INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS
I practice from an IFS-informed framework. Do you ever feel like a part of you is trying desperately to manage your life so that pain doesn't happen, but it stops you from living the way you want? Does a part of you lead you into dangerous situations, or make you act in ways that causes shame or problems? Is there a part of you that holds a memory that is overwhelming, or a young part that needs protecting?
Internal Family Systems is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based model of individual psychotherapy. It embraces the natural multiplicity of the mind and works to discover, befriend, and welcome all parts of ourselves.
Much like we operate in our families of origin or chosen families, inside each of us is a constellation of parts that form a system around your core self. The Self knows how to heal, allowing us to become integrated and whole. IFS changes the way we relate with ourselves. In IFS all parts are welcome. From a place of compassion, creativity, courage and connectedness, the Self guides us through decisions and experiences that lead us towards the life we want.
IFS is inherently non-pathologizing and empowering and is based in attachment theory and family systems theory. It is shown to work well with c-PTSD, borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety and complicated grief.
Body-based, or somatic approaches work with the sensations, breath, posture, and movement of the body in an effort to discover and unlock (often unconscious) reactive patterns. Do you have a tendency to hide behind a pillow or squeeze yourself into a corner when in a group? Do you scrunch your shoulders when stressed? Is it physically difficult to stay still when someone is asking about your feelings? These bodily reactions are valuable clues to our inner world. I pay attention to and try to work with these body-based cues in a safe and gentle way. Somatic approaches also focus on our body's expression of defense mechanisms like fight, flight, freeze, submit and attach. Learn to work with your body, not against it.
GENDER AFFIRMING CARE
Gender affirming care is not a type of therapy or counselling approach, it is the embodiment of inclusion, respect and celebration for the myriad ways we experience, express and do gender. It also means being knowledgeable about social, legal and medical transition options and having competency to support the gender journey. I have done a lot of my own gender exploration work and though I do not have all the answers (maybe even none at all!) you won't have to spend time educating me on the general aspects of transition - just what your unique experience and needs are.
I am WPATH trained, keep involved in local advocacy and am able to provide assessments/letters of support for HRT and/or gender affirming surgery.