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Our Therapeutic Approaches

At Live Well, we utilize therapeutic principles and approaches that harness the power of your nervous system in healing, and which have been proven effective through research and strong bodies of evidence. 

If this is your first time looking for therapy, or you have mixed feelings about moving forward, we want to reassure you that it's natural to feel uncertain. Fear of the unknown and reluctance to feel hope is a common experience, and something we will explore together. Understanding how and why we use the methods we do may help soothe some of those concerns and anticipate what's ahead.

Our key therapeutic frameworks include EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Ego States Therapy, EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples), Attachment Theory, and Polyvagal Theory, along with various models of play and family therapy. Each of our therapists brings their own style, training, and expertise to their approach, and your therapy plan will be customized to your unique concerns and considerations.
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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

As we move through this world, our experiences turn into subconscious lessons that teach us how to think, feel, and be in relationships. Sometimes those experiences help us develop a sense of accomplishment and resilience. And other times, those experiences overwhelm us, get stuck, and lead to distressing symptoms. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy focuses on reprocessing these stuck memories, allowing the wounds of trauma and other adverse life experiences to metabolize, so you can return to a state of health and resilience.
EMDR has proven effective for treating PTSD, anxiety, depression, addiction, chronic pain, grief and loss, disordered eating, and more. The theoretical model underlying EMDR is the Adaptive Information Processing model (AIP). AIP asserts that experiences that are overwhelming, traumatic, terrorizing or otherwise distressing may get “stuck” in our brains. These “stuck” experiences can lead to distressing psychological and physical symptoms. Alternatively, AIP asserts that as humans, we are geared toward healing and feeling better. EMDR acts as a support to allow your nervous system to do what it naturally does: heal and deepen resiliency.
Bilateral stimulation (BLS) is a component of EMDR. That’s the “follow my fingers” technique most commonly associated with EMDR Therapy. Bilateral stimulation can also be provided through audio tones, self-tapping, or a device that creates vibrating sensations in the hands, alternating bilaterally. 
EMDR incorporates an entire eight-phase therapeutic orientation, which we use to pace treatment according to an individual client’s needs. “Stuck” experiences are identified as targets for reprocessing, and are recalled by the client through a structured process. During processing, the therapist serves as a trusted guide, holding space for you to experience your individual path toward healing. As the memory of an experience eventually shifts, the distressing maladaptive material is naturally discarded, and symptoms related to that experience resolve and dissipate.

Ego States Therapy

Develop Compassion for Every Part of Yourself

As we move through the world, we can come to define ourselves by outside factors and influences. We can absorb what other people have communicated to us about who we are and what they expect of us, believing what they see and abandoning pieces of who we are and who we’re meant to be. Ego States Therapy helps you do the deep work of reacquainting yourself with the lost parts of you, so you can move beyond others’ experience and expectations of you toward deeper self-understanding. 

Ego States Therapy holds the perspective that there are no bad parts of you – only aspects that call for greater awareness and compassion, and new ways of doing things. This is especially true for the parts of you that have been affected by chronic stress, abuse, neglect, or trauma. We use the tools of Ego States Therapy to help you come to understand and develop compassion toward the parts of yourself the world doesn't acknowledge or celebrate, including the shadowy parts you may be ashamed or afraid to address. 
Together, we thoughtfully mine out who you truly are and how you want to show up in your life and relationships, so you can deepen your self-understanding and better know why you do the things you do. As you gently move toward knowing and caring for every aspect of yourself, you can experience life from a place of wholeness and move through the world feeling resolved and settled inside.


Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy is a proven approach for helping couples reopen lines of connection and communication. EFT is organized into three fluid stages, which you’ll naturally move in and out of as you move through therapy.
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Stage 1

In Stage 1, the objective is to begin noticing your yearnings for closeness, and the negative patterns or cycle that keep it out of reach. In session, partners have the experience of responding and reaching out to one another in new ways, which yield a different result. This helps create connection, rather than the distance that comes from outdated patterns of communication.

Stage 2

This is when the good stuff starts. In Stage 2 of EFT, the focus is on healing and growing the fledgling bond between you and your partner. You'll begin to see one another more clearly, and to honor and empathize with the more vulnerable feelings that emerge from this stage. As you begin to see your partner in a new way, the dynamics of your relationship will change. You'll begin to feel more secure and connected than you ever thought possible.

Stage 3

With a new sense of security and connection, Stage 3 takes you back to the old issues that felt unsolvable: money, sex, where to spend holidays, who's responsible for the laundry. Whatever the issues were, your new intimacy allows you to solve these issues in a way that feels good, and which no longer drives you apart.

Attachment Theory

Attachment Theory is based in neuroscience that shows human beings are wired to be deeply connected to others. This is true when we’re young, and holds true throughout adulthood. Attachment Theory explains why our greatest joys, and deepest wounds, stem from those we’re most connected to. As we fold Attachment Theory into therapy, we explore the impact of your relationships from childhood, how that impacts your present-day patterns within relationships, and strategies to manage distress within those connections. Early attachment experiences include those with parents and caregivers, the dynamics of the home while growing up, and other significant childhood experiences. Understanding and repairing  your underlying unmet attachment needs can empower you to break familial cycles and learn to find greater depth and intimacy in your most important relationships.

Polyvagal Theory

Polyvagal Theory provides a framework for deciphering the cues of the autonomic nervous system, which has evolved for the sole purpose of keeping you safe. So much of the way we experience the world and our relationships can be traced back to states of the nervous system and how we perceive something to be safe or dangerous, which is often unique and based on individual life experiences. Those autonomic states include fight, flight, freeze, and collapse. When the information from the autonomic nervous system makes its way to the brain, we start to create stories to make better sense of what’s happening. Sometimes those stories develop into helpful lessons learned, and sometimes those stories keep you stuck, impacting the way you see yourself, the world, and others. 

As we become acquainted with what your nervous system is telling you, and gently help you connect with grounding, safety, and calm, we empower you to begin to develop more complete stories, while creating a template to navigate future stressors. The process illuminates a new path toward wholeness, rooted in the wisdom of your body.

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