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.
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.
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
Comprehensive and loving
-C. B., Golden
Walks her talk
– M. J., Boulder
Lots of tools, which really helps!
More integrated and accepting of others
– Tracy, Niwot
Changed my life
No one compares to Julisa
Just what I needed
– Chrissy, Boulder
I feel strongly understood
Always growing as a therapist
Life changing....through a deeper connection with my Self
– Katherine, Boulder
passion for helping you reconnect with the Divine
– Hannah, Boulde
Acute dedication and deeply perceptive guidance
Dedicated to her own spiritual practice and inner work
– Janice, Boulder