My psychotherapy practice is structured around providing a supportive, compassionate environment where you can learn self-love and gain insight and understanding about yourself. I believe that loving and nurturing work in a therapeutic context can be a tool for healing.
My work is variable and client-dependent, with different combinations of approaches to address the needs of the individual. I primarily use talk therapy in sessions, but can also offer body awareness to help guide my clients.
A few of the modalities I incorporate as a psychotherapist include:
Somatic: This modality concerns the mind-body connection. In Somatic Psychotherapy, practitioners believe that the mind and body should be viewed as one. The proper therapeutic environment and interactions can help regulate the mind/body connection, bringing healing and balance.
This theory is grounded in the concept of past trauma becoming entrapped in the physical body, which can be observed in facial expression, muscular pain, posture, or other forms of physical expression. Talk therapy and body techniques can supplement my more conventional approaches to therapy, serving as a holistic model of therapy in combination.
Psychodynamic: The focus is on recognizing, acknowledging, understanding, expressing, and overcoming negative, contradictory feelings and repressed emotions. The goal? To improve the client's interpersonal experiences and relationships. With this work, a client can gain understanding of how emotions have affected their decision-making, behavior, and relationships.
Psychodynamic therapy can help clients overcome obstacles that they can't on their own. Often times this includes analysis of their early childhood experiences, emotions, behavior and familial relationships to help bring clarity and resolution to their problems.
Humanistic, specifically Rogerian: Humanistic psychology emphasizes the whole person, with a belief that behavior is connected to inner feelings and self-image. Rogerian psychologists look through the eyes of the observer as well as the actor. This modality suggests that choices and responses to internal needs are just as important to shaping an individual as the environment they’re in. As such, much of this therapy is focused on teaching the client how to increase their self-worth, accept themselves as they are and become fully-functioning adults.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Also referred to as CBT, this therapy has several core principles, which include:
Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
These problems are also based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
People who suffer from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.
CBT employs strategies to change thinking patterns, some of which include: recognition of cognitive distortions, and a realistic reevaluation of them; better understanding of others' behavior and motives; problem-solving skills in the midst of difficulty; and self-confidence and a sense of competence.
CBT also places importance on confronting fears, role-playing to prepare for challenging interactions, mind/body calming strategies, and learning to be one's own therapist through exercises and "homework."
Emotionally Focused Therapy: Attachment Theory led to the development of this therapy. Relationship distress is believed to be related to deep-rooted fears from early childhood. Negative patterns can result from this, which can be treated by cultivating a feeling of safety and connection.
My journey from that young, idealistic dancer who wants to find a way to help ease people's troubles, to the therapist I am today, has been a long and continually enlightening one. I welcome you to reach out to me if my approach and background resonates with your hopes for resolving your present challenges.
Kelly Kennard received her M.A. in Somatic Psychology from JFK University in Pleasant Hill. She has been a psychotherapist for many years, serving a broad population. She is especially committed to providing therapy to women, couples, and the LGBTQ population.