Spiritual/Existential issues

We are living in a time of rapid change and existential and emotional overwhelm. We are faced with the effects of climate change, pollution, political instability and the lack of traditional support systems. This naturally brings up a lot of questions about what we can trust, and where we can find stability and strength. It can call into question traditional religious beliefs and push people to deepen in their spiritual practice. I have 30 years of formal, personal and professional training and experience working with the spiritual journey in it’s many expressions. I’ve been very focused on this area of life since before my near-death experience at 18 and embrace my client’s own journey with their faith or their exploration of issues of meaning. I love helping people to find their spiritual path and going deep with folks who bring that in to therapy. One of my greatest gifts as a healer is to listen deeply to my client’s souls and help that voice get louder and clearer as it guides the therapy process.

Trauma

I wrote my Master’s thesis on a holistic model for the treatment of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse back in 1993. Since then trauma therapy has grown and developed extensively. At one time, people were facilitated or even hypnotically regressed to remember, possibly even re-experience trauma after trauma from their past. Even EMDR is typically done by taking folks back to a traumatic moment over and over. We’ve learned so much about trauma healing over the years, which makes it possible to do deep, effective work without risking re-traumatization or causing significant stress to overflow into daily life.
My focus is on helping you learn tools and resources so you can stay grounded in your body and know that you can both get to the strong feelings inside and also gently move away from them as needed, so you can stay safe while doing the healing work. Luckily, it is not necessary to consciously remember all the traumatic things that happened to you growing up or since then. In fact, it can be rewounding to focus too much on memories. The key is clearing the patterns from the body and the nervous system, which can be done non-verbally, and releasing the unhealthy beliefs which go with trauma. The tools I use allow us to go to that depth without having to spend a lot of time going through painful memories. Brainspotting, in particular is amazing in its ability to process a whole traumatic thread without the need to describe the details of the situations.
I also am very careful to use my tools in a way which allows the end of the session to feel organic and safe. I keep track of time to make sure that we have cleared the intense emotions and reoriented you to your day before we are out of time. I also book sessions with 15 minutes between people so that you aren’t rushed out of my office abruptly. I have done at least ten years of my own psychotherapy so that I can hold space for your work from the perspective of having healed my own wounds which may be similar to yours. That gives me a sensitivity combined with stability which will help the traumatized parts of your psyche relax and feel safe. I don’t see more than two clients in the morning, and two in the late afternoon with a nice hike/yoga/meditation time in between so you won’t be walking into my office and getting less than my full, heartful presence. I’ve been practicing meditation, dance and yoga since my twenties, so I have great respect and value for a wide range of ways to heal, and practice my own self care on a daily basis. I believe that healing absolutely depends on a safe, gentle, loving therapeutic relationship. I’ve experienced being a client with numerous therapists, and have have great respect for the importance of respect and safety, partially, sadly, by experiencing lots of mistakes from other professionals as well as great therapy.

Weightloss

Are you ready to be at peace with your body? Have you had enough of struggling with your body image, your weight, what you eat, and your self-esteem? Maybe by now you understand that this isn’t a simple issue of self-control or will power and counting calories. Food is a very emotional subject. We all have reasons why we eat the way we do and why we look the way we do. In the last few decades America has seen an explosion of weight issues, with two thirds of us now being overweight or obese. Simultaneously we’ve seen an explosion of other health issues, from depression to ADD to auto-immune disorders and diabetes. What is the common theme? It’s the Standard American Diet (SAD). We are not eating nutritious, sustainable food, but are hooked on cheap, convenient processed foods. Believe it or not, we are malnourished, even while overweight. Most of us are looking to food to meet lots of psychological needs and often unaware of how poorly our actual physical needs are getting met. However, just reading books about this, like Dr. Mark Hyman’s “The Ultramind Solution” or “The Ultrasimple Diet,” doesn’t change the fact that food is an enormously psychological issue. Weight issues have to be addressed simultaneously through an understanding of the sciences of nutrition, addiction and psychology.
In the years that I’ve been specializing in treating food issues, I’ve come to see that it is connected with co-dependency. You learn to disconnect from your inner, feeling world and your needs, and turn yourself into what others want or expect. We learn this in childhood, but it never really feels that good. So we substitute getting our wants met for getting our real needs met. We unconsciously use numbing with food or other things to cope with pain, frustration, disappointment and self-esteem issues. I will help you to know what you really need and want in life, to have healthy boundaries and to feel comfortable being in your body and staying connected with your own experience. The relationship with food doesn’t need to carry all the emotional suffering that it does for so many of us when we can work through what the real issues are.
My goal is for you to be at a healthy, comfortable weight, but more importantly for you to have a cleaner, freer relationship with yourself and your body. This doesn’t happen in a couple of sessions, but unlike dieting, the changes come from the core, and are therefore more permanent. I have created a unique form of therapy that combines some of the most cutting-edge techniques for healing and transforming both psychological and physical issues.

