Individual Holistic Psychotherapy
Looking at everything to promote harmony in your life…
Holistic psychotherapy considers all aspects of a person and their life experiences when healing and making healthy change.
It aims to illuminate and evaluate disharmony within any one of the three core parts of being: body, mind, and soul.
As a holistic psychotherapist, I’ll look for not only the disharmony, but also the harmony – what’s working already to bring balance to your life. We’ll also leverage your strength within!
This is your time!
Sarah’s experience in therapy highlights how a holistic psychotherapeutic approach can bring transformational change at whatever stage of life you are in.
Wherever you are, let’s take a good look at your strengths and the various aspects of your life that we can leverage to make the change you want.
Life is meant to be lived! Call or email for a free phone consultation: (630 ) 384-9605.
Holistic Recovery & Substance Use Counseling
Imagine what it could be like…
Imagine no more arguments with your spouse or your parents about your drinking.
Imagine waking up after a night out with friends or colleagues feeling rested enough to be as productive around the house as you had planned.
Imagine going to a wedding, family reunion, or Thanksgiving dinner with a plan to be in control of your drinking.
Imagine completing a substance use program and believing you’ll stay on track with all you learned in that program.
Here’s what we mean by Holistic Recovery…
It’s about your lifestyle. How you nourish your body, replenish your emotional and spiritual cup, and tend to the relationships in your life.
Yes, learning skills to manage thoughts, urges, and cravings are fundamental in any recovery. Yes, understanding what cir****stances pull you towards drinking or drug use is key. Integrating this knowledge into a wider goal of overall health is not only more motivating, but it will lead to more lasting change.
Using highly effective approaches called Acceptance And Integration Training (AAIT), developed by Melanie McGhee LCSW, and Internal Family Systems (IFS) developed by Richard Schwartz Ph.D., you’ll learn how to access and neutralize various “parts,” feelings and thoughts so they aren’t so overwhelming. You’ll develop more self-compassion and higher states of being that help you make sense of your Self, and your place in this world.
We’ll start with evaluating and discovering the truth in your past and current relationship with drugs and alcohol. We’ll explore what you’d like that relationship to look like in the future. This will help us understand whether you’ll benefit more from a moderation approach or an abstinence approach.
A moderation approach…
…is when you learn to control and moderate your drinking by creating your own “rules” for drinking, understand your pitfalls, and create a plan to minimize or avoid them.
A moderation approach is for individuals whose problem drinking is not severe and is not considered an addiction or disease. Moderation plans vary greatly and are specifically tailored to the individual.
An abstinence approach…
…is typically recommended for someone with a severe problem with alcohol. Perhaps they’ve been assessed to have a severe Alcohol Use Disorder. They likely feel they lose control over how much they drink and that they can’t stop once they start.
Or, abstinence may be appropriate for someone who’s behaviors when drinking are so problematic that it’s best they stop drinking all together.
Just completed a residential program or Intensive Outpatient program?
We’ll build on the skills and insights you discovered and learned in your program, and we’ll dive deeper into your values, intentions, and meaning in your life.
Maybe in your program you came to realize that there is an emotional wound that needs healing.
Or a relationship that needs repairing.
We’ll walk through this together, with attention to your whole Self and your lifestyle.
Take James*, for example… James was in his mid-forties and just completed an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). He had been sober and in recovery for 60 days. He felt secure in his recovery. He felt confident with sobriety, and he was managing ok. But he noticed that his relationships had changed in recovery and wanted help figuring out how to handle the new dynamic between he and his wife and his extended family.
Counseling helped James understand the balance of his relationships have been shifted without drinking, and he needed to find a new balance that involved increased and improved communication, some “soul searching,” that revealed old wounds that had once been masked and avoided by alcohol.
Sessions with James were a balance between reinforcing skills and holistic wellness, learning how to talk about his recovery with his wife and family, and attending to those old wounds. His sense of Self became clearer and he discovered that he can control his overwhelming self-doubt and bring himself to a more centered, open, calm and accepting state.
