Helping you ... Helping yourself


Here are brief descriptions, followed by links, to the major non-traditional modalities that I have trained in and use in my Practice. These web sites will provide you with additional information. To go directly to a particular modality, click on:   EFT;   Enneagram;   Hakomi;   EMDR;   Brainspotting;   or Sensory Awareness.

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is a short term (8-20 session) structured approach to couples therapy, developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the early 80s. EFT has been validated by 20 years of empirical research, with 86% of the couples reporting greater happiness in their relationships after therapy. This model is based in adult attachment theory which essentially asks: can I count on you to be there when I need you? Relational distress results when the perceived answer is: not really. This therapy process is designed to help the couple experience themselves and their interactions in a way that changes their patterns of disconnection by fostering a secure and healthy bond. For further information on Emotionally Focused Therapy, click on

Enneagram Model of Personality

The Enneagram is a dynamic model of nine personality types based on temperament. There are various different teaching traditions but they all agree that we come into this world hard-wired in our type, and it does not change in our lifetime. I like to think of this as our Soul Work. What does change is where we are on the Levels of Development, how healthy or unhealthy we are. This model is dynamic and also shows the directions that we go under stress and when we are integrating healthier choices.

The Enneagram is a psycho-spiritual model which can show us our psychological tendencies, and what is motivating our behaviors and our choices. It can also show us how to go beyond the egoic constraints of our personalities into greater freedom and wholeness, which is the heart of spiritual work. No one type is better than any other and because they are archetypal, we can find parts of ourselves in all of them. But one type will be the predominant way we are in the world and flavors the way we begin to define ourselves and the nature of the world that we live in.

I trained in the tradition of Don Riso and Russ Hudson. One of their major contributions was the discovery of a vertical dimension to the Enneagram which they call the Levels of Development. Together they have mapped the psychic structure for each of the nine types. This is an invaluable map for anyone who is doing deeper psychological work. For further information about the Enneagram Institute, click on

The Enneagram model has helped me grow, both personally and also in my marriage, because it not only tells you where you are, it gives you a roadmap for how to get to where you want to be. -JMA

Hakomi Therapy

Hakomi Therapy was developed by Ron Kurtz in the mid-1970s. The word Hakomi is a Hopi Indian word which means “where do I stand in relation to all these realms”, which is another way of asking: Who am I? This work is based on the five principles of: Mindfulness; Unity; Organicity, Non-Violence, and the Mind-Body Connection. It is an intra-psychic approach, and includes
body-centered awareness and experiential techniques.

We begin this process, as in a traditional therapy session, by talking about what is troubling you in your life, your relationships, and your night dreams. Then by closing your eyes and slowing down the pace of our interactions, we evoke a state of mindfulness, a quiet inner awareness that goes beneath the radar of your ego’s volition. We pay attention to the body sensations, the emotions, thoughts, internalized voices, and memories which are arising from below the surface of your conscious awareness. Like following a thread through the labyrinth of your psyche, we work directly with what is arising. From this witnessing position, we can study and change how your core material is shaping your personal experience. We work to move through those obstacles and negative beliefs which are keeping you stuck and we support those new opportunities for freedom and wholeness which are emerging.
For further information on this method visit the Hakomi Institute at


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) was developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, and has been proven to be an effective treatment of trauma. This modality works with past traumatic experiences, ranging from a single incident such as a rape or a car accident, to more enduring situations like living in a war zone or a dysfunctional family. In this work, I would help you find a visual image that invokes the emotions and body sensations of the past trauma. Then working with a bilateral form of stimulation (either
eye-movement, sensors, tapping, or sound), while envisioning the traumatic experience, you begin to desensitize the trigger and reprocess the belief system that has been built around this event.

When you have moved through the triggering aspects of the experience,
the focus of the session becomes one of anchoring in the positive resources, internally and externally, that are now available.
After an EMDR session, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly reduced, and that they have gained important cognitive insights and feel more freedom. For further information on EMDR visit their website at


Brainspotting was developed by David Grand, PhD, and like EMDR and Hakomi Therapy, helps to identify, process, and release deep sources of emotional and physical pain. All three of these modalities go beyond the limitations of the cognitive mind and the egoic defense strategies. They access the mind-body’s innate capacity to heal itself when obstacles to one’s core wholeness are removed. Unlike EMDR where the trauma memory is the “target”, in Brainspotting the “brainspot” is the target. A brainspot is an eye position, chosen by either the client or the therapist, which is found by allowing you, the client, to slowly scan your field of vision while thinking about your charged issue. Typically, during the process, you will listen to a CD which sends soothing background music or nature sounds from one ear to the other while focusing on the memory or chosen issue. Everything is aimed at activating, locating, and processing the brainspot. For further information on Brainspotting, visit their website at

Sensory Awareness

Sensory Awareness originated in Germany with the work of Elsa Gindler and was brought to the United States in the late 1930s by Charlotte Selver. This work is aligned with mindfulness-based meditation practices and for many years Charlotte co-facilitated groups with the Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki at Green Gulch Farm in California. The core of this work is an experiential study of the mind-body connection which leads to a greater embodied mindfulness and presence. The focus is on enhancing our experience of this arising moment now by studying our relationship to such natural events as breathing, movement, gravity, or touch. This evokes a greater sense of aliveness and it awakens and supports a capacity within ourselves to be more authentically present in ourselves, our relationships, and our life. For further information visit the website of the Sensory Awareness Foundation at


For information on who I work with, click on IS THIS FOR YOU? To learn more about my working style, click on HOW I WORK and MY SERVICES. Or for a free half hour consultation to see if individual or couples counseling can help you, click CONTACT ME, or call my voicemail at 3034472987.

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