Traditional and Complementary Approaches
Valerie integrates eastern and western psychology into her coaching practice.
I most often use methods that integrate eastern and western psychology.
For those of you who would like more information, check out below the kinds of traditional and complementary approaches I may use in our coaching work together, depending on what is most useful for you.
These may include cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, interpersonal, systemic, artistic/creative, somatic, bioenergetic and transpersonal/spiritual therapies.
Some of these include:
Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) has appeared to be most effective for most mental health issues according to research studies. It acknowledges that our thoughts affect our bodily responses, emotions, and behaviors. Try it now. Imagine a big juicy lemon in front of you. See it cut in half. Take it into your hand and breathe in its fresh lemony tartness. Imagine biting into it. Taste the sour juice against your lips, and notice how you immediately pucker up and begin to salivate. This is the power of the mind to affect the body! When we change our thought or perspective about something, the body responds by producing a different set of chemicals and hormones. These trigger a new emotional and physical feeling, and a distinctive behavioral response. Before you read this paragraph, you likely were not thinking of lemons. As soon as you started visualizing the lemon, your thoughts and physical reactions began to change. I always help you become more aware of your thoughts and the habitual ways of responding that may be creating problems for you. As you increase your level of insight, you will transform from unconscious to more conscious ways of living. Conscious choices give us more freedom and peace of mind, and lead to more permanent changes in our old patterns of behavior. Examples of cognitive-behavioral techniques used for different treatments include logging self-limiting beliefs and reactive emotions, discussing thoughts around food or addictive substances, and restructuring activities to induce sleep. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
This therapeutic technique provides you with feedback about your style of being in relationships with others. Our moods and behaviors do affect those around us. As you become more aware of your interpersonal style, you can choose new ways of responding to and interacting with others that may be more useful to you. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
I encourage all of my clients to notice how what they are eating affects their moods. Of course, if you’ve been eating the same kind of foods for a long time, chances are you won’t notice that your fatigue, irritability, hyperactivity or poor concentration is related to your diet. Ask your physician for blood and hair analyses to determine nutritional deficiencies, or heavy metal intoxication if you suspect a problem. Most doctors do not administer these tests as part of their routine care. Though the tests may cost you some money, it may be cheaper in the long run than taking prescription medication to undo what you keep doing. Food allergies, sensitivities, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, and vitamin/mineral deficiencies have all been linked to mood issues. Wheat gluten sensitivity, for instance, has been linked to depression. Diets high in processed foods usually lack essential vitamins and minerals, while diets consistently high in sugar (e.g. refined flour breads and pastas, sweets, sodas, alcohol) create imbalances in blood sugar levels and mimic anxiety symptoms. If mood issues are a problem, talk to your physician. Naturopathic, Ayurvedic or Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors are particularly trained in using individualized nutritional remedies to bring moods back into balance. Generally, most medical providers agree that we should all consider making half of our daily food intake fresh fruits and vegetables, with the other half abundant in complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grains). Animal protein in routine amounts over 10% of daily food intake has been shown by research conducted over the past few decades to be strongly linked to anxiety and a host of other common medical conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. With that in mind, aiming for 1 cup of each color of the rainbow in your daily fruit and vegetable selections offers a healthy variety of needed vitamins and minerals, as well as plant protein sources. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
In guided imagery meditation techniques, you learn to use all of your senses in an imaginary journey that helps the body to relax, unwind, and heal. It is more than visualization. You use not only your mind’s eye, but also your mind’s ear, nose, tongue and body to touch and experience a dreamlike state while still awake. This is a relaxed state of consciousness. This is the state of flow that all athletes use to mentally rehearse their performances. Researchers have found evidence of mind or consciousness in every cell of the body. Brain studies show that the body responds to imagined activities as if they were physical. The same areas of the brain light up. The same release of chemicals and hormones takes place. This is the underlying basis, the foundation, of all mind-body therapies. The higher states of consciousness that can be reached in this way are the states in which the universal law of attraction begins to operate, the states where mind meets matter, the states that are explained by the latest in quantum physics, energy medicine, humanistic and positive psychology research using phrases such as resonance, entanglement, torsion, energy healing, and intention. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more!
