Here are some of the tools in an integrative therapist’s toolbox:
This is the safe and sacred healing place of counseling. It is both the physical space of the therapy office itself and an energetic space. A mirror is held up by the therapist so that an individual’s own light is continually reflected back, until that image becomes familiar. The container provides a nonjudgmental honoring of the individual just as they are–unconditionally lovable and unquestionably valuable. The container allows us to feel safe and trust so that we can relax and open ourselves up to the healing process.
“Talking things through”
Just the act of verbalizing our thoughts and feelings to a trusted listener can provide immediate relief. It releases tension and loosens up our mental gears, which may have churned to a halt. Getting feedback and looking at situations from new perspectives gives us insight into our own and others’ behavior. It allows us to make decisions with new clarity and find more forgiveness and compassion for ourselves and others.
Guided meditation and exploring our dreams allow us to find images, feelings, and symbols, which we can explore and interpret. Tuning into the language of symbol connects us to a rich source of information that we typically do not access.
Trauma and stress not only affect our minds and emotions, it can also cause imbalances, blockages, and deficiencies in the body, which amplify emotional symptoms like anxiety or irritability, and can cause physical signs of stress like headaches, digestive upsets, sleeplessness, and tension. Natural remedies help restore balance to the body, and facilitate the the counseling work and overall healing process.
By tuning into the body itself, the chatter of the mind and its predictable interpretations can be bypassed. An intuitive sense of things can be explored so that previously inaccessible information may be discovered allowing new awareness. We often store memories in our physical body, and carry these old experiences along with us which impacts our future in positive or negative ways. With the latter, they can perpetuate negative patterns of relating to others or ourselves, and to feelings like anxiety, fear, or grief. By identifying the places were these memories have taken up residence, we can resolve and heal wounds and be free to move forward and consciously create our future.
We can only access our true being with present experiencing. What we find in the present moment provides everything we need to know. It’s the place that sits between each thought our mind fires, and each action we get busy doing. By drawing attention to our present experiencing, we find the answers to our burning questions, to our ultimate truth in difficult situations; we find our gifts, our strengths, and our purpose, and we receive the guidance we need to heal ourselves. Here we readily find the answers we need, ones we may have previously searched for in books or by consulting outside experts. What we need is here in the present moment, if only we take notice.