Autoimmune/health issues

AUTOIMMUNE/HEALTH ISSUES

I have been helping people deal with physical illness since 1994. I’ve been fascinated by the mind/body connection for a long time, and this is how I developed a specialty in psychoneuroimmunology. There is plenty of research to validate the idea that the illnesses that modern medicine is least capable of addressing are the ones with a strong body-mind connection, typically the auto-immune disorders, ‘life-style’ illnesses, chronic pain, and illnesses associated with trauma. For many years, I have worked with people to help them form a healing relationship with their body and immune system, including recovery from surgery, HIV positive clients, and cancer patients.

I have been blessed with two incredible tools. One is the groundbreaking work by a Boulder neurologist, Robert Scaer. After running a pain clinic for thirty years, he wrote two amazing books on the body/mind connection. The books are “The Body Bares the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease” and “The Trauma Spectrum.” In these books, Dr. Scaer clearly explains the psychophysical foundation of autoimmune disorders and chronic pain. The other is Brainspotting, which allows us to work very directly with non-verbal memory and the auto-immune system, particularly the “freeze” response.

This ‘freeze’ response, is a natural survival mechanism, just as ‘fight or flight’ are also functions of the instinct for survival common to all mammals. Freeze is associated with helplessness, such as childhood trauma, car accidents, medical intrusions and work place, or military ongoing stress. Because of our complex brain and social norms, we typically have not understood the potency or the frequency of the freeze response, nor have we had access to the natural discharge processes that animals use. Freeze involves the reflex to protect oneself, with all of the nervous system activation that that implies, combined with a survival based sort of paralysis or dissociation. This is common for children growing up in volatile or abusive homes because they can’t escape the threat. The nervous system gets overloaded with intense activation, which does not get discharged. Even for people who have ‘dealt’ with their childhood in talk therapy, the nervous system can still hold a tremendous amount of survival oriented energy locked deep inside. Over time this can lead any one of a long list of medical conditions.

Brainspotting combined with somatic therapy and hypnotherapy allows access to the body/mind, unconscious and nervous system. What is so amazing about this technique is the depth of processing that naturally occurs through using eye focus and bilateral music. An emotionally charged visual spot is located and all the associated memories and emotions start to process, all the way down to the level of the nervous system. Various physical sensations and emotions can start bubbling up naturally, feeling just like they originally, but much less intense. The natural healing mechanisms of breathing, emotional and physical release, and insight can then access and process long buried, or even forgotten trauma. We will also use eye positions that access the neuropathways for connection, support, grounding or other resources to create safety and healing. I’ve done powerful clearing work with issues such as birth, adoption and circumcision, which could never be processed through cognitive work. This can lead to really amazing and exciting symptom resolution. Clients sometimes experience shifts in symptoms they’ve lived with for half their lives after the first or second session. That doesn’t mean that this is a ‘quick fix’. It usually takes some time to access and fully process the material locked in the body. But the bottom line is that the body/mind/consciousness really can heal quite organically when we can connect our natural resources to our buried trauma!

Because I have been following this evolving field since the late 1980s, I have also learned alot about the physical and emotional realities of living with this sort of illness. I’ve learned a lot along the way about the gut/brain/nervous system connection and a wide range of healing options, particularly here in Boulder. I’ve worked with people who were also working with a variety of practioners using Functional Medicine, acupuncture and various other modalities. Through a combination of formal and informal education and experience I have a lot of understanding of Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, R/A, thyroid and adrenal disfunction, heavy metal toxicity and a number of other complex health issues. I have a deep understanding of the complexity of getting help and the ups and downs of the journey. I also have the great joy of seeing people recover and get their health back, so I can help hold faith during the low times.

Childhood sexual abuse

Coming to therapy to address being sexually abused can be intimidating. Weather you have memories or not, the trauma is stored in your body affecting many areas of your life. But opening up that territory can feel overwhelming. Therapy used to involve lots of remembering and talking about experiences no one wants to talk about. I have been working in this territory my whole career and wrote my Masters’ thesis on a holistic model for treating sexual abuse survivors back in 1993. I can tell you that I deeply understand this territory and I have the tools to help you clear the long term effects and create healthy relationships with others and with your body. I know how to approach this topic with gentleness and respect balanced with the deep tools that allow you to clear the trauma and nurture the little person inside.

Comprehensive and loving

Our work together has raised my quality of life consistently, supporting me to develop my own sense of spirituality and self and work through my life’s toughest challenges. Julisa teaches what she lives, a huge range of tools, as well as how to build a foundation in life, all of which has helped me to heal and given me support on every level- physical, emotional, spiritual and financial. I’ve overcome many things including big struggles with addiction. I’ve consistently learned how to value and care for myself better and have healthier relationships. All along, Julisa has held such loving space for me, during sessions and outside of them. If she hadn’t been so committed to my happiness these last few years, I’m sure I would have lost faith.”

