More About Our Services

Compassion Focused & Person Centered

Compassion as a verb! And it is the foundation of our work. Compassion is the ability to remain present with and pay attention to pain and difficulty while simultaneously taking action to make things better. This requires courage, strength, wisdom, and a deep commitment to care for the well-being of others and ourselves. Compassion is a skill that can be learned, and regardless of treatment modality, a focus on compassion is strongly emphasized and incorporated into the services provided. Your therapist will act as a partner, helping you to build trust in your own wisdom, values and abilities.

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Integrative & Trauma Informed

We consider trauma to include experiences that are considered threatening to our life, health or safety. Trauma can impact our ability to regulate our body, thoughts, emotions and behavior by turning on or turning up our threat detection system.

Trauma can be 1) situational, as a reaction to a discrete event; 2) relational, when important relationships are experienced as threatening or dangerous; or 3) developmental, occurring over an extended period of time, particularly when this happens early in our lives. Trauma creates a heightened focus on avoiding threats and seeking safety that can actually lead us to feel perpetually unsafe, and often unworthy or unloved. We will work together to tone this threat system down using strategies that attend to brain/body, mind and behavior. Working in an integrative fashion, you will learn to access feelings of safeness and a sense of connection to others, yourself, and the world around you.

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Relational & Science Based

The science of feeling safe is largely attributed to the work of Dr. Stephen Porges and his Polyvagal Theory. It has helped us to understand why we must focus on what is happening in the body and the nervous system in addition to our thoughts and emotions. It explains how our sense of safety, danger or life-threat can impact our behavior. Understanding how our autonomic system works gives us a scientific framework that can be applied through physiological, or “bottom-up” therapies, to help change and improve how we feel, think and connect with others.

Polyvagal, attachment and trauma research also inform our understanding of how the use of compassionate intention, thinking and behavior can help regulate our ability to feel safe, healthy and better about ourselves. The science and study of compassion skill building and practice demonstrates that it:

  • Reduces the stress hormone cortisol
  • Calms cardiovascular stress
  • Consistently predicts lower levels of anxiety and depression
  • Is linked with less rumination, perfectionism and fear of failure
  • Increases the ability to regulate emotions, take initiative, and experience positive emotional states
  • Improves relationships and feelings of interconnectedness
  • Promotes health related behaviors such as diet, exercise, smoking cessation and pain management
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Anxiety / Depression

We should all have the chance to fully understand the patterns that lead to anxiety and depression and the skills for managing your thoughts, emotions and behavior more effectively.

We all experience sadness and worry sometimes, but depression is different from sadness, and anxiety extends beyond simple, occasional worry. Sadness and worry tend to come and go, whereas depression and anxiety are longer lasting and can have a significant negative impact on our thinking, behavior and self-concept. What can present an even greater challenge is that anxiety and depression often occur together, each amplifying the symptoms of the other, making both harder to manage over time.

Anxiety and depression can lead to patterns of avoidance that can look very different from each other in different people or at different times. For example, we may avoid with behaviors such as isolating ourselves from others or from activities we once enjoyed. We may find ourselves vacillating between procrastination and over-achieving in the pursuit of perfection, or we may find ourselves ruminating, thinking the same thoughts over and over again. Other patterns of avoidance can include self-medicating through the use of substances, self-harm, or digital distraction.

Historically, the treatment of choice for depression and anxiety has been pharmaceutical medication. However, treatments such as Behavioral Activation (BA), CBT and behavior change that include improving diet, nutrition and exercise have all been shown effective in the management of depression and anxiety symptoms. In fact, BA has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants and slightly better than cognitive therapies in the treatment of moderate to severe depression. We will work with you to individualize your treatment and determine which therapies or approaches may work best for you.

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Grief, Loss, & Life Transitions

Whether welcome or unwelcome, life is an ongoing process of loss, transition and transformation. Let us support you through these changes - you aren’t alone.

Life is a continual process of change, and even changes we might hope and plan for, such as marriage, a new child, or a change in job or residence, can be difficult. When change is unexpected or unwelcome, as with losing a loved one or way of life, adjusting can be even harder. We often times experience feelings of anger, sadness and grief as we sort through how to make sense of our loss.

Sometimes this can cause us to lose sight of who we are, what we value or believe, and how to function in our new reality. These transitions involve a process of reorienting ourselves to new realities and new ways of being. We resist, we grieve, and we evolve. Sometimes, we require support in order to grow through these changes in routines, relationships and expectations with a sense of direction and intention. We are happy to offer that support as you find your footing and re-engage with the life of purpose and meaning that is possible.

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Trauma / PTSD

Experiences of trauma impact our ability to settle, calm and regulate our sense of threat in order to feel safe. We will help you learn strategies for re-building trust and connection with yourself, others and your environment.

In the words of trauma expert Dr. Gabor Maté, “Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. Trauma is not what happens to you…it is what happens inside of you, as a result of what happened to you.”

Trauma involves the experience of threat to life, health or the ability to move safely through the world. At SEED, we consider trauma to be 1) situational, as in a reaction to a discrete event; 2) relational, when important relationships are experienced as highly unpredictable, threatening or dangerous; or 3) developmental, occurring over an extended period of time, particularly when this begins early in lives. Sometimes we may also have multiple experiences of trauma that overlap or intersect.

The impacts of trauma can be pervasive. It can impact our ability to regulate our body, thoughts, emotion and behavior by turning on or turning up our threat detection system. This heightened focus on avoiding threat and pursuing safety can actually lead us to feel perpetually unsafe, and often unworthy or unloved. We will work together to understand triggers, physiologic responses and the patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that ensue. Using elements of CFT, DBT, and Prolonged Exposure (PE), we will work to build skills for distress tolerance, relaxation and self-regulation with an emphasis on foundational compassion strategies for accessing courage, wisdom and care. Together, we will work to build an embodied sense of safeness in relation to our connections with others, ourselves, and the world around us.

