Is Your Mental Health Affecting Your Physical Health?

Hello Cuirim Community!

My name is Courtney Harrell and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist here in the Costa Mesa area. I recently connected with Pat and Steven here at Cuirim Sports Recovery regarding wholeness and healing for YOU, their patients. I journey alongside people who are working to become more fully themselves through holistic and integrative practices. I help others explore their emotions, identify their hurts, create more compassion for themselves and find more capacity to feel the hard stuff in life. In my practice, I see myself as one piece of the puzzle. I believe the best way to seek healing is to holistically approach it through many different facets.  Addressing emotions, thought processes, as well as nutrition, body-work and exercise is all a part of the journey towards healing. 

I specialize in a type of treatment called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-Processing). Through EMDR, I work specifically with the thoughts we tell ourselves, and the emotions we experience through an 8-phase process called the Adaptive Information Processing Model. 

Growing up, we learn to separate parts of ourselves. We compartmentalize our body from our minds and our emotions. Some of us don’t learn what emotions are – let alone a way to manage them. Our mind, emotions, body and thoughts are all inter-connected and if one area is  “off”- the rest of our being is “off.” Often these thoughts we believe about ourselves are passed down to us from childhood experiences we can either be consciously or unconsciously aware of. When any sort of traumatic event happens, these memories can get maladaptively stored in our brain, unable to connect to more adaptive (healthy) memories. Often these memories are attached to a trigger, thought, emotion, sensation and belief. If these events do not get processed through it can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, relational difficulties, body pain, etc.  I have learned over the years that these emotions can manifest in the body, in fact, creating somatic symptoms and chronic pain.

EMDR has become an invaluable tool used in my practice to help bring awareness to these experiences and to re-wire the brain to connect to a more beneficial thought process, which in turn positively affects our emotions, our bodies and how we view ourselves in the world. I love helping my clients manage the stress and challenges of life, while also validating their strength and resiliency. I have found in my practice that people are much stronger than they think they are. I get to be a witness to them discovering their strength, gaining awareness and then choosing a different way of being in the world. One that aligns with who they are meant to be, not held back by the experiences they’ve had, but instead, moving forward with hope for something better. I think we all know there is more to life than what we are handed, and I love helping others discover what that life is really meant to be. A life, with more room for connectedness, presence and joy. I am here if you need me! 

Much love and warmth to you all,

Courtney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Journeys Counseling Ministry and earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology at Vanguard University. She has a Bachelors in psychology from Vanguard, as well as a minor in music.

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