Sometimes, talk is not enough.
Traditional counselling and psychotherapy rely on verbal communication, yet research has shown that many symptoms and problems originate in our “body memory” of past experiences. Often enough, talking about something is a way to avoid, rather than resolve, the problem. Sometimes, one touch can have the same effect as weeks, months or even years of talking.
Traditional psychotherapists are very limited in the ways they can touch their clients, but I address your goals/needs by combining talk and whatever kind of beneficial touch you request. Sometimes a hug helps, right? I can give you one.
Many experts have said that “trauma lives in the body”, so that’s where I focus my (and your) attention. In a session with me, we certainly talk about things in the way other therapists do, but I offer touch as a support and a short-cut to accessing your past experience and resolving the “unfinished business” that accompanies it. This approach is especially effective for reducing/resolving anxiety, shame and other leftover effects of abuse or other relational trauma, and helps to make your body a more comfortable place to inhabit.
Research has proven the obvious: positive experiences help to heal negative ones. I provide a safe space for you to “unpack” and process what’s been haunting you, and give you something different from your past so you can redirect that energy toward living a happier, more satisfying life.
Options for women*
If fear, anxiety or shame are blocking you from having comfortable intimate relationships, how do you fix it?
I can provide traditional counselling/coaching to help you understand and overcome the problems. And within your preferences and limits, I can include touch to expedite your discovery and healing process.
An option is Surrogate Partner Therapy. Surrogate Partner Therapy (SPT) is like “training wheels” — you can gain the experience you need at a comfortable pace in a safe environment, so that you can resolve the issues that are standing in your way. Whether you’re suffering from inexperience, negative messages or beliefs, PTSD from abuse or assault, or anything else that makes intimate relationships difficult for you, SPT could be your solution.
The SPT process is driven by you and your needs. As your Surrogate Partner, my role would be to support you in your healing work. In consultation with your therapist, I would plan experiences to address or expose issues that you would work though primarily in your talk therapy. You would set the pace and always have control of our sessions. The ratio of talk sessions to hands-on sessions depends on your specific needs, but would likely be in the 1:1 to 3:1 range. The overall goal is for you to develop comfort and confidence in seeking the relationship you want. Surrogate Partner Therapy is approved by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Another option, if you are already in a relationship or wanting to work on practical issues, is experiential intimacy coaching, which does not require the involvement of a traditional therapist but is otherwise very similar to SPT. My experiential coaching can also be combined with your regular talk-therapy for even faster progress.
* I help women of any orientation, single or partnered, cis/trans/queer/etc. either individually or in the context of their partnership.