Julisa Adams, MA, Holistic Psychotherapy, Brainspotting & Hypnotherapy
specialities

methods

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Methods

I’ve been studying psychology formally since 1989 when I started graduate school at CIIS, and during that time I have focused on learning the tools that are the most powerful at helping people to get to the bottom of issues and get results. I went to a Transpersonal graduate school, because I could see that working with consciousness in a greater sense than simply the mind and the ego was a key to transformation.

The first tool I learned outside of school was hypnotherapy because 95% of what causes our patterns and habits is unconscious. I learned body-centered therapy and working in mindfulness (Hakomi) because I could see how much of the unconscious is in the body and it requires an open, meditative awareness to access it. I learned EMDR because we all need to release trauma from our nervous systems. From there I went on to study Brainspotting because it goes beyond trauma and is a tool for accessing any state of consciousness and using healthy states to work with wounded, or contracted states. I learned Reiki, which involves working with a client’s energy field through contact, or near contact, because it is more direct than verbal methods, and is quite effective. Along the way, I discovered EFT, or tapping is an incredible shortcut for shifting patterns. Finally, I have discovered that most of us are experiencing negative psychological effects from our unnatural, even toxic foods, which cause inflammation in the gut and the nervous system. So I incorporate assessing and addressing lifestyle issues, including natural support for the brain and the body.

In my over 20 years in private practice I have studied most things that I thought could help my clients, and really focused on the things that proved the most effective. I had originally planned on getting a PhD, but I discovered that the best way to help people was to study the cutting edge ideas and technology on my own. That has also helped me to keep my fees affordable. Here is more information about all these specific methods; my approach integrates all of them.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a method for accessing the unconscious, which is where old learning is held like programming on the hard drive of a computer. It is a gentle, enjoyable process of getting below surface thoughts and discovering deep seated beliefs, patterns and pictures about how life works. Once these images, memories, beliefs and feelings are brought into awareness, they can be updated and unlearned. The Transpersonal element refers to bringing the spiritual resources into contact with these old patterns, which is naturally transformative. Hypnosis is gentle, relaxing and enjoyable. When clients feel safe and ready, it is quite easy to slip into a “trance,” and then to learn to take yourself there on your own.

Hypnosis creates changes in the outer life which are organic and often effortless. Best of all, since we are working with “programming” on the deepest level, changes are usually permanent! Note: I do not simply “reprogram” your unconscious to do what you want it to do. I help your psyche work through issues so that it can come to a healthy balance organically.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)

This is a very direct and effective treatment for trauma and negative beliefs associated with painful past experiences. Frozen experiences from the past are brought to awareness in a fashion which allows the brain to digest and release negative patterns. It is similar to a natural type of healing which occurs during sleep, with the addition of being able to target specific memories and associated beliefs. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated half a million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. In a single session, a particular belief can be cleared and a painful memory will lose its emotional charge. At this point, I practice a derivative of EMDR called Brainspotting which is more flexible, organic and less stressful on the nervous system.

Body-Centered Psychotherapy

We will work with present-centered awareness of the body to uncover the patterns of tension and numbing which are responsible for discomfort and feeling stuck. Breathwork is used to soften and release pain, unconscious holding patterns, and to connect more deeply with all the layers of the psyche.

Combining this with hypnosis is a wonderful and effective approach for healing physical symptoms as well as psychological issues. We can discover the roots of illness and bring transformation from a deep level. This allows both traditional and alternative types of healing work to become more effective. Additionally, working with the body in this fashion leads to a stronger sense of aliveness, more natural joy and expressiveness. Life becomes more full and sensual.

Presence oriented/mindfulness-based therapy

Presence oriented, or mindfulness-based therapy is based on the principles of meditation. This work is focused, deep, and very organic and effective. It involves accessing the relevant unconscious material and simply observing the thoughts, feelings, memories, and kinesthetic experience associated with the issue. Through the power of awareness, and non-interference (equanimity), inner transformation and freedom unfolds naturally, but much more quickly than through simple meditation. This very natural process utilizes the transformative power of awareness or consciousness with tools to bring presence to the heart of the issues, blocks, or wounds. Additionally, my clients often get so much out of using mindfulness in sessions that they go on to develop a meditation practice, and find that the therapy makes their meditations easier, deeper and more enjoyable.

Brainspotting

Brainspotting is a new and powerful, exceptionally focused method of healing developed from EMDR. It works by identifying, processing and releasing deep neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Eye focus is combined with bi-lateral music (panning left to right), which creates a meditative and profound healing experience. It allows you to locate, process, and release experiences and symptoms that are typically out of reach of the conscious mind and may be non-verbal. It works with the deep brain and the body through its direct access to the autonomic and limbic systems within the body’s central nervous system. It releases trauma, emotional and physical pain and unhealthy beliefs at the deepest level. The eye positions are also used to find positive states of consciousness which can be quickly and deeply accessed both in sessions and whenever else you may want that support.

There is growing recognition within the healing professions that experiences of physical and/or emotional injury, acute and chronic pain, physical illness, dealing with difficult medical interventions, as well as many other problematic life events, will contribute to the development of a substantial reservoir of life trauma. That trauma is held in the body. Brainspotting quickly accesses the underlying roots of reactivity and clears them.

