in Blacksburg, VA
Integrating Traditional, Contemplative and Somatic Approaches at Brush Mountain Refuge
Bridget Simmerman, LCSW
Everything you need to know about healing your emotional wounds is within you. An experienced guide can help you reach your true potential with greater efficiency and ease. The essence of Bridget’s approach to psychotherapy is to help you to discover the resources available to you to facilitate relief from depression, anxiety, despair, fear, trauma and relationship problems.
Bridget Simmerman, LCSW, RYT500 is a holistically oriented psychotherapist with over 37 years of experience. She has a unique ability to blend both traditional and alternative approaches for emotional healing. After practicing for more than 10 years in traditional inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings she began to experience the limitations of her conventional training. These limitations inspired an exploration in alternative approaches to healing emotional pain, distress, and trauma. For the past 27 years she has studied and trained in body-mind-spirit healing. Exploration and study have included: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR Somatic Attachment Training, Trauma treatment and resolution, polyvagal therapy, biodynamic cranial-sacral therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, self-relations psychotherapy. She is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 500), certified in acupressure, and has studied with many prominent psychotherapy, yoga, acupressure, chi gong, and energy medicine practitioners.
Bridget is currently in private practice at Brush Mountain in Blacksburg, VA.
Contemplative Psychotherapy emphasizes that the path out of suffering for is the through awareness and self-compassion. The cornerstone of contemplative work is mindful awareness, that is, paying attention, in the present moment, on purpose, with compassion. The attitudes of mindfulness need to be cultivated within ourselves to have a compassionate response to our suffering. They include Acceptance, Letting Go, Non-striving, Trust, Patience, Beginners Mind, Patience, Curiosity, and Generosity. A contemplative psychotherapist holds these attitudes as a container on behalf of the client as they process their experience and learn to hold these mindfulness attitudes for themselves. A compassionate holding environment is the ground of effective psychotherapy, when that is established, emotional and traumatic processing can happen with more ease.
Somatic Psychotherapy posits that healing from acute and developmental trauma needs to involve the body. Implicit or emotional memory can be stored in the body without a cognitive narrative. A cornerstone of somatic or body-oriented psychotherapy is to become more aware of what your body is telling you, work with releasing tension, nervous system regulation and emotional processing. There are a variety of techniques that can affect this process that include (but are not limited to) sensorimotor psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), polyvagal work, and biodynamic cranial work.
Conventional Psychotherapy is based on diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders which guides understanding and treatment planning. The dominant conventional form is cognitive behavioral therapy. The tendency in this form is to default to intellectual understanding of experience and tends to emphasize performative change rather than meaning making or healing. Once intellectual understanding of the issue has been established, then the emotional healing work can begin by engaging in therapeutic paradigms that are oriented toward compassionate understanding, meaning making, and emotional and somatic processing.
Bridget offers an 8-week course on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an intensive eight-week course designed to transform your relationship with stress, improve your health, and increase enjoyment of life.
Whether you’re curious about psychotherapy, or Spring and Fall courses, I’m here to answer any questions.