You may be a member of the group of humans (one in five) that was blessed with a High Sensitivity trait. This trait results from four combined temperamental characteristics: higher perceptive capacity, high sensorial acuity, depth of processing, and intense emotions.
Individuals possessing this trait tend to flourish when they find themselves in the right environment, and when they understand their trait and take steps to maximize the benefits. Your higher perceptive capacity, high sensory acuity, more depth of processing, and relatively more intense emotions tend to convey on individuals with this trait many advantages.
People sometimes confuse this trait with introversion, or the derogatory idea that someone is “too sensitive” emotionally or unable to handle life demands. This is not accurate. While members of this group may take longer to make decisions or get into new situations, high-sensitivity individuals tend to have higher than average abilities to assess situations, to perceive changes and patterns, and to notice social and emotional cues.
The good news is that is you are a high-sensitivity individual, you will respond better to psychotherapy and tend to “get” the ideas behind treatment faster.
Psychotherapist Elaine Aron, PhD, has done intensive research on this trait and you can read some of it here >> ELAINE ARON’s PAGE<<
Often admired by clients, peers and co-workers for their insight and intuition, your high-sensitivity trait comes packaged with modes that may also cause you occasional distress. For example, I you have this trait, you may find yourself overwhelmed in intensely noisy environments, and overloaded with sensory stimuli if you cannot take breaks to re-charge. This may affect your relationships and tolerance to work-related stress. The good news is that you can learn techniques that help you manage this in a positive and enjoyable way.
Highly sensitive individuals also tend to feel both negative and positive emotions more intensely. You may find that transitions seem sometimes more difficult, due to your capacity for noticing change and for emotional intensity. Situations that may not affect others have a stronger impact on you.
The good news is that while negative experiences tend to affect you deeply, you tend to bounce back very well with the proper help. Fortunately, as I wrote above, you feel positive emotions more intensely too!
Working with me to help you manage these gifts will help you make your work more successful and your life experience more enjoyable and sustainable.
Do you feel you need a “make-over”? Are you in the middle of a career change? Are you tired of making the same mistakes again and again? Are you having trouble because of a divorce or separation? A loss?
I have experience helping people find what they need to catalyze their desire for change or move forward. I can help with your internal process, finding your passion or coaching you through the steps you need to take to manifest your change. We work with your emotions too.
Whether you are intentionally taking steps for changing your life or whether you are in the midst of unexpected changes, I can work with you to help you find ways to turn your experience into meaning, wisdom and joy. If you are a highly sensitive individual, transitions might affect you more intensely, so we might need to help you manage your emotional intensity for a more optimal experience.
I can also help you troubleshoot the creative process you use in your life. This applies to creativity you use to come up with a new way of living, a novel, an art project or something else you may be generating. As your consultant I will be honoring your personal goals and individual process, using compassion and kindness, and suggesting options tailored to your needs.
Among many modalities, I will also use mindfulness to help you become aware of opportunities that invite joy into your life and to notice when the world's synchronicity presents you with auspicious events that can help you advance your goals.
Goal setting and balancing the demands of a creative life might seem impossible, but with an experienced professional like me at your side your chances of succeeding can improve. Let me help you now.
Anxiety is an emotional loop that can result from being "conditioned" to feel apprehension or fear about something that has not yet happened. It can also be the result of organic processes in your body, such as endocrine changes, or the result of too much exposure to Fight+Flight+Freeze response due to heightened stressors or early adverse events.
I will first offer to use mindfulness, CBT, DBT or talk therapy to help you dismantle automatic emotional responses, which can be very distressing to experience.
After we know you are safe emotionally, we will examine your experience of specific events to understand what cognitive associations and emotional responses you have formed to them. In some cases we will generate custom experiments or exercises to progressively help you reduce the impact of intense sensations, feelings and bodily responses. We might use narrative, arts or journaling to record your thoughts and work through the experience in order to re-frame it safely.
In highly sensitive individuals, sometimes anxiety is misdiagnosed.
Working with me to overcome feelings of anxiety and fear will help you free your energies so you can feel better about yourself and move on.
One in three individuals experiences some form of depression or other at some point of their lives. Sometimes it is a one-time event, mostly related to circumstances. A series of depressions that you suffer over an extended period of time is often signs of a depressive condition that is more serious. Highly sensitive individuals with adverse childhood experiences are more likely to suffer from depression, but seem to benefit more and faster from psychotherapy.
Depression can include a debilitating lack of energy that can make everything seem impossible. Your energy is drained. Your mind is taken over by negative and defeatist thoughts that loop into a system that makes you see the world as a hopeless and pointless experience. This can begin to make you feel that life is not worth living, experiencing passive hopes of death and, in some cases, wanting to end your life. You can overcome all that.
There are many ways in which I help you overcome depression. Behavioral activation is a technique where you and I agree on acting against your feelings and following scheduled activities. We start very small with things such as exercise and restoring things you did with pleasure before your depression hit.
The goals is to regain a feeling of mastery over your life that can lift some of the weight off your shoulders and enhance your self-esteem, and also give you mental room to examine what is making you feel so poorly.
We can also look at your thoughts to find antidotes to the negative thinking that brings you down, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and even mindfulness practices. We will troubleshoot some of these skills together during the session, and then “generalize” them to the rest of your life.
