dedicated to healing, exploring, learning, and growth

dove healing arts

My therapeutic approach...or, who I am as counselor

Any helping process can and should include liberal doses of kindness, humor, honesty, openness, acceptance, support, and curiosity. I'm a tough but loving human being and am the same as a counselor.  Counseling is not an easy way out of anything; it's the willingness to face the hard stuff and trust another person enough to allow company on the journey. Exploring and defining what needs healing is one part of counseling; doing the healing work is the other part. Then again, you know that, right?  If what you're doing was working, I wouldn't be hearing from you.  That said, change is hard for all of us (oh, me too--you have no idea!), and I'm here to support and help and encourage you in the process.

I suppose my counseling approach could be technically defined as "eclectic," but rather than being a haphazard mishmash of a bit of this and a bit of that, it comes from specific roots.  Those roots are:

--My more than 25 years' experience in the arts as a dancer and creator of art and language.  As a dancer, I've trained in ballet, contemporary, African, Haitian, Middle Eastern, and improvisational dance.  As a writer I work on this site, my blog, and contribute to News Taco.  I have a degree in sculpture and play folkloric percussion for fun.  The arts are an integral part of my life, and always have been, so the journey of the creative person is near and dear to my heart.

--Psychodynamic theory, or the relationship of family of origin dynamics and attachment patterns to current ways of handling situations and stresses, particularly in relationships.  I spent 10 years sitting in your chair as the client, doing developmental psychoanalysis.  (I truly hope that our process won't take that long though!)

--Many years of practice as a Karma Kagyu vajrayana Buddhist, which brings elements of cognitive behavioralism and meditative practice to the mix; and

--My ongoing work and study as a Feldenkrais and TARA Approach practitioner, which brings tools from body awareness and energy medicine to the palette.

I've recently been reflecting upon the way in which spiritual practice (such as meditative practice, prayer, contemplation) plays a role in our healing process.  It's been my experience over and over again that the people who I work with who are engaged in an active spiritual life heal faster and more deeply than those who have no connection to a sense of faith, the Divine, or whatever you'd like to call it.  It seems to me that this may be due to not only a worldview cultivated by practice but also to the activation of parts of the brain through prayer, ecstatic states, dance, and meditation that are not accessible through cognitive and linear ways of experiencing or understanding the world.  Because of this, I will often teach my clients various forms of meditative practice or energetic self-care as part of their therapeutic process. 

It seems that without a connection to something larger than the perceived confines of our own egos, all that therapy can do is swap in a better "story" about who you are than the one you came in with.  While this isn't a bad thing per se, I have a lot of questions about whether this constitutes what you'd call healing.  Having a different story isn't necessarily what makes people feel more alive and more deeply connected to the world around them.  The experiences of love, sharing, warmth, genuineness, and transcendence DO seem to bring the world alive for human beings.  Therefore, they're a part of my practice. 

I'm a therapist, but I'm also a healer.  What this means is that I serve that part of you that wishes to grow and become aligned with truth to the best of its ability.  It means that I do not consider it ethical or helpful to simply maintain you in pain.  There is a lot of money to be made in maintaining people in pain.  I do not accept such money.  I have a responsibility and a purpose on this planet that requires that I reach deeper, ask you for more and do my best to reach that which is best in you.  As one of my clients said to me the other day, "Healing isn't for sissies!"  She's very right.  And it's in the dance and interplay of the struggle to grow that joy ultimately arises.

Many Gates Of Healing
Feldenkrais Method
Counseling and EMDR
My Therapeutic Approach
Connection And Relationship
Chronic Illness and Wellness
Artists and Creatives and our "Stuff"
Healing Through The Body
Color and Culture
For Women
The Sons and Daughters of Change
The Kalahari San
TARA Approach
Mentoring For Young People
About Elaine

 For questions or appointments, call or text (512) 470-4268.

Or email me.