• Daniel Akins

Supporting Mental Health Counseling with Body-Oriented Therapy



As a therapy patient, you’re trying to make positive changes in your life. You might seek more connection with your friends and family, freedom from negative thoughts and feelings that have you feeling stuck, or perhaps shame or self-doubt are holding you back from fully engaging with life. Now, throw a pandemic on top of all that. Anxiety, irregular sleep, lack of exercise, or unmet needs for human contact can exacerbate existing struggles and contribute toward feelings of overwhelm that might lead you to "check out" from your body in effort to cope. The initial problem was feeling stuck, and now feelings of overwhelm and disconnection are undermining your ability to get yourself unstuck.


Of course, this pandemic and all the challenges that have come along with it are beyond anyone’s control. These circumstances should not be allowed to hinder your therapeutic progress. Even amidst all we’ve been facing, a better quality of life is indeed possible. As a Licensed Structural Integration Practitioner, I’ve helped many people overcome their struggles with chronic pain, stress, and trauma since I started working with clients in 1999.


WHAT IS STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION?


Basically, I use manual therapy and self-care education to help you find lasting relief from pain and stress. My approach is tailored to your needs and oriented around a process that takes your whole body, and you as a whole person, into consideration. This work is about helping you learn how to find a sense of comfort and ease in your body that’s authentic and sustainable so that you can be more fully yourself, at home in your body, and available for life. After a session, clients often report feeling lighter, taller, with less pain and fewer movement restrictions. With diligence, these feelings can often deepen and sustain over time.


While many body therapies are either indulgence-oriented or treat you like a machine in need of fixing, structural integration is humanistic and focused on long-term change. Like massage, the work is done mostly on a therapy table, but like physical therapy you’ll remain clothed (many clients opt for workout wear, but you can wear whatever is most comfortable for you) and occasionally be asked to perform movements that make the hands-on work more effective. I check in with you frequently to make sure that my touch feels safe and therapeutic. We’ll be in dialogue throughout the session regarding how you feel and experience your body—this helps you develop the awareness skills that make the changes last.


HOW DO YOU FIND OUT IF STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION IS RIGHT FOR YOU?


I offer free 20-minute phone/video consultations in case you have questions or just want to get acquainted first. Then, to really get a feel for the work, I suggest scheduling an appointment for an introductory session. You're also welcome to schedule now, if you're ready.


When you come in for your session, be present and engage with the experience. Structural integration isn’t done to you; it’s done with you. You’ll take what you experience in your sessions out into the world and embody the changes in your life. When you show up to your next session, I’ll help you build upon that experience progressively. If you aren’t satisfied with your first session, I offer a money-back guarantee.

You put a lot of effort into your therapeutic journey. It’s my mission to support you in deepening your therapeutic process and realizing the positive change you’re pursuing. You can emerge from feeling stuck and overwhelmed to feeling fully present and alive, and that experience can only be realized through your body. I look forward to helping you along the path to embodying a more authentic, resilient, and better-feeling you.

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