THERAPEUTIC APPROACH AND SPECIALTIES
My approach is non-traditional and engages experientially rather than only talking “ABOUT the problem.” This offers the opportunity to truly “externalize” the issue and see it more clearly rather than simply “intellectually”. Anxiety happens to be my specialty – often the result of unaddressed feelings and stressors occurring over a period of time and linked to habitual patterns of thought, feelings and limiting beliefs since childhood. Insecurities, unsuccessful coping strategies leading to stress, communication issues, attachment issues – these tend to be results of earlier times that continue persisting in distressing ways due to orienting, unwittingly, to beliefs creating worry, doubt, anxiety that continue to be lived rather than investigated.
As a Cognitive-behavioral counselor with a Family Systems understanding of our life challenges,
- I use innovative, experiential strategies in conjunction with our ‘talk-therapy’ so the client experiences as well as sees more clearly the limiting beliefs and hurts from the past that continue replaying in the client’s present – variations on a theme.
- Clients learn to recognize old ‘narratives’ from childhood that created their limiting programmed beliefs, ineffective coping strategies, self-doubts and anxiety that we’ve come to believe is who we ARE.
- Clients, then, learn to distinguish between effective thoughts, and ineffective thoughts from their ‘conditioning’ and learn how to shift their perspective. These continued shifts in perspective lead to discovering more of their true nature – creating inner peace and calm. Even in the face of difficulties that may arise, these experiences may be met with increased emotional balance and calm.
- These realizations coupled with on-going support from therapeutic experiencing have the power of transforming unproductive habits and painful earlier experiences into personal strength-of-Being and productive skill-sets.
My client and I meet weekly for 1:1 sessions, and – after a month, having established a relationship of understanding and trust, the client has been prepared for invitation to Exploring Reality Dialogues which occurs monthly. Body/Spirit Attunement Circle also occurs once monthly and, altogether, are in complement to each other creating a foundation of clarity of mind, increased confidence and attunement with inherent intuition/body-wisdom. These components are accelerators building individual therapeutic momentum and are specifically designed for client’s creating significant inner shifts. Established clients will be invited to attend.
- learning about your current issues bringing you into therapy and developing a ‘scientist’ relationship, with each other so that your life becomes your learning and practicing laboratory
- recognizing when experiences from early life continue ‘showing up’ as problems, today – although the names and faces have changed – and how to respond effectively
- educating on the difference between thoughts that are Effective (productive), and Ineffective thoughts (negative self-judgments, doom/gloom thinking, thoughts that beat- up/ tear you down)
- learning how to approach and diminish emotional triggers – guilt, fear, obligation, anger, and addictive behaviors
- learning to make friends with your feelings/body/intuition – which become your guide in feeling positive about your life choices rather than reacting from fear, obligation or guilt
- gaining freedom from thought-traps – negative self-talk – “Future-tripping” about ‘what if’s‘, about what others are thinking, about what you think you did wrong….
- upgrading your “operating system” by learning Mindfulness skills – practicing awareness of the Present Moment – which can positively affect unhelpful self-talk ‘habits’ of thought and feeling, therefore, creating new pathways in the brain
- feeling more natural and at ease within yourself and in the body, confident in your interactions as you live life from these new brain pathways rather than old habits of uncertainty
We will establish a trusting rapport, we will become partners in “investigations” and we will also work with a variety of experiential approaches such as working with Stones Constellations in the individual session with client/therapist. Working with stones as representatives for an “issue” enables the client to visualize and externalize their presenting issue rather than simply talking about it, intellectually. The stones, serving as representing a particular issue, can be seen and touched and engaged with to make the whole experience much more real rather than “intellectualized” and detached. Here is an example of a client’s intuitive, non-linear, non-conceptual placement of his stones. The stones are places intuitively – unconsciously. Together, we may explore the significance of these unexpected placements and relationships and what it might mean to the client.
