Counseling for Psychosis and Dissociation

I've co-facilitated Hearing Voices groups and worked individually with folks experiencing voices, visions, and other uncommon experienced for over 5 years. Through both that direct experience and my exposure and education in the Hearing Voices Movement, I've come to see experiences traditionally labeled as psychosis, hallucination, and delusion as a natural, albeit often extremely distressing human experience. Contemporary estimates report roughly 4% of the general population have these experiences, only a quarter of which end up receiving a psychiatric diagnosis like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.  

I believe the largest contributor to the distress that these experiences cause for experiencers is isolation. Our society and psychology's historical approach have taken an unfortunately harsh, dehumanizing view of these experiences, largely due to ongoing stigma, inaccurate information, and fear. This has left many people to figure out their experiences in isolation, in settings which undermine their right to make decisions regarding their treatment (jails, prisons, and psychiatric inpatient units), and in settings where their own sense of personal meaning can be dismissed if their supports are unfamiliar or untrained in how to properly offer support (community mental health agencies, pastoral programs, and private mental health therapists). Luckily over the past few decades the peer movement and the Hearing Voices movement have been making strides in improving mental health care for experiencers and broadly for mental health consumers.

In my work with people experiencing voices, visions, altered states of consciousness, and other uncommon phenomena, I seek to provide a welcoming, nonjudgmental space where safety and curiosity can emerge. It is through this space that a client will be able to step out of the experience itself in order to make sense of it within the context of their life. It also allows for a client to be truly seen, exactly where they are at, while knowing that may change week to week or even moment to moment. Holding that flexibility also allows for people to try on different coping strategies in order to regain their place in the driver seat of their own decision making regarding their life goals. 

Treatment Approach

The process of our work together will begin by establishing trust and safety. You're the authority on your life and I'll take your lead even while I present suggestions or alternative viewpoints. I utilize mindfulness skill and other grounding exercises to make sure you aren't overwhelmed as we discuss your experiences. Then depending on the meaning you make of your experience we may explore how the experience connects with historical trauma, your spiritual or philosophical beliefs, thematic concerns that the experience may be attempting to highlight, or how to set relational limits/boundaries with the experiences. Of course, the work itself will be unique to your needs, perspective, and goals and will evolve as you're able to explore different ways of engaging with your experiences and gain clarity about what works for you personally.

I'm also a big proponent of exploring experiences through group work and co-facilitate a free community based Hearing Voices Group. See the Groups, Workshops, and Presentations section for more details!

Ready to get started? Take the next step today! Contact me to setup your free initial consultation, and get ready to start your journey towards a life you love!


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