strengths that have gotten you through your toughest challenges

  • visualize the story you want to live and start to create it.

This empowering, strengths-based approach helps clients recognize the resources inside and around them that can help shape a new way forward. Envisioning the future you want and can see yourself living has so much power in helping you get there.

I see myself as a partner with you along the way, assisting you in clarifying the ways you see yourself now, pinpointing sources of struggle, separating these problems out from who you are, and seeing the ways to live with more hope and possibility.

 

This is an exciting and transformative way to work, even if changes are gradual, because of the focus on recognizing the strengths that already exist within you. This can be revolutionary if you’re used to hearing what is wrong, instead of what is right, with you.

I look forward to working with you in support of renewed hope and an empowering story.

Resources:

What is Narrative Therapy? – The Dulwich Centre

Narrative Therapy – Psychology Today

 
Dreamwork

Dreams can help us gain insight into ourselves, the world we live in, and even the possibilities for our life that remain to be uncovered. My approach to dreamwork in therapy is to accompany you on a journey of discovery. I seek to provide a safe and supportive space for exploration and processing of dream content.

 

I believe the most important interpretation of any dream is what it means to the client in their own context, and follow the client’s lead in how deeply they would like to dive in to dreamwork. Nightmares are not off-limits here: the hardest dreams often provide the greatest reward once they can be approached. Having support to do this work can make all the difference.

As a lifelong dreamer, I’ve been on a long journey of exploration myself and have embarked on study and training to support my own wellbeing through dreams and to guide others in this area. I am a certified Level 1 Dream Teacher through the Robert Moss School of Active Dreaming. This intensive training includes techniques for individual and group dreamwork focused on bringing through healing and creativity for both individuals and communities. I have also completed in-depth training on working with dreams with intuitive psychiatrist Judith Orloff, MD.

As Robert Moss says, “dreams tell us more than we already know.” There is value embracing the wisdom of dreams as a resource that can benefit our health, emotional wellbeing, work life, and creativity. If you’re not currently remembering your dreams but would like to, we can talk about techniques to jumpstart your dream life, including journaling and other approaches to remembering.

I look forward to walking with you in exploring dreams as a source of healing and growth.

Resources:

Nine Keys to Understanding Your Dreams by Robert Moss

Four Strategies to Remember and Interpret Dreams by Judith Orloff, MD

 
 
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