Mindfulness is a learned practice of aware-attention (noticing) in the present moment. In learning mindfulness methods, you are observing your thoughts and feelings as if standing back and noticing them as ‘objects’, without judging them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and with less attachment. Mindfulness skills bring relief from thoughts that make you feel ‘insecure’, limited, and unhappy about yourself. Practicing mindfulness creates personal empowerment and inner peace. Mindfulness allows you to BE…with whatever is happening…more skillfully.
EXPLORING REALITY DIALOGUES is the conceptual piece of this therapy – offered in a small group setting – in a Question and Answer format – once a month, that explores in a 2 hour period more completely than we’re able to engage in our time-limited individual sessions. Here, we come to realize how our ‘programmed’ *beliefs* and ineffective *thoughts* create anxiety, depression, fear and greatly contribute to the existence of our personal problems. We may come to discover how unrecognized and unresolved perspectives from childhood tend to contribute a great deal to the pressures and stressors we are feeling today. In this supportive gathering, we will refresh our use of our counseling ‘tools’. This is NOT group therapy – rather, together, in this safe environment we are exploring the misconceptions we all share due to ‘programming’ – that creates our self-doubt and emotional inner discontent. Also gained is a sense that ‘we’re not alone’ and can learn from each other, sharing tools and tips.
Many fear being *real* in a group – we’ve been ‘programed’ to always wear our mask to feel ‘safe’ – and we don’t realize that most everyone else is also pretending. In these circles, as I call them, we can actually gain confidence that we’re not so different, that others are not superior, that we’re actually all struggling in one way or another for self-acceptance. This augmented modality along side our 1:1 work truly acts as an accelerant for inner shifts. Established clients – those working with me for at least 4 weeks – may be invited to attend and simply observe for the first hour of their first visit and depart.
CONSTELLATIONS WORK (Empathic-Body/Spirit Attunement) – (NO relation to astrology) is a most remarkable and phenomenal method for actually bringing into clearer visibility those unresolved issues long hidden from our conscious awareness. These hidden dynamics tend to keep us anxious and frustrate our moving forward, keeping us feeling stuck in repeating patterns that we don’t understand. This modality helps us bring these patterns into visibility while clearing a pathway toward healing these repetitive issues. In the non-judgmental, caring and support of the Circle, we experience our possibility for gaining trust and connecting with intuitive body-wisdom. We begin seeing these patterns (that we’ve ‘known about’ for years but could do nothing about) and actually feel empowered to ‘let go’ – a process that may otherwise take years in traditional ‘talk-therapy’ to even be recognized. An invitation to attend as an observer is extended to established clients after we’ve worked together, individually, for at least 4 – 6 weeks
Couples issues – Having been trained as a family therapist and providing individual and couples’ therapy for over 20 years, it’s clear that most couples’ issues are a result of their own personal, unresolved history. Understanding this, I find it unproductive to attempt traditional therapy with couples trying to “fix” their relationship problems – as this neglects focus on the root causes of couples’ individual problems that unconsciously perpetuate their relationship issues. I am no longer offering traditional couples counseling for this reason. If a couple is interested in exploring and discovering her or his own unique history of experiences, that continues to unconsciously perpetuate their relationship issues. This approach is for those individuals/couples who can see that their couples’ problem is actually a re-enactment of their own earlier life problem from their family-of-origin issues and are ready to explore and work through the root cause, together or individually that has been recreating and expressing the problem in their relationship. I will not be utilizing insurance for these sessions – as insurance requires the designation of an “identified patient” – singling out the “individual” with the problem – which defeats the intention of this unique approach.
If you find yourself intrigued by this non-traditional approach – drop me an email, please include your concerns that are prompting your seeking counseling, your age, your insurance carrier, as well as any questions you may have about my offerings. We may discuss if or how this unique approach may offer you a new direction in your life – learning to recognize limiting fears and beliefs while stepping into a freer and more confident way of expressing the Being that you Are
Repetitive habits and limiting beliefs deepen old brain grooves; while opening to new experiences, learning new perspectives creates new pathways in the brain. Write to: nancy (at) nancybennettcounselor dot com
Our BEING is like a soft and gentle flower, it needs to be nurtured, cared for, tended to, with sufficient sunlight, fresh air and freedom to bloom into its most precious and beautiful potential.