Integrative Gestalt Coaching™
You may be thinking, "What in the world is Integrative Gestalt Coaching™!?"
Well, for me, it's a body awareness practice. And what I strive to do for my clients is create a sincere and safe connection where I can facilitate and empower them to explore and find their own answers within themselves.
While the name of my website is, "Exploring the Unconscious Mind," it would be even more accurate if it was titled, "Exploring the Unconscious Body." Because rather than focusing solely on the chattering stories spiraling through your mind, I want to help you bring more awareness to how your body is actually feeling and experiencing life in the present moment. When we work from the body up, and we focus on the body, first and foremost, it creates nourishing groundwork that allows for a more integrated and self-aware mind. For instance, right now, I'd like to invite you to pause for a moment, and:
Take a breath.
Good. That's very good.
Try taking another, deeper breath.
It's these pauses, this slowing down of the mind and the re-tuning into, and becoming curious about, the body that I seek to help my clients with.
Where are you feeling emotions in your body?
Breathe into that a bit
And notice what changes, if anything.
What bodily sensations are you aware of right now? Notice where energy is moving, or not moving, freely throughout your body right now.
Through a dialogic Integrative Gestalt Coaching process, my number one goal is to create a safe space of deep-rooted interpersonal connection with you so that you have the security, trust, and strong sense of "self-agency" where you'll know that you have the internal tools to delve into and explore all of the rich wisdom, knowing, feelings, and sensations that are contained within your body and spirit.
For the explorers who are excited to start the process, you may want to pursue integrative gestalt coaching with a certain "goal" in mind or with a specific achievement you want to accomplish...That works for me! :)
Alternatively, you may have a less defined "goal" but are more generally feeling a sense that there may be something missing or you might even be unsure of what that "something" is or where to start....That works great for me too!
No matter your goal-orientation, integrative gestalt coaching is primed to create the interpersonal environment between you and me where you have the safe space to discover realizations, clarity, and epiphanies. Ultimately, I want to create a connection with you where you, through self-inquiry, can experience a more robust integration of all aspects of yourself - the shiny and proud aspects of yourself and even the aspects that you "wish" might not be there or that you hope to be free from. Rather than shunning the aspects of ourselves that we might not like or that we feel ashamed of, I believe that as we, together, softly look at these internal aspects of the psyche, as we become more aware of them, give them a voice and opportunity to be seen or heard, we can move toward allowing for and accepting them , and in effect, we become more integrated . As we practice to accept and allow for all aspects ourselves, we can become more empowered, more self aware, and more kind to ourselves and others.
During our meetings, I'll mostly be listening. Very early on in each session, I'll invite you to tune into your body and the sensations that are arising for you in that moment. As you speak about the range of things or sensations that you're aware of in the moment, I'll mostly be listening, offering my presence and attention, and closely looking at how your body is reacting to what you're saying. I'll be sensitive to very subtle, micro movements, shifts in energy, changes in tone of voice, posture, gestures, and it's these shifts that I'll bring your awareness to. While, of course, I'm interested in the words you're saying, it's really the body, the involuntary movements and expressions of the body, where the real magic lies. And, again, that's where I'll gently draw your attention and self-inquiry to. I'll help you bring more awareness to what your body has to say about whatever matter, goal, or issue you're talking about.
The mouth is the story teller, but the body is the truth keeper. And so that's where I'm most focused. That's where I'm most curious to help you explore.
Through all of our meetings, I will be trusting, knowing, and assuming that you, and every human, have the innate ability and internal momentum toward personal growth. Growing, changing, and becoming more of who we naturally are is woven into our DNA, and the quest for personal growth is inherent within the human condition.
Any negative conditioning or inescapable traumas that this world put on our shoulders may have been inevitable, yes, but we don't have to allow those traumas to become ingrained in us, solid, and immovable. Those slings and arrows seeped into us, maybe when we were kids or maybe later as adults, but they aren't us. They aren't the beautiful radiant souls that we were all born as and that we still are at our cores. At our beautiful cores. They are like shrapnel thrust into our psyches, into our bodies, and while we might want to be like a surgeon and cut it out, separate it from who we really are, and thrust it out into the universe never to be seen again, the real courageous work is looking at it. Sitting with it, talking to it. Looking at it from different angles, different perspectives through role-playing. Being aware of it. Because under the light of gentle awareness, the boundaries and rough edges of that shrapnel begin to dissolve, disintegrate. And even under the light of awareness, maybe those pieces of wounding psychic shrapnel never completely leave us, but maybe those pains aren't so loud anymore, no longer yelling for attention, no more screaming to be heard. Through gentle awareness, we can become more integrated. We can become more whole.
As you self-inquire and look at aspects of yourself from an altered angle, it's never a part of my goals or process for you to become overwhelmed with emotion to the point where you shut down and you lack the ability to process information. Moving within the process, of course, there will likely be times when your self-inquiry brings you right to the edge of your comfort zone, where you're stretching yourself and new or powerful emotions or sensations express themselves through your body in the moment, or some aspect of yourself wants its time to be seen, and that sort of nervous excitement is good! That's awesome, courageous self-inquiry work, and I'd definitely you cheer you on in that.
But if you find yourself so overwhelmed, you lose the capacity to process new thoughts, new emotions, new understandings. With overwhelm, we just shutdown, ball up, try to cocoon ourselves into protection. It's not productive, and it's not the goal, so I will do my best to guide you and lift you up away from moments of complete overwhelm or shutting down because being triggered by traumas to the point of feeling emotional overwhelm is counter to your goals of self-inquiry and your goals for growth.
All of that being said, even though it is a little nerve-wracking, I do think it's great to nudge yourself slightly beyond your comfort zone. Because as you come to that edge, that charge, you might feel a slight, familiar, contraction of negative emotion, but if you can sit with that, being aware of how your whole body feels in the moment, that's all that really matters.
Because you reached and stretched and explored yourself from a new and fresh perspective, you expand way more than if you stayed smaller, fearing that slight contraction and never daring to look at what aspects of yourself might be stagnant, outdated, or holding you back.
By working together, you'll be able to give yourself permission to look at or feel whatever comes up for you in the moment because whenever that moment comes, we, together, will have helped you build a foundation of strong self-agency, a strong internal integrity, and a knowing that you have positive supportive energy flowing through you at your core in any given moment. And you'll know and respect your own limits and what's right for you in each moment.
In our sessions, I follow your lead, and I won't be bringing any expectations for what your growth is "supposed to look like," but instead, my goal is to be a secure base for you as you explore, as you self-inquire, as you courageously become more aware of all of who you are and all of who you can become.
Your body holds the truth, the answers, and the knowledge. And it's my goal and privilege to facilitate a safe, secure, and grounded process for you to look at and be aware of all of the wisdom contained within all of you - mind, body, and spirit.
I'm excited to work with you, marvel at your courageous self growth, and celebrate the heights you reach.
With prayers of love, from me to you, forever,