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I’m a licensed mental health therapist who loves combining neuroscience, holistic health, somatic work, and spirituality to give people tools to heal trauma.
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Advertising works so well because it slips past our conscious brain and speaks directly to our subconscious fears and desires. Around 95% of our brain runs via procedural learning and subconscious beliefs, while only 5% of our brain makes decisions with our conscious awareness. We can harness the same powerful force that advertisers use, but rather than as something that distracts us or works against us, we can use it to work alongside us, aligned with the values and goals we are reaching for. …

I have started and stopped this piece so many times because often I think who am I to be speaking of this? I am just as off-course. There are times I sigh with relief as I connect with the underlying truth and other times I am lost in the woods, trying to find my way back to what I’ve known before.

What have I known? That stillness is my superpower. It’s the strongest medicine I know for healing my body, my mind, and my heart. It holds the answers to all of my questions. It also holds my deepest pain…

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Perfectionism is a survival strategy disguised as a cure. It is born as a response to our deep feelings of inadequacy and shame. The strategy is adaptive and can feel successful in the short-term, but the problem is, it ultimately fails us. We can never achieve perfection no matter how hard we work and how much we accomplish, and worse is the costs we incur along the way. Perfectionism keeps us trapped in our doing, because we have not yet learned to accept our being. And our being is not only where we find freedom, it is also where we…

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Generally we think of dopamine as the neurochemical which gives us pleasure. We think of it as integral to our reward system. However, I would argue that the neurochemicals which are truly the seat of pleasure, are the ones that allow us to tap into feelings of contentment, joy, and love: the present moment neurochemicals of serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, and endocannabinoids. True pleasure is about feeling and appreciating an experience in the moment, whereas, “cheap pleasure” or the thrill of dopamine is merely about fantasy.

Our brain is set up to work one way in the present (via present moment…

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Empathy is generally seen as a commendable trait, one that won’t lead us astray. However, there is a darker side of empathy which can get us into dangerous situations even with the best of intentions. Not only do I see this pattern play out with many of my clients, but I have also experienced it myself and the experience forever changed me. Never did I feel so out of control or divided against myself. Imagine my shock when I realized that it was one of my most beloved strengths-empathy- that had gotten me to this painful place.

As a therapist…

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How shame might be the unknown poison affecting your life and how to uproot it.

As I compared social anxiety war stories with my partner one unremarkable afternoon, I casually mentioned the overwhelming feeling of rage that sometimes comes over me when I meet eyes with a stranger in public. My partner was taken aback: “What? I’ve never experienced that.” I was surprised. The dysregulating moments of rage beneath eye contact had always been striking and uncomfortable, yet customary for me. The rage felt protective like a trapped animal ready to bear its claws, while at the same time submissive like trying to hide amongst the foliage. …

Photo by Aelis Harris

Postpartum depression is a debilitating experience which affects anywhere from 7.1% to 25% of women¹. Although Postpartum Depression or PPD is classified under Major Depressive Disorder with a post-partum onset in the DSM-V, there are distinctive factors that set PPD apart. These include responsibility for the care of a child, sleep deprivation, and new tasks and roles such as breastfeeding, loss of independence, and primarily being bound to the home. Traditional measures for depression may miss or misconstrue important factors of postnatal distress due to these unique physiological and psychological demands.

Post-partum depression or PPD has been primarily conceptualized and…

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We have been told since we were little kids that getting 8 hours of sleep is vital to our overall health and well-being. As someone who comes face to face with trauma every day through my work, my body agrees wholeheartedly with this advice. If I’m not running on the energy of a full night’s sleep, my ability to show up for clients is noticeably impacted. My concentration, my compassion, my ability to make decisions, and my genuine presence all become watered-down versions. Sleep restores our brain by removing toxic waste buildup and allows our brain to create needed neural…

How the unexamined beliefs of the wellness world can be damaging to mental health.

Image by Anh Phan

It’s not news that the wellness world meets at the cross-section of self-development and privilege. It’s been touted as largely a space for white, middle-class women who have the money and access to never-ending supplements, fitness programs, spiritual retreats, and life coaches. It is the world of manifestation where the external world is only as unforgiving as you let it be through your own negative thinking and limited dreams of your future. …

How developmental stages of mental health influence our capacities for change, growth, and joy

Image by Andrew Neel

Within the darkness of depression, there is no light. We yearn for others and yet their presence makes no difference; the isolation exists within the sinews of the body, in the space between others words and one’s own experience. There is a deep chasm that cannot be crossed with mere positivity, patience, or platitudes around self-care.

When someone is trapped in the deepest and most agonizing parts of depression or anxiety, the path forward looks very different then for someone who comes in and out of mental imbalance, someone who has had years of healing but still struggles, or someone…

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