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Foundation Building for Committed Couples

The decision to make and maintain a long-term commitment to one another can be both exciting and overwhelming. We can help you learn helpful skills for communicating, building trust and co-creating your future together.

Preparing to take the next step in your relationship is a special, and often joyful, time. Beyond the excitement (or nervousness) of planning the ceremony or commitment, many couples find it beneficial to engage in premarital or pre-commitment counseling to ensure that they are entering into the next phase of their relationship with a solid foundation. Topics related to managing finances, raising children, or engaging in each other’s family traditions may have been avoided or discussed only briefly during the dating process. When couples have reached the point of deciding to build a life together, they often seek a safe space to engage in those sometimes prickly conversations.

Over the course of 10-12 sessions, we work together to assess family of origin and past relationship histories as well as the strengths and opportunities for growth in the current relationship. Couples are regularly assigned homework and are encouraged to integrate the skills and strategies they are learning in session into their daily lives. After the "big day,” couples are always welcome to return for “tune-up” sessions as they continue to move through phases in their relationship or for follow-up sessions if they want to explore an issue/topic that was touched on in the initial sessions in more depth.

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Relational Resilience for Couples

Sustaining healthy, satisfying relationships over time requires us to pay attention to both the hurts that inevitably happen and the healing that is possible. Let us help you re-engage with each other to gain understanding, and strategies for life-long resilience.

All relationships go through periods of transition. Sometimes, those transitions bring about challenges. Are you and your partner dealing with a lack of intimacy or bouts of frequent miscommunication? Have you noticed increased levels of discord or emotional distance? Are you navigating difficulties with extended family or renegotiating goals and roles as you enter a new phase of life? If you and your partner are experiencing any of these common relational hiccups, you may find teaming up with a couples therapist to be helpful in working through these situations.

After a thorough assessment process that gives us insight into each individual’s family and past relationship histories as well as the strengths and opportunities for growth in their current relationship, we will utilize evidence-based strategies to support couples in reaching their desired goals. Often, our couples are assigned homework to continue integrating skills introduced in the therapy room into their daily lives. With honesty, practice and perseverance, growth, healing, and restoration are possible. We aim to provide support and a safe space for couples to courageously address difficult conversations and emotions. Together, we will work to strengthen and restore the relationships.

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Coaching, Consultation & Integrative Wellness

Each of us possess within us the innate wisdom and capacity for healing, health, the ability to flourish. Based on your own unique needs, you will learn to improve physiological, mental, relational and organizational health outcomes through the intentional practice of compassion.

For Compassion Focused Integrative Wellness (CFIW)
CFT utilizes an experiential, skills based component called Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) that can be offered individually or in a group setting. CMT help us learn to cultivate the attributes of compassion necessary for responding to life’s challenges. Based on the CMT model, CFIW coaching gives participants the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of using compassion as a foundational skill for improving self-care, integrative health outcomes such as diet, exercise, and stress management, and for building new habits for behavioral change. Particular emphasis will be given to understanding the regulatory systems involved in compassion, criticism and our sense of threat vs. safeness.

For Compassion Focused Leadership (CFL)
Based once again on the CMT model, Compassion Focused Leadership includes taking these principles and applying them to management and the workplace. You will work on developing the ability to lead from a compassionate framework that is able to hold the challenge of promoting a culture of care and accountability in a balanced way. Particular attention is given to the tensions that can occur between the various ”flows” of compassion: compassion for others, compassion for self; and the ability to receive compassion offered to us by others. We also typically explore links between compassion, creativity, curiosity and they misnomer “compassion fatigue.”

For Parents & Caregivers
We believe that parents and caregivers are an integral part of the process when working with adolescents and dependent adults. We encourage parent and caregiver involvement through psychoeducation, coaching and participation in the treatment planning and therapeutic process. This will be established according to each individual client’s needs and preferences.

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Specialized Services - For Elders and Homebound

“Having authority by virtue of age and experience,” as defined by Meriam-Webster, captures our perspective and attitude toward those who seek services to manage new challenges that can appear later in life. If traveling to our office or participating effectively in telehealth services are not an option, one of our therapists will come to you.

We believe that a lifetime of gained wisdom and experience should not interfere with the ability to obtain professional support. Whether your challenges are related to a residential transition, medical diagnosis or the loss of a loved one, we offer in-home counseling services in the Mercer County area at your home or place of residence.

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Specialized Services - For Veterans and Service Members

Our clinical director, Beth, has experienced the impact military service can have on the life of veterans and their families, and she has a special interest in welcoming home and supporting those who have served and the family members who stand with them.

While not a service member herself, and without pretending to know the lived experience of military service, Beth honors her Aunt, Sharon Boyer, army nurse and veteran of the Viet Nam war, by offering treatment and support for those who have served. She has participated in advanced training through Star Behavioral Health Providers, an affiliate of the Uniformed Services University’s Center for Deployment Psychology in order to better understand the strengths and challenges specific to the military. This is then coupled with an approach to treatment that involves tailoring your work to your own unique needs, goals and abilities.

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Specialized Services - For Licensed Counselors, Therapists & Practitioners

Working with other helping professionals on their path to professional development and personal growth is one of our passions here! We provide clinical supervision for new and emerging LACs and LPCs. We are happy to consult with other professionals and practitioners about our approach to treatment, and how this approach might be incorporated into both self-care and clinical practice. We also offer professional development trainings and retreats upon request.

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