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 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”.
Through several decades as a practitioner and teacher of Yoga, breath work, and meditation, and in addition to talk therapy, I utilize experiential interventions that evoke positive felt bodily experiences that counter the physical and psychological states that lead one to seek out therapy. As we get a glimpse of our wholeness, we often get a clearer observation of what might be holding us back. This could be becoming aware of unhelpful habitual patterns and beliefs, and/or the memories/life experiences that have shaped these beliefs. As we shift from negative to more positive states, our awareness expands, and it becomes easier to either reframe or simply let go of what’s holding us back.
Finally, there is a spiritual component to what I am describing. It is taught in most spiritual traditions that to reach toward our potential it is not that we need to add anything, or become something more than who we are, but rather the teaching is to remove the obstacles in the way. When the debris is 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.