What is Love?
Love is the ultimate sense of CONNECTION, that provides uplifting peace and inner tranquility (which eventually leads to self-love and self-acceptance). It starts with a positive connection to Self and a simultaneous connection to Source, Energy, Higher Power, God, Spirit, Divine, or whatever you choose to call it. When you connect with total unconditional acceptance of yourself, you are connecting to the natural energy that is in everything and it leads to a smooth and natural loving connection with fearless and unconditional acceptance… with others.
What’s more, unconditional love and acceptance in and for yourself has the power to naturally heal any relationship regardless of where the other person is in their process of self-acceptance and self-love. That is the focus of love therapy.
What Gets in the Way of Love?
In a word… FEAR! Yes, fear is the root cause of preventing or destroying love. Fear of being rejected, fear of being hurt, fear based in previous painful experiences, fear based in a belief that is held on an emotional, gut level…
In fact, there are really only TWO BASIC EMOTIONS: love and fear. If you are not acting out of love, you are acting out of fear. This basic concept is the core of Love Therapy and the relationship, couples and individual counseling that we do.
We all want to love and be loved. This is a basic human drive. We would go so far as to say the need to be loved is as essential as water and food to our survival. The sad irony of life is that it is very easy to develop irrational core beliefs about ourselves and our world that are based in fear. Neuroscience research shows us that our core beliefs are often times obscured by our rational conscious mind and held in our unconscious emotions & nervous system.
If you have ever experienced yourself having an emotional reaction that overtakes your body (i.e. rapid heartbeat, sweating, the feeling of thunder bolts running through you, then most likely there is an irrational emotional / sensory (body) belief that is being held that you are probably not aware of.
It is often difficult to get to these deeper beliefs because your conscious mind will try to talk you out of it… you may think, “of course I am lovable.” However, when someone does something to you that can be interpreted to mean, “I am not lovable” in your unconscious, you will likely have an overwhelming emotional / sensory reaction that feels uncomfortable and perhaps like you do not have control.
It is very hard to feel loved or realize how another person loves you, when on a core level you hold a fear deep down that you really aren’t lovable or don’t really deserve love. This fear blocks you from loving yourself and impedes your ability to give it to others. This becomes a vicious cycle in relationships. The fear blocks you from feeling loved and then as a result, blocks you from loving in a way that allows your partner to feel loved. This in turn prevents them from showing their love to you.
What is Love Therapy?
Love Therapy is focused on finding and releasing your most deep-rooted fears so your love can be freed. In Love Therapy, we work first on your love and acceptance of yourself. It is truly amazing how things around you will change by going through this process. When you truly love and accept yourself, you are more able to see other people’s actions for what they truly are instead of viewing their actions as being “unloving”. You will begin to see how they are acting out of their own pain and wounding, instead of thinking how little they love you. From this position you will have much more clarity and ease in your reactions to them.
The more you love yourself and are not reacting to the wounds and pain from those around you, the more you are going to see them change too, even if they don’t seem to be trying. If you want to see change in your relationships the best place to start is in examining how you interpret the actions of those you love. When you find yourself in a place of not being reactionary, you will be amazed at 1) how differently you will see the same situation and 2) how much your partner, family, children, etc. will actually start to HEAR YOU and respond!
Love therapy is aimed at discovering and processing the fear that causes anxiety, panic, over-reactions and over-sensitivities. By using empirically tested and scientifically proven techniques such as EMDR and CBT you will be taken on a path of self-discovery and healing that is focused on releasing your blocks to loving and being loved.
The Process of Love Therapy
The process of Love for both individuals for couples is focused on BUILDING CONNECTION on THREE LEVELS and in FIVE DIMENSIONS.
The 3 Levels of Connection
As you work to build connection, the first level is to yourself, the second level is to your partner, friends, family and community, and the third level is to whatever you believe in –a “greater than” sense… i.e. the earth, spirit, God, Divine, energy, etc, etc.
The Five Dimensions of Connection
Emotional connection, in many ways is at the core of Love Therapy, and leads into and blends with the other dimensions. I have a very clear step-by- step process in building emotional connection:
- Become aware of your emotions through mindfulness and somatic exercises.
- Understand what the emotion is and what is underneath the emotion. Usually this is done through visualization, empty chair / Gestalt, Role Play and directed questions.
- Track, journal and process (in therapy) your “triggers” and overwhelming emotional experiences that happen in your day-to-day life.
- Release unprocessed experiences that are contributing to the intensity of your emotions so you can react to the present situation (instead of experiencing all of the feelings from your past experiences as well).
- Learn communication tools such as helpful words and phrases, timing, and how to communicate with gentle compassion for yourself and for your partner.
The more you are in touch with yourself and your emotions, the more you will start to get a sense of the true beauty and connection of everyone and everything! This usually happens as a result of getting in touch with your emotions and learning how to communicate with fearless and unconditional love. If this is something that resonates with you, you can also discover ways to connect with your partner on a spiritual, metaphysical, even tantric level.
Leading from the Spiritual and tantric into the physical connection you have to your own body and to your partner’s body both in a sexual and non-sexual way. Often times, spiritual connection blends into physical and emotional connection. The pinnacle of connected existence is in the blending and melding of all of these dimensions. We will explore how you connect to yourself and to your partner on a physical / sexual dimension.
Again a blending and melding of all the dimensions, sometimes spirituality will become a part of your social connections, sometimes your sexuality. There is no right and no wrong way in finding the right fit for you and those in your life in all of these dimensions.
We will again find a blending and a melding of how you connect. What is your intellectual style? Do you prefer politics? Physics? Finance? Do you like to “mind-meld” or talk about easy and lighthearted topics? Do you like to joke and quip, or do you like a bit of sarcasm?
There is no right and no wrong, EVER! It is all about finding and accepting exactly how you like to express yourself based on who you are and then, if you are in a relationship, finding and accepting how who you are can blend and find the connections in as many areas as possible. You will find that likely you don’t connect on all of these dimensions, at least at one time or another, but finding the connection on as many dimensions as possible will greatly strengthen your bond with your partner. The trick is to find your own truth first and stay with it, even when those around you hold a different truth and are activated by your truth.
When you are feeling connected on these 5 dimensions, you are being true to yourself and those things that are important to you. Not only will you notice a greater sense of acceptance and a sense of “allowing”, but you may also start to feel a natural state of motivation and excitement in your life.
Is this process easy?
Not always. The process of Love Therapy sometimes involves accepting the “darker” or parts of you… the parts that have been hidden. It may be a bit scary and confusing to look at these aspects of yourself, but once you do the rewards will be great. The flip side, however, is to choose not to examine these unseen parts of yourself. This ends up being much worse because when you are not being true to yourself on these 5 dimensions it leads to a state of numbness and apathy and often has roots in addiction and escapist behaviors.
The Format of Love Therapy Sessions
Love Therapy for INDIVIDUALS
Love therapy counseling sessions for individuals not currently in a relationship will be either 50 minutes or 75 minutes in length. The focus is on creating juice and joy in the 5 levels and 3 dimensions described above paying particular attention to those areas that are important to you.
Once we find and understand the blocks and triggers that are getting in your way from experiencing the love that you want, we will process these blocks using both traditional and non-traditional methods for deep effective change. Examples are: Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Psychodynamic, Journeywork, Intention setting and focus, Law of Attraction Principles, Mindfulness Practices, Meditation, Ritual, Somatic Practices, Visualization and EMDR.