If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path. ~ Joseph Campbell
My role as therapist is to support and assist fellow travelers along their journey through the wilderness of life. While each person is unique, presenting individual sets of strengths and challenges, we all walk through this experience together. The path we travel, from the depths of the dark night of the soul to luminous expansion toward self-actualization, is at once terrifying and ecstatic. It is my calling to explore this territory together, bringing to the sacred space of therapy a safe and strong container which empowers you, my client, to chart your own course into life.
The approach I take in the counseling relationship is holistic and interconnected, acknowledging that the road to wholeness often involves renewing connection to self and with other. This other can include human and non-human relations, the natural world, as well as spiritual aspects existence. I feel that by turning toward these connections in therapy, meaningful incorporation and change can become accessible and pervasive in one’s life.
I draw from an eclectic theoretic orientation and my therapeutic work has included a broad range of approaches and perspectives. Graduate studies at Naropa University included aspects of mindfulness and present-centeredness, wilderness and ecopsychology, as well as humanistic and transpersonal approaches. Following a passion for community and ceremony, my education has been supplemented with approaches such as somatic work utilizing yoga and the 5Rhythms framework, rites of passage and council process, and archetypal and shadow practice through the 4 Gateways coaching model.
Flexible Meeting OptionsTraditional and Progressive Availability
After first meeting in person, and depending upon your unique circumstances, I may be able to offer several alternative meeting options. Progressive meeting options can help expand the work of therapy and more fully integrate therapeutic gains into one’s life. An alternative option may be the primary way in which we meet and we can also switch between these options in order to adjust with circumstances as they arise. Please speak with me during an office visit if you would like to learn more of the approaches I offer.
The therapeutic atmosphere is determined more by the way in which therapist and client talk to each other than by what they talk about. ~ The Process of Counseling and Therapy
My office is conveniently located near Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. Meeting in this space provides a contained and very secure place in which to explore the work of therapy. These sessions will be for a standard therapeutic hour.
"Wilderness" sessions can be scheduled in natural settings around the Boulder area. It is beneficial for some clients to develop a relationship with a specific place and, for others, exploring new terrain helps provide perspective. This option can be very helpful to integrate our work into "normal life". Please note, session length is increased to 80 minutes to accommodate for the different pace.
Using VOIP options such as Skype or Google Voice, we can meet virtually. This option is suited well to many situations such as for those who would like to work on themes related to the home, with tight schedules or who travel a lot, or perhaps are disabled or mobility challenged.
If you’ve ever watched a baby interact with her or his mother for the first time, and then observed that same child during initial contact with the natural world, that it’s likely that you have seen the same wide-eyed countenance twice. ~ Philip Chard
What is Wilderness?
What comes to mind for you? I encourage you to take a few breaths and feel into your answer.
Responses always vary, of course. Often I hear wistful stories of magical places, yearnful imaginings of deep natural refuge, or constrictive responses to a place of uncertainty and danger. What these experiences usually share, however, is a strong visceral or emotional reaction. We have strong ancestral and genetic ties to these places. Our forebearers have long explored and consulted the wild unknown to gain a more full understanding of self and reality.
In a therapeutic context, I approach the wilderness as a place which can be found through unexplored spaces. Through as broad a lens as this, the boundaries between self and other can be seen to lighten. The wilderness can begin to be seen as existing in and around ones' city, home, and heart.
Nature as Healer
The natural world can provide a safe and secure foundation from which to reconnect and find direction.
Infants are born with the ability to swim, but will forget if not exposed to opportunities be in the water. Similarly, we come into being with the joy of knowing a sense of belonging to earth and life, but will have to rediscover this if isolated from connection with the natural world. Memories of cherished childhood retreats nestled within nature’s embrace can provide one with a sense of home, safety, and revitalize the creative zest of adventure. The power of this connection can resemble the deepest of possible human bonds: the maternal relationship. The connection a baby has with its’ mother ideally provides important factors such as consistency, love, nurturance, guidance, and protection. As youth seem to know instinctively, similar care is available through connection with the natural world.
Nature also allows perspective, in perhaps the most familiar rhythm we know the sun rises, the sun sets, and a day goes by. When doing personal work on the land, visiting and revisiting themes outside and among the other-than-human world, things keep changing. We are in contact, in a broader sense, and transformed alongside the seasons.