Reiki

Reiki is a form of energy work which involves placing my hands on or near your body. It is a simple technique that allows energy to balance, ground and release. It is gentle and relaxing. I use this approach with people who are comfortable with it.

Gestalt

Gestalt is of form of therapy which allows you to access conflicting voices in yourself and in your world. It is a way of getting to your unconscious role in interpersonal issues and resolving unconscious conflicts which go back to previous relationships. It’s a wonderful tool for working with your shadow, including what you unconsciously project on other people. This can be quite helpful for couples, as people are usually unaware of how much of their unresolved issues from previous relationships (particularly family of origin) are acted out with their intimate partner.

EFT

EFT stands for “Emotional Freedom Technique,” which is also commonly called “tapping” or “Meridian Tapping.” By tapping on some specific points on the face and upper body, one can let go of negative emotions and limiting beliefs, sometimes in minutes. EFT seems too good to be true, because such dramatic shifts can happen so quickly and often permanently while tapping and repeating simple phrases. Undoubtedly vaccines, antibiotics and cell phones and many other amazing innovations seemed too good to be true at first, as well as hard to explain.

Tapping the points on the body induces a mini-REM state in the brain. This reorganizes how we store and process information. It can be shown with an EEG machine that brainwave patterns absolutely respond to the tapping. Some authorities attribute its efficacy to the location of the tapping points, which are on the endpoints of the “energy meridians” identified in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Other observations about EFT include:
Increased regulation of sympathetic-parasympathetic interaction, and of the HPA hypothalamus pituitary-adrenal axis(Lane, 2006).
Decreased hyperarousal of the limbic system and other brain structures involved in the fight or flight response generated by exposure to trauma (Feinstein, 2008a).
Changes in the amygdala and anterior cingulate areas of the brain (Felmingham, et. al. 2006).
Down-regulation and increased reuptake rates of cortisol and other stress hormones (Church, 2008d).

Functional medicine

Functional medicine is a form of Western alternative medicine unrelated to the Western biomedical approaches, with a focus on identifying and addressing the root causes of disease, and which views the body/mind as one integrated system, not a collection of independent systems. Healing involves looking at diet, nutrition, and the effects of environmental toxins to predispose people to illness versus health. While I am not a medical doctor or a naturopath, I do have a lot of knowledge about the connection between physical and mental health. This includes understanding digestive issues, such as food sensitivities, intestinal permeability, candida and their connection to issues such as addiction, trauma, depression and anxiety. I help clients with alternatives to prescription medications such as amino acid therapy and nutritional supplements. My work is focused on getting to the root causes of issues rather than just treating symptoms. I help clients look in the right places to understand and resolve the physical underpinnings of psychological issues. I’m experienced with autoimmune disorders, adrenal fatigue, food issues, insomnia, ADD, fibromyalgia, thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue and pain as well as other issues that involve the body and mind working together.

Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS)

This is a system for working with different parts of the psyche which focuses of the integrative wisdom of the Self. I will help you access the Self, which is clear, compassionate, centered and connected internally and externally. This allows you to interact with other parts which have deep unconscious roots. This allows you to learn from them, negotiate with them and heal them, organically moving toward a more integrated and updated psyche. The Self can moderate disputes between polarized parts and bring real healing to buried, wounded parts and support defenses in being more functional and less automatic.

I combine all the modalities I use into a unique and fluid process of engaging your whole system and releasing negative programming in your subconscious mind. I typically start with talking and integrate breathwork, hypnosis, and brainspotting. The EFT is used to release core blocks and outdated programming in your subconscious mind. This means that you are receiving the benefit of all of these types of therapy at once, integrated into a powerful, gentle, dynamic and transformative whole.

“I’ve had thirteen therapists in my life (I know, I know), and I can definitely say that Julisa is the best. I’ve been able to get down to the core of my work relatively quickly and make major progress after a major emotional bottom. I appreciate her holistic multi-modal approach: nutrition and exercise, meditation, cognitive work on thoughts and beliefs, grief work, body-centered work on trauma. Brainspotting combined with talk therapy is a good combination for me. Her intuition is pretty amazing. There have been several times that a question or comment of hers led to a huge insight on my part. I feel strongly understood by her–a pretty rare experience for me.”

Johnathan, Boulder

“One thing that distinguishes Julisa from so many other therapists is that she is constantly learning new theories and techniques and keeping up on current research. What impresses me the most is how quickly and deeply she incorporates new ideas into her work, so that she is always growing as a therapist.”

My work with Julisa has been life changing. I have learned to regulate my emotions and set firm boundaries through a deeper connection with my Self. I love her mind/body approach. Talk therapy has never really cut it for me and through various body- and heart-centered techniques, she has helped me connect with, and learn to love, myself so much more. This has in turn helped strengthen my relationships, my productivity at work, improved my sleep, and most importantly, has strengthened my connection to my Self, which I was lacking for so long. I am eternally grateful to her for the changes that she helped me make in my life.”
– Katherine, Boulder