My Approach | AnnieVail Counseling

My Approach

Foundations of My Approach

My approach to therapy is ultimately holistic​. This means that, not only do I see you in your wholeness and wisdom, but I also attend to the many aspects that make up your wholeness. I work with the body, heart, mind, socio-cultural, and spiritual dimensions in all of my clients. I help clients cultivate the ability to listen to these various different channels, so that we many engage each part of who you are as resources in the transformation process.

      Keep in mind that because my therapeutic work, like Hakomi, is often is based in mindfulness and somatics (the body), it can be challenging to describe in writing since it is so highly experiential. The best way to know more about is to experience it in person, which can begin with scheduling a free 30 minute consultation

  • Mindfulness-Much of our sessions will occur in active mindfulness. Mindfulness is mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment to pay attention to what is happening, as it is happening. Without judgement, you pay attention to your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, in order to deepen into your experience beyond the cognitive (mind) layer. I will support you in developing these mindfulness skills. A myriad of current research shows that developing mindfulness gives you more awareness, choice, and freedom from the aspects of your experience that are keeping you stuck or not serving you. Exploring and deepening mindfully in our sessions will allow you to move towards the "core material" in your unconscious--it is here that significant and systemic change can occur. 

  • Somatic psychotherapy-Soma (of the body) =a living process by which our bodily sensations, movements, perceptions, emotions and thoughts form a whole of experience. Somatic psychotherapy is based on the fact that the brain is connected to the body through the nervous system. Here our mind, emotions, and bodily sensations are connected. The body is a memory bank of who we have come to be through what we have encountered in the past. It holds emotions, memories, and unconscious impulses. In somatic therapy, we are not up and moving or dancing around in a session. Instead, we slow down in mindfulness to engage the wisdom of the body as an entry way into consciousness. Most somatic therapy is done seated, though there can be some experiential exercises done standing up. 

  • Hakomi-The Hakomi Method is pioneer in the field of mindfulness-based somatic psychotherapy. In addition to the principles of mindfulness and mind/body/spirit holism, Hakomi is also based the principles of non-violence,unity, organicity, and change. Hakomi is a highly experiential therapy, meaning that it is based in present moment experiences that move the client towards unconscious core material and neural patterns related to that core material. In a loving, gentle, and safe container, the therapist assists the client into a place of self study, exploration, release, and profound transformation at the level of unconscious core material. 

  • Relationally-Working relationally means that my therapeutic relationship with you, person to person, is foundational to our work. Providing you with an attuned, empathetic, and positive relationship allows us to attend to and heal attachment wounds and trauma from your past. It can also serve as a place to study what may be patterns in your relationships in your life. 

  • Attachment-As humans, we have a biological need to bond with each other. Experiences with early relationships and caregivers create a blueprint that informs the sense of safety and security you bring to adult relationships. My attachment counseling for Couples is informed by PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy). With individual clients, my attachment counseling is based in the therapeutic relationship. Here my therapeutic connection is based in attuned, limbic-resonance, where I am not an observer, but can experience my client's feeling alongside them. This attuned relationship is directed at the deep, unconscious bonding templates and behavioral consequences of those templates, which also serves to heal these earlier attachment woundings. 

  • Compassionate Communication (aka Non-violent Communication or NVC)-Compassionate Communication is as much a consciousness practice as it is a communication tool. When getting stuck in any communication challenge, from your intimate partner to your boss, Compassionate Communication proposes a fundamentally different way to communicate than what generally happens when we are feeling triggered. By using mindfulness and developing the ability to listen deeply to our own needs and experience and that of others, dialogue via NVC holds an intention to connect from the heart rather from a place of correction, judgement, analysis, diagnosis, should's, the three D's (demands, deserves, and the denial of responsibility). In NVC consciousness, the intention is to continually connect to what is alive in one's self or the other in the present moment. Then from a place of compassion and acceptance of what’s true, take wise and compassionate action. NVC is fundamental to both my work with couples and individuals. For more information, here are links to the national NVC page and LaShelle Lowe-Charde's site and her offerings that combing NVC, Hakomi, and mindfulness. 

  • Multicultural Counseling-Who we are as individuals is significantly influenced by society, culture, and socio political forces, in addition to our families of origin. These forces can be the source of trauma, one's identity, or limiting belief systems. My training comes from Naropa, the Portland Women's Crisis line, and my own lifelong interest in the topic. I work with a multicultural lens when navigating any relevant experiences a client may hold. 

  • Recreation-of the Self-The Re-Creation of the Self Model of Human Systems (R-CS) has been called “an instruction manual for being a human being…” It is a clearly defined map of the Self, and a comprehensive guide for being a person. R-CS holds that we are innately whole, but typically create a “committee” of limiting trance states in order to accommodate difficult life situations. The model not only describes our many inner resources, but offers a powerful set of tools both for shifting consciousness immediately, and for emerging from our perceptions of woundedness and the seeming need for constant strategizing. It also promotes a practical vision for relating from an inclusive, compassionate state of maturity and wholeness. R-CS is a very transpersonal modality, connecting you directly to your resource and most organic, best version of yourself. To learn more visit the META website.

  • Trauma-I offer a trauma informed perspective. Traumatic events and the associated memories, thoughts and emotions, can get "stuck" in our bodies. I attend to trauma activation within the counseling setting, helping to lessen the trauma activation, and giving you tools to know when trauma is being activated and how to attend to it.

  • Authentic Relating-Practicing mindfulness within relationship, while also cultivating the ability to speak from a place of honesty and vulnerability are a couple of the foundations of authentic relating practices. Learning how to connect from this place, helps to create more fulfilling relationships and connections, increases intimacy, develops emotional intelligence, connects you to our shared humanity, helps to reveal your "blind spots," and allows you to better take action with alignment from your vision. I bring authentic relating practices into both my individual and couples counseling. My central influence of authentic relating is from Solsara, an authentic relating practice in Portland, OR. Circling is another form of authentic relating that I draw from. 

​  In addition to the above mentioned approaches, my practice is also informed by the following methodologies: 

   

  Transpersonal Psychotherapy, Gestalt Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, Imago Couples Psychotherapy, and The      Gottman Method of Couples Therapy.