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My Approach

I often tell people that I do everything that “normal therapists” do—I work with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors especially in the context of relationships, stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression. I call this the “top-down” approach, where treatment focuses on your functioning through the lens of what's happening inside your mind and how it impacts your life and your nervous system.

But what about your body and its biological processes that are sending signals to your brain? The way that conventional psychotherapy is practiced, anything that is happening inside your body is completely neglected. Your body’s biological role in your mental health is downplayed, or worse—it’s ignored completely. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this leaves a lot of people in a place of suffering, often struggling for years when they don’t have to be.

What I do differently from other therapists is that I place a very heavy focus on the “bottom-up” approach to mental health, incorporating findings from hundreds of thousands of studies that prove every aspect of mental health is tied to the biological processes that are happening inside our bodies. Among many other factors, this includes things like hormonal imbalances, immune reactivity, GI issues, poor lifestyle habits, even the way we breathe.

The way I see it, therapy should focus on treating the nervous system itself, rather than the symptoms it exhibits.

When I work with someone, I focus on treating all aspects that affect the nervous system so that each person can move toward whole-body health.

Factors affecting complex illness and nervous system health
Nervous system influences

Few people know that there are entire FIELDS of study dedicated to these interactions. For example, there are specialized areas of research such as psychoneuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology that link perception, brain activity, and biological functioning. What these scientific domains have shown is that physiological factors, which are sometimes much more easily addressed than our brain patterns, have great implications for both our psychological and biological health.

Think about it…

  • thyroid issues can create or mimic just about any psychological symptom you can name

  • depression is now largely regarded as an inflammatory condition

  • dementia/Alzheimer’s is often referred to as “Type III Diabetes”

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is actually considered a "Gold Standard Treatment" for certain GI disorders

  • brain fog is a common symptom of Long-COVID and other complex medical conditions

  • immune function is directly impacted by our stress level and nervous system state

  • both sleep deprivation and urinary tract infections can cause psychosis

  • a strong puff of CO2 in the face will immediately induce a panic attack

…and there are hundreds more examples I could give. In fact, after working with complex medical conditions for years and developing a greater understanding of the way human biology and psychology are interconnected, I don’t believe it’s possible to separate mental health from physical health at all. They are one and the same. If your body is “sick” your mind will feel that way too, and vice-versa.

Ultimately, I believe that a person can receive “good therapy” until the end of time, but if they haven’t treated what is going on inside their bodies—if they haven’t had someone assess and address many of the domains shown here, there is no way that they will ever feel optimally healthy.

That is why I work with all of my patients to explore these areas and more. Together, we develop a holistic understanding of what patterns and imbalances are negatively affecting their nervous system rather than any one domain of health. Then we strategically work smarter—not harder—to shift both their brain and body functions so that they can feel better.

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