My approach is eclectic but client-centered at its core. I am not the authority but a mirror, a holder of space, a catalyst and a collaborator. Only you have the answers you seek. Together, it is our job to uncover them. In doing so it is not helpful to judge an individual, symptom or situation as ‘bad.’ Symptoms like stress, pain, anxiety, depression and anger can provide important information and an opportunity to grow into a better version of oneself. I find myself most effective with reflective, committed individuals. Some of the tools I use with clients include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and Mindful Movement.
~Melissa Cramer, LCSW, LCAS, PMH-C
New parents, fellow healing professionals and educators often neglect caring for the most valuable asset of those they serve, themselves. When they heal it not only allows them to be well, but also to continue the important work of caring for others.
My clinical practice has been influenced by research in the areas of mindfulness, the use of movement practices to promote mental health and the bidirectional influence of our brain, body, environment and interpersonal relationships.
Gaining the type of understanding only accessible through empathy, despite the occasional discomfort (both yours and mine).
Accompanying individuals of diverse cultures, faiths, genders, sexual orientations and occupational/educational backgrounds on their path of personal growth, healing and expansion.
When first reaching out, clients often report feeling lost, confused, disconnected, self-critical, anxious, depressed or full of self-doubt. Clients describe the feedback they receive during treatment to be thoughtful and the techniques they learned to be practical. They describe me as empathetic, compassionate, focused, attentive, engaging, insightful and calm when reflecting on their experience. I have no doubt that the latter description is the catalyst for change. An experience in which you feel heard and genuinely cared for, allows for emotional expression and understanding of one’s past, present and desired experiences. Upon conclusion of treatment, some clients report feeling heard, listened too, resilient, intuitive, supported, self-acceptance and self-compassion.
Cognitive-Behavioral & Acceptance Commitment Therapy
These are types of psychotherapy which emphasize the power of an individual’s thoughts, perspective and attention on their lived experience.
- Develop insight regarding the relationship between your thoughts, feelings & behaviors.
- Observe your thoughts & emotions to gain awareness and self-compassion.
- Shift from achievement-driven thinking to value-driven living.
- Allow therapist feedback and new skills to provide new perspective.
This intervention emphasizes the power of increasing knowledge and awareness of the self. The impact of this work is powerful in creating lasting change.
- Increase insight related to patterns of thought and behavior.
- Explore relationship and coping patterns.
- Neutralize your “story.” Minimizing, avoiding or getting stuck in your story gives it too much power.
- Receive support & guidance to let go of patterns that no longer serve you and explore new possibilities.
Mindfulness & Mindful Movement
These interventions involve directing attention to ones sensory experience in the present moment. Emotions are experienced in the body. Therefore somatic awareness, movement and release can be integral components of emotional healing.
- Get out of your mind and into your body; Increase interoceptive and body awareness.
- Understand the role of physical and emotional release in healing.
- Enhance empathy, self-compassion & self-reflection.
- Prevent burnout and compassion fatigue.
“Can’t complain, wouldn’t do any good if I did!” This seems to be the consensus of generations past who were less expressive about their emotional life. In a way, this sentiment has been reaffirmed by self-help books which explain that negative thinking attracts negativity into one’s life and that life is mostly in one’s perspective. When these ideas are interpreted inflexibly this can become quite counterproductive.
com·plain (km-pln) 1. To express feelings of pain,
dissatisfaction, or resentment...
Three Inner Battles; Destination vs. Direction (part 3)
Peace of mind boils down to whether we are moving “Confidently in the direction of our dreams” (Henry David Thoreau). Too often we assess our lives by how close we are to reaching our next goal. I will be the first to admit that I have fallen into the trap of “It will be so wonderful when…” But happiness is not in the accomplishments, not at any destination. We continuously set new goals. Therefore as soon as we arrive, we are no longer there. As Steven C. Hayes suggests in “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life,” it might be more useful to gauge our lives by whether we are moving in a direction which we value (2005). Hayes compares our values to the directions on a compass...
Dude, Where's My Drive?
Recently many of my clients have expressed unsettling feelings related to lack of motivation in resolving an issue, creating change or simply moving forward. This month I want to discuss this motivation dilemma. Our motivation, without a doubt, ebbs and flows. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as an optimal experience during which our motivation is intensely focused. He describes flow as an experience of spontaneous joy and energized alignment with the task at hand. Who wouldn’t prefer flow, right? ...