| Tori Olds, Ph.D.
As a therapist, I am honored by the opportunity to help individuals find greater peace, strength, and fulfillment. Often our lives are so busy, there is very little opportunity to stop and discover where support is needed. Taking this time for oneself, whether to reflect on one's life, to work through difficult emotions, or to gain awareness as to one's reactions or beliefs, can be transformative. In facilitating this process, I typically guide clients in slowing down and "being with" themselves more fully. I try to template this level of attentiveness through my own emotional engagement and respect for the client and his or her experience. In this way, clients and I can collaborate in an atmosphere of openness and safety to address whatever is on their hearts or minds.
Another word for this process of "being with" that I described is mindfulness. Research has shown that learning how to hold a mindful awareness of one's emotions as they are experienced in the body can facilitate emotional regulation (stability), increase one's sense of self, and improve one's ability to interact with others. Learning how to hold compassionate awareness of one's experience as it unfolds is a key ingredient to letting go of old pains, discovering oneself more deeply, and becoming more able to move through daily stresses and emotions without getting stuck. I have also found that developing self-compassion opens the way for greater intimacy with oneself, which in turn makes it easier to be intimately connected with others. I therefore believe it is important to address feelings of self-judgment and shame through gaining insight into the role these "critical voices" play and through fostering deeper levels of self-love and self-respect.
In essence, my goal is to help clients learn to be with themselves, and to be with others, in healthier, more productive ways. While this is a core component of my practice, I certainly make space for a variety of specific interventions that may be helpful for a particular concern. For instance, I often incorporate relaxation training, communication skills building, or other forms of psycho-education as needed.
For a more in-depth description of how I work, please click below:
|Group & Couples Therapy|
As stated, I believe that how one relates to one's experiences and how one brings this experience into relationship with others is a key component in emotional health. I therefore often encourage clients to engage in group therapy alongside, or even in place of, individual counseling. Group therapy is uniquely beneficial in helping individuals understand their relational patterns and giving them an opportunity to practice new ways of relating (both to themselves and to others). Group can be a safe environment in which to explore one's self and one's reactions to other people, as well as receive feedback and support. Group therapy clients receive insight into themselves and experience the healing that comes through connection with others.
The purpose of couples therapy is to help the relationship become a space that is not only livable, but deeply safe, healing, and strengthening to each partner. Learning to work through emotions in a respectful, caring manner is not only helpful to the relationship, but provides a source of growth and healing for both members. For this reason I believe that couples therapy should be considered for anyone seeking therapy (assuming they are in a committed relationship). Often more progress is made when the healing of either partner can become a joint endeavor. When members can learn to manage each other's difficult states and offer correct support, the payoff is profound.
I will soon be completing three years of intensive training under Dr. Stan Tatkin, the developer of a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT). The PACT approach helps partners develop an understanding of, attunement to, and ability to deal with each others' brain states--states such as over-arousal, emotional flooding, fight, flight, freeze, or shut-down/collapse. I try to empower partners to better navigate these states through active, experiential work that is focused on moment-by-moment tracking of attachment dynamics.
I recommend couples read Dr. Tatkin's book, Wired for Love . Click here to listen to an interview with him on this approach.
|Areas of Clinical Interest|
I have particular interest and/or clinical experience in working with the following: young adult concerns, depression and anxiety, sexual identity concerns, existential/spiritual issues, eating disorders, relationships, helping people gain awareness of their own inner value and essential self.
I am also on the board of an organization called Austin In Connection that fosters "healthy relationships through the integration of emerging science and practice." Here is the description for a talk I gave for their Year of Conversations series and links to the video.
Turning Inward: Connecting to our Clients’ Inner Worlds
with Gentleness, Patience, and an Invitation Toward Embodiment
"Psychology, spirituality and creativity share many common threads in their attempt to map the inner world and honor both the pain and beauty found there. This evening we will focus specifically on the beauty—the unique qualities and resources that emerge naturally from a person’s heart. We will attempt to deepen our understanding of “the internal” and contemplate the doorways we might use as we approach the precious and unique landscapes within ourselves and our clients. These doorways include gentleness, patience, and a persistent (even adoring) focus upon the client’s deeper self as discovered through sensation, imagery, and subtle knowings. Because creative expression can also be a doorway, Tori will bring her guitar and share a few songs meant to capture the experience of opening one’s inner world and meeting the self that lives there."
I attended a small liberal-arts college in New England, Middlebury College, where I majored in modern dance and English. I received my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M University. My husband, Glenn, is also a psychotherapist. Beyond this shared interest, we enjoy spending time in nature and "care-taking" the land we own in Vermont. I also enjoy singing and song-writing and engage in meditation. I received 3 years of training in holistic healing at the Jaffe Institute of Spiritual and Medical Healing.
|Please feel free to contact me at 512-461-4828 or Tori@DeepEddyPsychotherapy.com for more information about my practice or to schedule a session.|