Emotions As Messengers

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Emotions As Messengers

The Mental Masseuse, as the title for my blog, was born out of the idea that therapy is like a massage for the mind: uncomfortable, tender, and painful at times, invigorating, relieving and refreshing at others, you ultimately leave in a different state than when you entered. What if we cared for our minds just like we care for our bodies? We go to the doctor, the dentist, the hair stylist, the aesthetician, and the personal trainer. We have been socialized to address our physical well-being, but a stigma remains over addressing our emotional well-being. Our psychological selves are too often left by the wayside, fed with pop culture mantras like “Just think positive”, “Just be happy”, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”.  While these messages may be helpful in small doses, there’s a larger underlying belief implied in many of these sayings that indicates that there is something bad, wrong, or unnecessary with uncomfortable or challenging feelings.

Our very real and, most importantly, our very human emotions of sadness, fear, anger, worry, regret, guilt, and shame, to name just a few, are often denied — banished as unwanted parts of ourselves; as such, we miss out on the very important messages these emotions send. Feeling sad? Shows that something is or was important to you. Worried? There’s probably something you need to pay attention to. Feeling guilty? Maybe you acted against your values. Angry? Perhaps there’s some underlying fear there. The same mechanism that allowed us to experience our fear and, in turn, spurred us to run from that tiger in prehistoric times is the very same mechanism by which we experience our emotions today. When we ignore, avoid, and defend against our feelings, we are denying our basic biology and birthright as human beings: the ability to use our emotions as messengers, guiding us toward situations and people that bring safety and joy, and away from those that don’t.

Therapy is like a massage for your mind: I invite you to get to know your emotional make up.  Working with me as your “mental masseuse”*, we explore what messages your emotions are sending you, and decide how you want to let them guide you. With you as the expert on “you”, combined with my background and training, we co-create a space for healing, insight, and evolution. Let’s get free.

*my therapy never involves actual massage or physical touch

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About Therapy: Why the Butterfly?

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About Therapy: Why the Butterfly?

People often ask why I include the butterfly image in my logo, or they assume it's just because I like butterflies. Well, I do like butterflies...but there’s also a little more to it. The word ‘psychology’, derived from ancient Greek, literally translates to 'the study of the soul', -psyche meaning ‘soul’, and -ology meaning ‘the study of’. Psyche, in Greek, also doubled as the word for butterfly; thus the butterfly and psychology became inextricably linked throughout time. I love the idea of the butterfly as it relates to psychology — a being limited to land undergoes a process of growth and transformation that ultimately frees it to fly. As a psychologist, I am honored to participate in your process of liberation.

Many people who come to therapy often feel limited in some way. Sometimes they have a clear idea of what is holding them back, or what needs to change. Other times they may be less clear, but simply have a nagging notion that something is “just not quite right”. However you come to therapy, we will study your soul together. Looking at everything that makes you you — your values, goals, memories, challenges, and dreams — we figure out what's working, and we work to change what's not. Similar to a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, parts of the process can feel unfamiliar, unknown, and uncomfortable. These feelings don’t necessarily signify that anything bad is happening, but rather that an important process is unfolding — a process that I support you in along the way.

The decision to come to therapy is a courageous one, and a deeply personal one. If I can answer any questions for you about therapy in general or my approach in particular, please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to speaking with you.

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