I am a body-based (somatic) trained psychotherapist and integrate client-centered talk therapy in my work. Client-centered therapy is based on the conviction that every person has the innate capacity to find within themselves the solutions to their challenges, and the power to self-regulate difficult emotions. The expertise of a psychotherapist lies in their ability to guide a client toward self-discovery and toward a shift in perspective. I also believe that it is the job of the therapist to foster a trusting and honest relationship that helps a client to relax. When relaxed, one naturally becomes more curious and open, which is a pre-condition for moving into a psychological space where positive shifts can occur.
As a somatic therapist, I have developed a style of therapy rooted in integrating the mind and body. For positive and permanent psychological change to occur, an exclusively conceptual (talking about) understanding of the cause of one’s predicament is never enough. I have learned through my own healing journey, and through working with clients, that healing occurs on the level of somatic experience (the level of felt bodily experience) as well as on the level of understanding.
For example, each time we experience the opposite of what is challenging us, a degree of healing occurs. For someone struggling with anxiety, that would be experiencing calm; for depression, some inkling at least of joy; for someone constricted by trauma, some degree of release and opening up; and, for someone struggling with a lack of confidence, some felt sense of esteem. By building on felt positive experiences session after session, and working them into your life, positive aspects become more established—in therapy jargon: “states become traits”.
As a long-time practitioner and teacher of Yoga, breath work, and meditation, I have discovered body-based practices that evoke positive experiences that counter negative psychological states. These practices are meant to bring one into connection with the felt experience of the body, where the realization of innate positive qualities occur. Such qualities as strength, courage, calm, self-kindness, and joy, for example, manifest directly as bodily felt realities. Psychologically, what often occurs through this realization process, is that we begin to notice the unhelpful habitual patterns of thoughts, emotions and beliefs that have been blocking these innate qualities from arising. Positive states coincide with an openness of awareness and an activation of intuition, which makes reframing or simply letting go of what’s holding us back easier.
Finally, there is a spiritual component to what I am describing. My approach is based in the conviction that we don’t need to add anything or become something more than who we are to reach toward our potential, but rather the goal is to remove the obstacles in the way. When negative thoughts, emotions and beliefs are cleared, a more vibrant, loving, confident, and natural dimension of who we are emerges. I believe that the purpose of therapy is to become more and more established in this liberated Self.
- Anxiety (including panic attacks)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Louis Carlino, MA, LPC
I received my academic training at Naropa’s school of Somatic Counseling Psychology in Boulder, CO. My purpose in attending Naropa was to integrate the obvious therapeutic benefits of Yoga within a framework of contemporary Psychotherapy. Since 2006, I have had the opportunity to develop a style of Psychotherapy informed by the practices and principles of Yoga. For more information, click here.