When the body is chronically stressed, it has a more difficult time functioning and healing itself. There are many sources of stress – the ones we usually think of like work, school, relationship, and finances, but also poor diet, dehydration, lack of movement and circulation, reduced oxygenation, environmental and electromagnetic pollution. Stress reduction involves minimizing the harmful things that surround us, and maximizing those that uplift us and optimize our wellness. It requires us to pay attention to our bodies, minds and emotions and wring out all tension. We allow the body to relax, the mind to find stillness, the emotions to find a point of balance. Relaxation strategies may differ for each of us. What is relaxing to you, may not be relaxing for your best friend. Think of your last vacation and you will understand what I mean! Some of the most common ones I recommend include: deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, somatic mindfulness meditation, bioenergetic self-healing, self-guided imagery to music, yoga, qigong, and massage. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
In meditation techniques, you learn to use all of your senses in an imaginary journey that helps the body to relax, unwind, heal, and create. It is more than visualization. You use not only your mind’s eye, but also your mind’s ear, nose, tongue and body to touch and experience a chosen state while still awake. This is a relaxed state of consciousness. Researchers have found evidence of mind or consciousness in every cell of the body. Brain studies show that the body responds to imagined activities as if they were physical. The same areas of the brain light up. The same release of chemicals and hormones takes place. This is the underlying basis, the foundation, of all mind-body therapies. The higher states of consciousness that can be reached in this way are the states in which the universal law of attraction begins to operate, the states where mind meets matter, the states that are explained by the latest in quantum physics, energy medicine, humanistic and positive psychology research using phrases such as resonance, entanglement, scalar waves, energy healing, and intention. There are a variety of meditations. Simply put, to meditate is to focus attention. The object of meditation differs. Because most people are driven by their thoughts, meditation teachers often instruct students to become an observer of their thoughts, to learn how to let thoughts arise and float by without reacting to them. That skill helps students more consciously choose their emotions and behaviors, and with continued practice, choose a state of being. In mindfulness meditation, you learn to be present to every moment as it is now. Not in the past. Not in the future. There is only now. Right now is where new insights are reached, new choices are made and new experiences are created. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
Somatic methods focus on the physical cellular structure of the body. The energy of trauma and other emotions will remain in the somatic tissues of the body as long as those emotions are repressed. As the emotions are released, their energy moves out of the body. In my initial assessment, it is helpful when you let me know what areas of your body hold tension, pain, numbness or disease. Since our physical structure is built from an energetic blueprint, the body can serve as a mirror to our emotional pain. I teach you to consider what your body may be telling you about your deepest emotions. Somatic guided meditation is another common technique I may suggest if and when it feels appropriate. In this technique I teach you how to ask the mind to step aside, as you intuitively scan the rest of your body for sensations and messages that may arise. Receiving insights from the body in this way can be a surprisingly profound experience. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
If you were to say to me that you could only do one thing to help yourself feel better, I would recommend movement. We usually think of exercise only if we want to look more fit. But most of us are not told the most fundamental reason we need to exercise regularly. The answer, “Use it, or lose it!” Literally. Think about it. When we use a part of our body, that movement sends energetic signals throughout the body’s entire structural and energetic matrix. Those signals say, “Hey, over here!” communicating how the body is being used. The entire body’s system immediately adapts to accommodate and support that movement, that needed function. If we don’t use our muscles, they shorten and become more rigid. A weak heart muscle can no longer move blood adequately enough to provide nutrition, hydration and oxygenation to our cells and tissues. Neural impulses and energetic vibrations also become restricted. If we don’t move, lymph doesn’t move. The result? The chronic stress, tension, aches, pains, brittle bones, mental fog, emotional imbalance, and compromised immune system that we mistake for “normal aging”. Movement increases serotonin levels and releases endorphins that reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It