We will also go over lifestyle changes that can help you feel better and stay well.
Working with me to stop the energy drain of depression will give you back your energy so you can enjoy your life without bur
One of my interests is helping my patients find ways to overcome traumatic events. I might use mindfulness, distress tolerance and emotion regulation (DBT skills) to help you learn ways to manage your overactive Fight+Flight+Freeze response.
I also work with a variety of somatic, expressive and image based techniques that help the body-mind system heal and create new pathways that offer alternative responses and behaviors to post-traumatic stress triggers.
The next step might consist of noticing whether you have any thinking patterns that fall into traps typical of trauma experiences. Shame, for example, is a feeling that is common in trauma survivors. Feeling confused about one’s feelings towards one’s family is also pretty common, on one hand one may love the person, and simultaneously be angry at them for actions they may have perpetrated.
For highly sensitive individuals, trauma may happen even if for others the situation might not be as traumatic. This is real, and disturbing, because having more susceptibility to be affected by one’s environment can be an advantage in positive environments, but can be more difficult to handle in negative situations.
The last twenty years have yielded a rich amount of information and techniques that address how neuro-plasticity, or the brain’s capacity to grow and change, can be harnessed to create new ways of experiencing the world and better ways to address and respond to stress. I am constantly developing my awareness in the field, and learning new ways to help you.
I have extensive experience working with trauma.
Whatever your background is, you have been touched by -isms that limit how you can imagine and live your life, and possibly how you exercise your rights. I am firmly committed to anti-oppressive and equity building practices that help liberate everybody’s mind, body, and life.
I am an advocate for helping men, women and non-binary individuals live and embody identities that embrace a full life, mutual support and enjoyment. We are all connected, so any kindness and empathy we can bring into the world will come back to us, as we get positive reinforcement for the traits we have that are like the people to whom we express kindness.
I offer a safe and welcoming space to members of sexual, trans, affective and gender minorities who seek therapy or counseling. I also offer a safe space for members of society that do not identify as such but nevertheless feel diminished by sexism and patriarchal overdrive.
I am committed to practicing compassionately and kindly.
Because it is so common, I offer nuanced culturally and intersectionality-informed services for individuals who suffer any kind of oppression from sociopolitical sources like racism, sexism, patriarchy, heterosexism and other “-isms.”
Often structural oppression manifests in sub-optimal work conditions and family dysfunction, and erodes your interpersonal relationships, interfering with your life path and self-actualization. The manifestations of oppression may range from daily microaggressions that eat away at your sense of calm and belonging, to outright traumatic violence and lack of access to needed resources.
The burdens of these events may be endured if there are no other stressors, but it is very likely that there will be other stressors…Other stressors or conditions compound the traumatic effects of these events.
The good news is that recent research on the effects of oppression is starting to give us information about how to make you more resilient to its effects. We will address these issues when they affect you, and help you increase your understanding of how to deal with them in order to journey with pride and self-advocacy into a fuller life.
In my clinical experience, I have developed a keen awareness of how expectations from different cultural backgrounds and family may affect your experience. We can help you notice how you may have internalized these elements and find ways of using the positive aspects and shedding the negative ones. I use this awareness to offer nuanced and sensitive therapy.
Working with me to develop resilience and learn how to get ahead despite oppression can help make you feel freer, more joyful, and more empowered. Click below to start the process!
I have provided trainings to other professionals in how to work with individuals of varied sexual, affective and gender identities. I am always available to give trainings and talks on the topic.
Chronic mental illness can be managed with the goal of living a fruitful and rewarding life. I have excellent training at Yale Psychiatric Hospital and ample experience in this area. There are many ways in which one can improve one's condition, starting by becoming aware of one's internalized stigma.
Most people think of mental illness differently than other organic conditions they may need to overcome. This is because of two factors: societal stigma, and magical thinking about mental illness. Stigma is the main reason most people feel strange taking care of their mental health conditions effectively. Cultural bias in the form of magical thinking or denial is another.
Stigma and magical thinking tend to make people behave against maintaining good self-care and against using psychiatric medications, naturopathic or other methods that might ease symptoms and help manage illness. Prejudiced sites and poorly researched websites offer content that is not always accurate, and they do a great disservice to people suffering from psychiatric conditions.
The good news is that there are many forms of treatment that work with mental illness, not all of them based on medication, and many benefit from the last twenty years of neuroscience.
My experience has also made me aware that different cultural backgrounds affect the experience of mental health conditions, too. I have learned to become attuned to the ways in which intersectionality affects the way you experience your condition and to help with specific interventions that come from that awareness. (see more above under -ISMS and Trauma)
Having a psychiatric condition is not necessarily a negative situation. There are gifts inherent in each condition, and accepting that can be healing and rewarding.
Having worked and lived as an artist, I appreciate the privilege of working with human beings that see the world in diverse and interesting manners. I know for a fact that having a mental illness diagnosis can make people think in unique and gifted ways, and I am partial to a movement that is growing in the world to embrace mental illness as a gift, not a curse.
The reality and experience of living with mental illness is different for each person, however, so I work according to your specific conditions, values and goals.
If you need help managing your condition or staying in track with your treatments, letting a professional like me help you might be the best action you can take to align your actions with your goals.