What to Expect


What to Expect

Usually after 2 or 3 sessions clients report feeling more ease and a sense of control around the concern that inspired them to seek therapy. This allows us to address concerns from a place of grounded, confident awareness, and not from a place of overwhelm. Working in this way gives us the greatest window for the achievement of healing and lasting positive change.

During the initial visit we will explore any questions or concerns about Psychotherapy or Somatic Experiencing Therapy. From there we can discuss ideas of how to best proceed and what progress would look like for you.

Somatic Experiencing is a body-based therapy that includes the wisdom of the nervous system, addressing those earlier, overwhelming experiences, and resolving the stress that’s been re-activating and making life difficult. This may look like me inviting your awareness to the sensation in your body. Clients often report tension, relaxation, warmth, tingling, numbness, or shaking.

When we don’t have enough support to manage the difficult experience in our lives, our system gets overwhelmed, and the situational stress stays trapped inside the body, becoming long term tension patterns, often contributing to anxiety, depression, physical pain, and other symptoms of dysregulation. Talk therapy alone will not allow us to work the experience through to resolution. Slowing down and allowing the organic intelligence of the body to participate in the process gives us the greatest opportunity to recognize further resources, bringing our whole selves to the particular life challenge, the body as well as the mind.

As a Somatic Psychotherapist I believe life challenges are an invitation to awaken to more internal resiliency, growth, and clarity, to gain more freedom from social conditioning, an invitation to experience a level of support that actually matches our level of challenge—becoming stronger through our challenges.

By including mindfulness of the body we work at the root of your struggles, exploring any underlying, attachment oriented history that may be contributing to your current life-limiting patterns, beliefs, or emotional blocks.

Individual sessions may focus on:

• Resolving depression and/or anxiety
• Exploring and healing underlying shame
• Healing from trauma and the symptoms of traumatic stress
• Learning to manage stress
• Clarifying personal boundaries
• Clarifying and acting on wants and needs
• Strengthening communication skills
• Addressing addiction issues
• Developing meaningful relationships
• Strengthening self-esteem, confidence, and

Contact Joel: 510-229-9765 Oakland Office


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