One of my favorite authors is Bianca Sparacino. This quote of hers describes how I feel about life and my approach as a therapist. Here’s my life story in a nutshell…
I grew up in northern Utah and after college I knew I wanted to explore the world. I ended up moving to California to help my sister who had just gone through a divorce with 4 young children. I could not have imagined that I would meet my husband there in Huntington Beach, and 10 years later find myself also as a single mom of three-year-old twins and an 18-month-old baby. Receiving therapy became a critical part of my life at that time. I knew then that I wanted to become a therapist. Initially I chose a more body based form of healing, and for many years participated in a somatic form of psychotherapy called Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (see pryt.com). For 15 years while raising my children, I taught yoga everywhere from the NFL combine, to my kids PE classes.
For me, yoga had become a critical part of healing from a damaging relationship and managing the stress of raising my kids as a single mom. It took years to unravel and heal the pain I experienced during this challenging time. I realized that there are two ways to heal. One is from the top down and the other is from the bottom up. Top down therapy involves observing what’s going on in your head and challenging negative thought patterns to help your life run better. Bottom up therapy involves observing the body as a tool to figure out what’s working or not working in your life. Both approaches contribute to effective healing of trauma. Because of my training as a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Phoenix Rising Yoga, I can now offer these two unique modalities of healing.
With many of my clients I let them choose on any given session, whether they prefer to receive the more body-based work or more traditional talk therapy. It wasn’t until I moved back to Utah two years ago to help care for my aging parents that I met the love of my life. The picture above is of Andreas and me making a comical attempt at acro yoga at the beach last summer. I wish that everyone could feel the way he makes me feel. He has helped my healing come full circle.
The quote from Bianca Sparacino sums up my wish for each of my clients much more beautifully than I can say in my own words. Suffice it to say, I hope you feel buoyed from reading this and feel a desire to reach out to either me or one of my colleagues here at Desert Consulting. It takes lots of courage and it is so worth it. I hope to see you either at the office or on zoom soon so that I can assist you through this sometimes difficult and awe inspiring journey called life.
-Christine Gibbs, LAMFT