With a background in psychobiology, neuroscience, and psychology, my approach to therapy employs a relational framework with an application of concepts based in the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Using the lens of interpersonal neurobiology allows us to gain a multidimensional, dynamic understanding of who we are.
In addition, I apply concepts based in developmental psychology, attachment and regulation theory to help understand why we maintain certain beliefs or conceptualizations about ourselves and the world and why we engage in specific relational patterns. Recognizing and understanding our personal belief systems and patterns is one of the primary steps to breaking free of the maladaptive cycles we often find ourselves in. As integration of the mind and the embodied brain (body) as well as nervous system regulation and balance are necessary for well-being, I apply concepts and practices based in mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing and Yoga to help access and resolve the implicit (nonverbal) memories stored in the body.
Relationships are an integral part of our lives and play a key role in our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Relational experiences literally shape the brain by altering neural connectivity and thus contribute to the emergent mind. Research in a specific field of child development, attachment and regulation theory, indicates that early relational experiences with primary caregivers influence cognitive, memory, attentional and emotional systems. Experiences (interactions) with an attuned, sensitive, empathic, present caregiver, facilitates the integration of neural systems and cultivates self-esteem, self-efficacy, and resilience.
While neuroplasticity (neuronal growth and the formation of new neuronal connections) was once thought to peak in childhood and then cease as adolescence commences, recent research indicates that neuroplasticity is a key part of adolescence and occurs throughout the lifespan. Thus, change and growth are not only possible but rather probable throughout the lifespan. Furthermore, couples who engage in attuned, empathic communication and are sensitive to each others needs experience a high degree of security, satisfaction, and intimacy in their relationship. So, the quality of our relational experiences proves to be critical to well-being throughout our lives.
Additionally, our social brains thrive in a social context and on interpersonal connection. When we are in a secure relationship such as with a good friend or trusted mentor, challenges appear less daunting and we are able to manage stress more effectively. Perhaps most importantly, relationships provide the texture, color, richness, and harmony that help us to feel alive. Relationships allow us to experience joy, safety, and protection. Therefore, when we experience relational struggles we often feel disconnected, distressed, and even in pain. Relational struggles can include the relationship we have with ourselves. This intrapersonal relationship (the relationship we have with our self) is also a critical element to achieving well-being. Struggles with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, addiction, body issues, and relational issues interfere with having a secure relationship with ourselves and often leave us feeling disconnected, lonely, and even in pain.
My goal as a therapist is to help alleviate suffering and pain as well as to help people connect with themselves and others.
Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) is an interdisciplinary field that integrates a multitude of fields to explore and understand how relationships shape the brain. Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Allan Schore, Ph.D. pioneered the field of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) in order to develop a means of more completely understanding the human experience and mental health. One of the central tenets of IPNB is an understanding and explanation of how early experience such as the early attachment relationship with the primary caregiver significantly influence the developing brain/nervous system and play a key role in the organization as well as the development of the individual’s personality and ability to manage stress (Schore, 2011). Furthermore, IPNB includes concepts, findings, and theories from the fields of anthropology, biology, cognitive science, computer science, psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, psychiatry, sociology, and systems theory. Therefore, the IPNB approach integrates these various fields to gain a thorough understanding of how experience and relationships influence individual development.