Ishwari Sollohub, LPCC
Santa Fe and Los Alamos, New Mexico
In addition to "talk therapy," here are a few tools and techniques I like to use. Sessions are always tailored to your unique needs, and often vary over the course of time. If you are interested or curious abut any of these tools, I welcome your inquiry here.
Inner Bonding focuses on developing a compassionate and loving “inner adult,” to increase our capacity for self love and self care. It is powerful work that enables us to move beyond the old wounds and faulty beliefs that drive persistent negative behavior. With its comprehensive six-step process, Inner Bonding incorporates cognitive, behavioral, physical, emotional and spiritual elements. Through renewed connection with spiritual Guidance, we learn to cherish ourselves with unconditional love and at the same time, learn about appropriate boundaries, self-discipline, and personal responsibility. Rather than judging ourselves or escaping into Spiritual Bypass when we find ourselves stuck in unwanted negative patterns, Inner Bonding helps us learn how these behaviors may be an attempt at protecting ourselves from painful feelings. As we increase our emotional maturity, we begin taking responsibility for all aspects of our lives, choosing healthier behaviors from a loving adult perspective. In effect, we re-parent ourselves, resourcing Spirit for guidance, as we manifest healthy life skills that we did not learn earlier in life.
Similar to Inner Bonding, above, Psychosynthesis involves "parts of self." By identifying our various parts, examining the underlying needs of each and working with the existing dynamics, we can get to the roots of persistent behavioral patterns. Through dialogue techniques, we listen to and validate each part, moving toward greater integration, finding healthier ways to meet our needs and gaining increased access to our inherent creativity. The natural result is a shift in behavior and a new way of relating to ourselves and the world. With increased awareness, we begin to make better choices, changing old patterns that no longer serve us. In Psychosynthesis, we emphasize “finding a job” for each of our parts, welcoming and appreciating each element of ourselves. The result is a more harmonious experience of who we are.
In this modality, we use a small sandbox and a wide variety of objects and figures to delve into our inner selves. As with Art, Sandtray invites us to explore and learn about ourselves in a new way. It can be done with or without talking. Using our hands, engaging with the tactile qualities of sand and physical objects, our sense of touch is enlivened, offering us an expressive arena where we can freely create scenes, dynamics and relationships. Often, Sandtray offers an opportunity to let go of our usual way of being and expand our experience of ourselves. Discovery and insight emerge. We may gain access to a lost playfulness or we may connect with deep feelings. Always, this powerful work is done with the utmost of respect and concern for personal safety.
Guided Meditation is a powerful tool that can be helpful in varied and diverse situations, whether for calming anxiety, exploring a problem area that seems evasive, or developing the skill of Being with ourselves. Beginning with relaxation techniques to become centered, each Guided Meditation proceeds with gentle suggestions, creating a unique and tailor-made inner experience. It usually involves a profoundly peaceful state, along with themes and details that are intuitively guided. Each Guided Meditation is designed to offer exploration, insight, personal wisdom and empowerment.
Art, in the context of counseling and therapy, is a wonderful way to engage with ourselves at a deeper level than we might ordinarily be accustomed to. Especially for people who are skilled at talking, Art can help us to “get out of our own way,” allowing us to delve into areas we have not explored before. It is not necessary to be “an artist” to use art in this way; in fact, often the non-artist has an advantage. Working with a variety of materials, Art-making helps us to be more open and less guarded. Sometimes we make important discoveries, revealing to ourselves things we previously kept hidden away. The ensuing work can be deep and rewarding. In addition, art can be liberating and fun!