My Approach & Methodology
My approach is eclectic and diverse yet grounded in a few foundational methodologies. Essentially, my intention is to support you in knowing yourself better. The more intimately you know yourself, the more self-agency and choice you have to establish healthy patterns and self-care practices. My work is informed primarily by both Somatic (body-oriented) Psychology – namely Formative Psychology® – and East-West Psychology, as well as strongly influenced by Psychodynamics, Psychology of Health & Healing, Contemplative Psychology, Integrative Medicine, Psychological Principles of Yoga and Meditation, and Spiritual Counseling.
What is Somatic Psychology?
Soma is the Greek word for body. Broadly speaking, Somatic Psychology is the growing field that recognizes the intimate connection between the body and mind. In fact, a majority of all communication takes place non-verbally. Somatic Psychotherapy extends beyond traditional 'talk-therapy' with the aim to include the whole person. There is nothing that we do in life that is not sensed through our bodies. This is why it is essential to include both the body and mind into any process of personal growth. Our experiences and emotions are not solely the products of our thoughts; they are products of how we have formed ourselves bodily in relationship to cognition, beliefs, and the narratives that we create. In working with subtle sensations, gestures, and behavioral variations in relationship to psychology and thinking patterns you can become aware of how you have shaped yourself through your life. In identifying your own lived patterns, you can recognize which patterns have present value and which are habits that no longer serve you. Through self-awareness that integrates the body and the mind you may establish new possibilities that lead to a greater sense of personal wellbeing.
For example, when you are anxious or stressed you may feel fidgety or tense or experience depression as a lethargy or difficulty motivating. These feelings are not solely due to the external stressors, but due to your response to them. By attending to these sensations and making subtle changes (e.g. slowing down, decreasing intensity, speeding up, increasing intensity, etc.) you effectively alter your experience (including emotional and psychological) – in so doing you are laying foundations that establish new patterns toward personal growth. It is about starting where you are, with what you already know how to do, and growing new possibilities from here.
Try, for instance, to tell a story while lounging back in a chair, compared to telling the same story while standing and clenching your fists tightly. It is likely that these will be very different experiences. While this is a stark contrast, we shape our experiences through more nuanced patterns and habits all the time, in every moment. When we attend to these nuances through participation and voluntary effort, we increase our self-agency to affectively 'be in the 'driver’s seat' of our experiences. Somatic Psychotherapy offers potential to explore new potentiality and self-discovery through learning to engage with yourself in a more intimate and personal way. It is a space to practice and grow new ways of being with yourself, in the world, and with your loved ones. Its aim is in learning how to participate more actively with your own behaviors toward developing a greater sense of self-influence in your life.
What is East-West Psychology?
East-West Psychology extends beyond the western paradigm to include and integrate global traditions into the context of psychology. It is a holistic approach that draws upon Eastern, Western, and other indigenous wisdom traditions, such as mindfulness, meditation, non-dual perspectives, shamanic, and spiritual counseling. The term ‘spiritual’ is not akin to religious but is more appropriately defined as a desire and drive to make meaning in one’s life, and an exploration in how to best meet that desire, both individually and in relationship. My background in East-West psychology serves as a valuable and integrative pillar in my mental health practice by broadening the tools available to support my clients in cultivating a deep sense of personal exploration and ultimately meaning and fulfillment in life. There are many ancient wisdom traditions that the western world is just now opening in receptivity to, and with this openness comes new possibilities to blossom in healing and exciting new ways.
East-West Psychology invites the ancient knowledge, practices, and perspectives of the world into an active and practical dialogue with that of the West, and in so doing encourages a holistic life that may cultivate an ability to deeply listen to the innate wisdom of the present moment, the body, and of nature - ultimately leading the way toward a journey of healing.
My goal is to meet you with empathy and non-judgement in a personalized and unique fashion, while also to challenge you in an engaging and enlivening manner. While my approach does use body awareness practices, I do not use direct physical touch/contact. I hold a strong value in considering how you experience yourself in the present. Working with what is present in the moment generates an opportunity to make practical and tangible change so that something new and lasting may be grown over time. I look forward to supporting you on the path you are already on, whilst also helping you discover paths yet to be taken. I find the integration of my backgrounds in Contemplative, Somatic, and East-West psychology offer a truly holistic lens to support the individuals, couples, and families I work with. Don’t hesitate to reach out so that you and I can determine if we are a good fit for working together.
Making the choice to come to therapy is a significant step toward initiating change. I would like to support you in planting the seeds necessary to grow new possibilities and choices toward living a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
instead of wondering why, discover how.
"When we influence our body shape, we influence how we are present in the world. Over time voluntary muscular-cortical effort brings forth the existential truth of bodily experience as the basis for creating value and meaning in our lives. When we participate with the forces of creation we grow an inner dialogue and a subjectivity that gives our lives a personal and sacred dimension—it is a gift of life to give personal shape to our existence." ~ Stanley Keleman
"Ross is an inspired therapist and healer. His work is somatically and intuitively guided—you feel at ease right away."