speeds up your metabolism, improves digestion and elimination, and gets rid of toxins. Movement helps you think more clearly and boosts energy levels. As it does, your weight normalizes, your self-esteem improves and you sleep better. You are mentally, emotionally and physically healthier. There are numerous sources of information that help you select the exercise protocol that is best for you. Talk to your healthcare provider. For those of you having very limited or no movement capability, or who are recovering from severe physical illness, I offer a ZY Qigong “cellular wakeup” bioenergetic technique that can get you started. Bioenergetic techniques work at the energetic vibrational level, the body’s most fundamental communication system upon which all others (biochemical, structural, neurological) are based. The low impact movement/bioenergetic techniques I most often recommend include deep breathing combined with imagery, yoga, qigong, Quantum-Touch, chakra balancing, and other energy healing modalities. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
The humanistic perspective (see also http://ahpweb.org/aboutahp/whatis.html ), values the inherent capacity of every human being to self-actualize his or her unique potential. This whole person multidimensional orientation believes in the value of psychotherapy, not just for serious mental health concerns, but also for healthy individuals interested in personal growth, and in the ability each of us has to consciously choose and create our own life path. Humanistic psychology recognizes the role of personal (conscious and unconscious) and societal intentions and values in guiding our behavior. It believes in the interaction of mind, body and spirit. The therapeutic environment is one of unconditional positive regard, of empathic understanding and personal congruence. Therapy itself emphasizes consciousness, choice, personal responsibility, interpersonal competence, love and compassion, harmony and balance with the earth, and the importance of a nurturing environment in which to grow. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
A systemic perspective in psychotherapy refers to the consideration that we as individuals affect and are effected by everything around us. We are part of a larger interconnected whole, a system that includes our family and friends, community, state, nation, humanity, the entire planet, and beyond. In nature and the environmental movement, we refer to “ecosystems” and have begun to understand how human actions affect the various aspects of the planet, which in turn affects man. In therapy, the same principles apply. This is especially significant in family therapy. One member of the family affects each of the other members. They react and affect one another in various ways. Problems build up over time, and the process of healing requires change and adaptation by all. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
Some people have a hard time expressing themselves with words, so I often use alternative techniques that prove more helpful. Art – Pictures, symbols or mandalas are drawn with colored pencils. The colors help to differentiate among various emotions depicted within the artwork. Dance – Dance or movement to music can help express emotion, rid the body of anger, or tell a story. Music – Music therapy has been found helpful for decreasing distressing emotions, calming the body into a meditative or healing state, and uplifting mood. Drama – Drama or acting can help those, especially in family therapy, who need more expressive ways to communicate and to show others how one member appears to another. For instance, talking about how a teen’s anger affects the family is one thing, but seeing what that anger looks like as it is reenacted is tremendously helpful. If you would like to learn more, call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation!
Biofeedback is a technique for getting immediate feedback through a visual computer display on your ability to affect bodily reactions or processes with your mind. The body will automatically regulate functions such as heart rate, skin temperature, brain waves, muscle tension or blood pressure. However, research has shown that people can learn to override the body’s autopilot function with focused meditation, involving guided imagery and relaxation. This is especially useful for learning how to control stress, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and even improve memory. For example, studies have shown that using neurofeedback to treat ADHD results in a decrease in symptoms for a longer period than using medication. Sensors attached to your fingers or body measure muscle tension (electromyography or EMG) or skin temperature. In neurofeedback, brain waves are measured using electroencephalography (EEG). Biofeedback devices can be as simple as a thermometer or home use computer system, or as sophisticated as a monitoring system set up in a lab. Check out these home systems to see if they might be right for you: http://store.heartmath.com/ or http://www.wilddivine.com/ . Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more!