-C. B., Golden

Walks her talk

Julisa has guided and supported me in the work of deep transformation. I am much more peaceful, free, and empowered in my day-to-day life from having been her client. She is patient, gentle, intuitive and very skilled. Julisa’s high level of integrity and commitment to her clients’ growth and health is rare. Her lifelong commitment to her own growth comes across in her work and has inspired me. She is truly “walking the walk.”

– M. J., Boulder

Lots of tools, which really helps!

“Julisa has worked with us to learn tools for dealing with emotions in a productive and positive manner and being able to communicate about important things. We have found EFT to be very helpful and making it through one of the hardest years of our lives. We use NVC techniques a lot to avoid fighting and have more productive conversations. Julisa has helped us understand ourselves and each other and break out of a negative cycle that is damaging for our relationship and the kids”

-N. Lafayette

More integrated and accepting of others

“I have become more aware of personality types which has allowed me to really understand friends, co-workers and family members on a much deeper level. I am so much more compassionate, professional and have more real relationships with these people. Julisa is a kind, compassionate, non-judgemental therapist. We have worked through both current and past issues, thought patterns, and personality traits to the point where I am increasingly more aware and able to solve my own negative patterns. My entire being is much more integrated and accepting of myself and others.”

– Tracy, Niwot

Changed my life

To say Julisa has changed my life is an understatement. She has helped me heal wounds which felt so deep I thought I might never recover. I have let go of codependent relationships and feel happier than I have my entire life…I finally have the skills to get through this life.”

-L.F., Parker

No one compares to Julisa

After 37 years of failing at dieting, and over 20 years of morbid obesity, Julisa helped turn my life around. I’ve tried getting help from various kinds of professionals over the years for both dieting and emotional/relationship challenges in my life. No one compares to Julisa. Her compassion, experience, and directness coupled with the specific techniques she uses are profoundly effective. She helps you process what is keeping you from moving forward, and simultaneously teaches you how to work through things on your own. It’s not a fast process, but once you turn the corner on what is holding you back, progress can be amazing. So far I’ve lost 60 pounds, and for the first time in my life I feel confident about losing the rest of my excess weight. And more importantly, I am not worried about it coming back. I am changed. Not just my relationships with food and my body, but with others. I am starting to live the life I want and not the life I felt I had to lead. I am truly grateful to Julisa and recommend her to anyone who needs to make changes in their life or needs support in dealing with life’s challenges.”

Jenn, Louisville,

Just what I needed

“I just wanted to say thank you for my session on Friday. I had no idea what to expect but drove home smiling the whole way. It feels like that was just what I needed before my surgery tomorrow. I also wanted to tell you how impressed I was with your work. I was honestly stunned by your ability to keep your emotions completely out and allow the entire space for your patient. I have been to many therapists, doctors and healers and am not sure I have ever come across someone so capable of stepping completely out of the way and just allowing the space for the patient. That really is a gift.”

– Chrissy, Boulder

I feel strongly understood

“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

Always growing as a therapist

“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.”

Sally, Boulder

Life changing....through a deeper connection with my Self

“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

passion for helping you reconnect with the Divine

Julisa has a passion for helping you to reconnect with the divine and helping you to feel the flow and presence in every part of your physical being, which brings healing, light and release. She helped me understand how that awareness of presence and flow can surround and hold my everyday experiences physically, mentally and emotionally, and not be just one-off experiences scheduled for a set time and place. For me, through brainspotting work, breathing techniques and guided meditation, Julisa has helped me to identify the places in my physical body where I have stored up pain, anger and sadness, and to allow the presence and light of God to flow through and heal by bringing awareness to those blockages. This work has then helped me to feel lighter and happier outside of therapy, allowing chalenges to serve as opportunities for personal growth and as a catalyst for drawing even closer to God.”
– Hannah, Boulde

Acute dedication and deeply perceptive guidance

As I have been met with one devastation after another over the past 4 years, Julisa has been with me every step of the way. After losing much of my old life in a very short period of time, I was left with little perspective on life and virtually no understanding of who I was. I have no doubt in my mind that I would not be here today if it had not been for Julisa’s commitment, expertise, empathy, and genuine desire to understand exactly what I have been going through with each new challenge I have had to face. No matter what the circumstance, Julisa has had ideas for ways to help me work with my situation and my pain. She has consistently been able to see the real me that has endured behind all of my loss and suffering, and with her acute dedication and deeply perceptive guidance, I am coming out the other end of this learning how to do the same.

K, Boulder

Dedicated to her own spiritual practice and inner work

As teacher and therapist, Julisa addresses my whole self, body/mind/spirit, leading me to discover more authenticity, wellness and meaning in my life. Her insight, compassion, intuition and whole-hearted presence are rooted in the dedication she brings to her own spiritual practice and inner work.”

– Janice, Boulder

Self-Realization Psychotherapy: Accelerated Healing for Accelerated Times

Julisa Adams, MA, CHT

Transpersonal and somatic psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, Brainspotting, energy work and health coaching

(303) 818-6432JulisaAdams@gmail.com