Nature as Teacher
The environment is constantly providing direct and clear feedback.
Life in our modern age is moving away from the natural world. It seems popular culture encourages us to do more and be less, continually seeking material abundance while detracting from experience. For many, there is no longer a question of how to find warmth or sustenance through the winter months, but only how temperate to be and what exotic foods to consume from the “tree of the supermarket”. We have learned how to survive in the world without ever really coming in contact with it, but we can never be truly separate from our home in the earth. At night, when wind whispers through the cracks in our windows and a primal voice calls out from within, we can hear a wider world is calling.
When we tune in and listen to our environment it always has so much to give, so much to teach. Beauty in color and movement, relational skills such as boundaries and communication, strong lessons on cause and effect, and the subtle inspirations of life to name but a few.
Wilderness sessions are held in natural settings around Boulder, Co. These meeting are scheduled for 80 minutes to allow us to drop more deeply into the land and session content.
The 4 Gateways
Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other ~ Carl Jung
What is this Approach?
People generally have a desire to look inside, make positive changes, feel more at ease, and develop meaning in their lives. 4 Gateways sessions, at their most basic level, involve the client bringing a specific issue or focus to the meeting and being coached to address it from the four perspectives of thinking, doing, feeling, and being.
It can be confusing when multiple drives and conflicting impulses come up when doing the work of therapy. Sometimes it seems that a part of us wants one thing while another part has an alternate agenda. The 4 Gateways can help provide clarity by separating, and truly listening to, these voices around a specific issue. This provide a space in which to access one's own innate knowing and wisdom, while engaging important supports and allies for the journey.
The 4 Archetypes
Archetypes can be seen through the myths and stories of a people, in the themes and motifs that help form meaning to their lives. They embody life's great truths, and can provide deep psychological and spiritual support.
These archetypes are embodied in culture, yet become highly personal. Stories of angels and demons wrestling over virtue, for example, may teach morality and will. Even through the antics of Robin Hood one might form opinions on justice and equality. We engage with four core archetypes in this work: Magician dwells in thought and reflection, Warrior is concerned with doing and protection, Lover in touch with feelings and connection, and Sovereign who inhabits a place of being and blessing. Through this process it is possible to tap into deep wisdom and gain a more clear image of ourselves.
We live with our archetypes, but can we live in them? ~ Poul Anderson
These are some basic qualities of each perspectives, though every person will have a unique understanding and relationship with their personal archetypes. This truth allows for truly meaningful work to emerge.
Prepare/Enrich Couple's Work
Strong marriages don't just happen. They are created overtime by the intentional effort of the couple. Like the painter's masterpiece, building a healthy marriage requires skill, creativity, endurance, and a working knowledge of the canvas, brush, and paint ~ PrepareEnrich Couples Checkup
What is Prepare/Enrich
For over thirty years, PREPARE/ENRICH has led the way in helping couples explore and strengthen their relationships. To date this relationship assessment has empowered and energized more than 3 million couples! The main component of the program is an online survey you each complete in about 30-45 minutes. PREPARE/ENRICH is not just any survey. The items you respond to are based on research and are intended to help you identify the unique strengths and potential growth areas of your premarital or married relationship. Built on a solid research foundation, PREPARE/ENRICH has been improved and refined over the years to become one of the best, most effective, easy-to-use relationship assessment tools available.
PREPARE/ENRICH will help you
Identify strength and growth areas
Explore personality traits
Strengthen communication skills
Resolve conflicts and reduce stress
Compare family backgrounds
Comfortably discuss financial issues
Establish personal, couple, and family goals
What to Expect
To begin, you will both meet with me for a 50 minute session during which time I will cover important aspects of the approach and answer questions you each may have. Then you will each be sent a link to an survey which will be customized to your unique case and circumstances. We will have two more meetings in which to discuss the results and explore strategies for your relationship. This approach differs from couples therapy in that we will have a limited number of sessions and our focus will remain on integrating the information provided through the PrepareEnrich program. I find that having these restrictions helps unlock stuck patterns and greatly increased partner receptivity, as we are dealing in "black and whites".
PREPARE/ENRICH assesses these areas
12 Relationship Scales
(communication, conflict resolution, roles,
sexuality, finances, spiritual beliefs, and more)
5 SCOPE Personality Scales
4 Couple and Family Scales
4 Relationship Dynamic Scales
30 Customized Scales