Long before the popular film “The Secret” instructed millions of viewers in the universal law of attraction, therapists and mystics alike spoke of the value in replacing negative thoughts with positive intentions. Intention meditation involves choosing a state of being to experience. It is a multidimensional alignment of your heart, mind and physical body with your soul. The higher states of consciousness that can be reached in this way are the states in which the universal law of attraction begins to operate, the states where mind meets matter, the states that are explained by the latest in quantum physics, energy medicine, humanistic and positive psychology research using phrases such as resonance, entanglement, torsion, energy healing, and yes, intention experiments. How does setting intention work? Simply put, energy follows thought and feeling. The more focused the thought and feeling, the stronger and more coherent (when soul, heart, brain and nervous system are in-sync) the energy. From research conducted so far, it appears that since everything is energy, and energy is boundless, setting strong intentions within your energy field resonates with the fields of similar intentions throughout the universe. More specifically, the use of imagery and intention generates electrical and magnetic fields within your nervous system, which can spread through your body and beyond. The energy and water in our living matrix can resonate and be imprinted with the energetic vibrations underlying words, thoughts, and intention. Since the heart produces the strongest electrical and magnetic rhythms of any tissue in the body, and sends signals to the brain, coherent intentions formed with love and gratitude, are hundreds of times stronger than intentions formed from incoherent random thoughts. Check out the research at http://www.heartmath.com/research/ and learn about heart and brain coherence, and what it means for your emotional, mental and physical wellness. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.
Analyzing our dreams can reveal much about our thoughts and emotions that are buried deeply below the surface. Dreams can be communications from Spirit or loved ones, or mental representations of a chatty mind. They may be memories of astral travels or of other incarnations. Most often, they mirror to us the fears we hold about a lacking self. There are assorted styles of dream analysis. My style is a synergistic blend inspired by various disciplines from Jungian psychology to spiritual teachings, along with remote viewing and other psychic research. Though informed by the archetypes of the collective unconscious, I ultimately believe that each of us tends to dream in symbols personal to us. You are the only one who can interpret your dream. I am honored to be your guide. The types of dreams we experience reflect our reach in spiritual growth. For example, only those few who have developed their perceptual capabilities beyond the material realms will likely remember astral travels. Yet there is nothing to judge for no one is ahead of another. Each of us develops according to the plan of our Higher Self for purposes we can only intuit. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more!
Namaste! I love this Sanskrit greeting which means The Light of God in Me recognizes and honors the Light of God in you, and in that recognition is our Oneness. Do sayings like that ever provoke in you the “aha!” experience? Do you ponder about the meaning and purpose of your life? Do you wonder about whether or not there is a higher force? Have you ever had experiences that you could not explain, and worried that others would think you were “crazy”? Perhaps you find yourself questioning your beliefs and want to discuss them with a “neutral” person who would understand and not judge. If you seek nondenominational spiritual counseling, I would be honored to support you as you contemplate these mysteries. Spiritual/transpersonal approaches:are based upon universal spiritual principles,have been found to facilitate transpersonal (i.e. beyond the personal realm) experiences,consider symptom origins from the point of view of the soul or transpersonal/quantum self, and understand the difference between psychotic and transpersonal symptoms. Philosophy - My own journey into spiritual questioning led me beyond my Christian upbringing into a quest for the common truth universally taught across all of the world’s wisdom traditions. I continue to explore them all, and to seek further experiences of sacred states of consciousness. I am fascinated by scientific findings from quantum physics, prayer research, remote viewing and distant healing studies, entanglement experiments, spiritual/energy healing, and inquiries into the nature of consciousness and the power of intention. And I persist in reviewing what these investigations reveal. For perhaps the first time in history, due to the benefit of increasingly sophisticated technology, science is beginning to confirm what the wisdom teachings have declared for millennia. Love is a powerful uniting force. Love crosses mysterious boundaries. Love heals. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more. Namaste!
Changing our habitual behaviors is not easy. Sometimes we have to learn new ones. And, unless we feel competent and a sense we’ve really mastered those new skills, we likely won’t use them routinely. Whether you need coaching on more effective ways to communicate with your boss or spouse, to prepare to wind down for a good night’s sleep, or to incorporate meditative techniques into your daily schedule, I can help you. I won’t just offer suggestions and leave you to figure it out. I will demonstrate the new skills as needed, and assist you as you begin to practice implementing them in your life. This can be especially useful for teens that may need help building their first resume or interviewing for their first job. With mastery, comes a sense of renewed confidence. Call me today at 303.547.8327 to schedule your free initial 30-minute consultation and learn more.