Alternate Roots Counseling - Providing counseling and education for individuals and groups
Sexuality, in all its beautiful variations – I believe everyone has the right to a healthy and satisfying sex life. There is a big tendency for sexuality to be filled with and surrounded by feelings of shame and bias. My admitted bias is toward sex positivity. The field of possibility between consenting adults is nearly boundless, and I love to help clients deal with their shame baggage and cultural/familial programming around sex, and find intimacy that is truly fulfilling.

Intimacy and Authenticity – Know thyself, has long been sound philosophical wisdom. I believe getting familiar with the Self, which includes the façade the world sees, the parts you keep to yourself or your closest intimates, and the Shadow that you like to try to pretend doesn’t exist, is the foundation to health and wellbeing. Helping clients get to know themselves on that level is a passion of mine. Then, sharing yourself with a partner becomes more meaningful. Fear, vulnerability, and shame are common barriers to that kind of connection. I’ll help you face and move through those. I will most likely challenge you to authentic communication with the important people in your life, for I believe true intimacy can’t exist without authenticity.

Relationships with substances – The word “addiction” carries a big load of baggage these days. But in the end, one’s relationship with substances or activities can be placed all along a spectrum of healthy to toxic.  Helping a client find their way into a more healthy relationship with their substance of choice is a worthy goal. Together, we will work to find out how the behavior serves you, and how it holds you back. We will likely find that there’s some pain or “unacceptable” emotion that the behavior shields you from feeling or having to deal with, and then we will work on finding more appropriate ways to address that.

Power. That which has been given or kept away from you. That which you can step/grow into – Empowerment is something everyone deserves and needs and has access to.  There are numerous cultural influences at work that change an individual’s access to their power. Being aware of the stereotypes, assumptions, oppressions, privileges you carry around helps to unpack your relationship to power. As children, regardless of our specific cultural influences, we have very little power. Part of the process of becoming an adult is growing into one’s own power. I enjoy helping my clients find their path to their own power, when that’s been lacking in their lives.

Spirituality – I believe every person has something in them that yearns to touch and be a part of something larger than themselves. Numinous experiences that allow that to happen are innately powerful and healing. The work I do touches upon issues of Soul and Spirituality, although is not religious. Whether you have an established spiritual system that you find meaningful, are a seeker of Truth, find wonder in the details of science and technology, or simply marvel at the experienced of being wonderfully and fully human, we likely will call upon those things in our work together.

The in-betweens – The “times between the times” are magical spaces. You may not be what you once were, and you are certainly not what you will one day be. Rites of passage are no longer a vital part of our culture, but perhaps they should be. We can create meaningful rites ourselves to honor the transitions we go through. Some transitions are obvious, like getting married, becoming a parent, retiring. Some are not so obvious, like getting past a blockage that has long held you back, career changes, working hard for a goal and seeing it come to fruition. Then sometimes we decide that the in-between is where we want to stay. Making those choices with intention and consciousness is something I can help you with.

Gender roles and expectations – Similar to sexuality, issues of gender are laden with societal and familial influence. My personal mindset exists outside the usual binary system. I don’t believe there are only two valid options when it comes to gender. I believe it is an individual process to find one’s own authentic expression of gender, and I will gladly work with clients who are exploring their options, or whose gender falls outside the expected box. Also, there are unique issues touching those close to those who are exploring gender. There is a shift to make in thinking about someone you may have thought you knew well. There may be a significant grief or anger process that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. I welcome clients who are struggling with that as well.

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