Over the course of three months, James saw that his life was more balanced, his relationships were more open and honest, he resolved some deep wounds from his childhood, and he developed more confidence in his skills and his values to maintain recovery.
If you’re considering guided meditation…
This monthly guided meditation group provides a nice brain break.
It’s truly a dose of natural medicine, not to mention a great way to sneak in some self-care! Even if you have a regular meditation practice, it’s always fun to sample someone else’s. And if you’ve never tried it, I make it easy for you. All you need to do is sit and listen; before you know it, you’ll be immersed in the gentle, guided relaxation.
If you’re dealing with high stress at work or home, experiencing anxiety, or having problems with sleep, you just might be surprised at the initial relief it brings.
You are invited to participate…
This is a small dose of self-care you have been wanting in your week!
It’s a free, brief, therapeutic, and effective treatment for you…
Please join us for this group led by me, Amy Lepore. Just call or text me at (63 384-9605
Complicated Grief Therapy
Grief is a normal, expected response to loss.
Losing a loved one, no matter how, when, or under what cir****stances, causes grief. Grief can look vastly different from person to person while still being considered normal and expected.
Most people who are grieving likely won’t need or want professional counseling because healing from grief is a natural process. I appreciate how the Columbia University Center for Complicated Grief explains grief:
“You can think of healing after a loss as analogous to healing after a physical wound. The loss, like the injury, triggers a pain response, which can be very strong. Injuries also activate a healing process. Loss does, too. However, a wound complication, like an infection, can interfere with healing…”
But then there’s complicated grief…
Complicated grief is like when the “wound” gets infected and needs special attention and care.
Complicated grief is when troubling thoughts, dysfunctional behaviors, and difficulty managing strong emotions can interfere with adapting to the loss.
If longing and yearning for your loved one is ceaseless, even a year or more after the loss…
If you are intensely and persistently preoccupied with thoughts and memories of your loved one…
If you feel lost and alone… the future seems bleak and empty…
Then you are experiencing a complex, complicated form of grieving.
Complicated grief makes for a deeply painful way to live.
When grief is complicated, you can’t stop thinking about your loved one… so much so that others notice.
You feel as though others have moved on with their lives – are able to laugh again, do normal things… while your thoughts of your loved one are constant.
You have persistent irrational thoughts that your loved one might reappear.
The path out of the pain includes having a compassionate person to confide in, tell your evolving story, and create a plan that begins to bring hope, relief, and restoration to your life.
The unique aspects of sudden loss…
Suicides or accidental overdoses are examples of sudden loss. Sudden loss typically includes elements of trauma, such as shock and disbelief.
Loss due to suicide or drug overdose presents families with a dilemma. What to tell people?
The unfortunate stigma around drug use and mental illness creates a secretive and shameful curtain around families who lose a loved one under these cir****stances.
While grief is a very natural process that typically does not need professional help, sometimes families have difficulty managing the secret or shame they experience because of the way their loved one died.
Therapy can help restore life after loss.
My work with individuals experiencing complicated grief or sudden loss is individualized to your specific cir****stances.
It includes a delicate process of gradually reestablishing balance – a process that includes both grieving and restoration in your daily life… and separating the natural grieving process from other feelings that surround the cir****stances of the death.
Using the Columbia University Center for Complicated Grief approach, we work together, at your pace, to bring you some relief and hope for the future. This approach embodies the belief that all grief is unique and normal, and that the “complicated” aspects of grieving can be soothed and healed.
By using a daily diary and tracking both your activities of grieving and restoration, we’ll begin to see patterns and areas that need special attention.
Weekly action steps or activities will help your motivation toward healthy change.
Inviting a close friend or loved one to come to a session will provide you with extra support and them with a feeling of being able to help.
Guided imagery in therapy sessions will help you see things from a “third person” perspective, like an outsider looking in, to help you separate from the pain, and perhaps blame you’ve put on yourself, around your loved one’s death.
These and other aspects of this approach will always be done in a delicate, compassionate manner, so you feel comforted and safe.
Begin this journey toward healing, hope and balance.
Do you want to restore your life with meaning and happiness while also holding your loved one close to your heart?
Call me today: (63 384-9605.