My Story

Yuko Lawrence

I have always been a seeker. My journey to becoming a therapist started with my own healing journey, as many do. After college, I moved to a meditation retreat center in the mountains of Colorado to learn about mindfulness and about myself. I lived there for 5 years, interspersed with travels around the world and the US. During this time, I discovered how difficult it was to be quiet with my own mind. As I sat with myself, old wounds and powerful negative beliefs about myself surfaced and would sometimes pull me into a tail spin. I also started to discover places in my body where these traumas and emotions were stored. As I stayed with these sensations and emotions, they started to change and to release in powerful ways. When I was gifted the book Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, the creator of Somatic Experiencing, I discovered that there was a form of therapy that worked with the body and with these stored emotions and wounds directly. A form of "modern shamanism" as Peter Levine described it. I knew in that moment, that this was the work I wanted to do. 

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My Approach 

Somatic, experiential, holistic therapy

Fundamentally I believe that all people are innately whole. At our core, we are all kind, compassionate, curious, and connected. Perhaps you have moments when you feel this way, and for a moment it feels like you have come home to yourself. This is who you really are. But most of us have wounding we have acquired in our lives. And this wounding has become internalized and turned into beliefs about ourselves, beliefs like "I am not enough" and "people always leave." These beliefs are so powerful and feel so real. Sometimes it feels like a vortex, sucking us into a dark pit. But, I will say it again, this is not who you are. And through our work together, you can find your way back home. 

In my work, I use a present-moment focused, experiential approach to help my clients identify these wounds and beliefs, dive deeply into their roots, and learn to bring love and healing to these parts of themselves that are just so in need of acknowledgement and care. I also help my clients connect to their "true selves," this innately compassionate part of themselves that is their true center.

I take people deep, and often quickly. I help my clients drop "below" their thoughts and into their emotions, bodies, intuition and sub-conscious. This can be intense. And it is vulnerable. But if you are ready, it is also tremendously potent. 

Modalities

My approach combines several modalities and my years of personal practice in Mindfulness. I am trained in Somatic Experiencing, a body-based approach to processing trauma. This approach, developed by Peter Levine, works directly with the nervous system to release trauma from the body. Trauma is stored in memories and thoughts, but also in our bodies and nervous systems. Somatic Experiencing works with the body to release trauma directly from the nervous system.

I am also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), one of the leading modalities for treating trauma. EMDR also works directly with the nervous system and brain to release trauma from the body and mind. This can be a powerful way to rework old memories and to create a new story of resilience and strength. 

 

I am also trained in IFS and Gestalt "parts work" and blend these tools in my approach to therapy. This work involves identifying our "defensive" protective parts, like the parts of us that lash out at others or put up walls when we feel hurt, and wounded parts that hold the pain we've experienced and negative beliefs about ourselves. We then work to understand, integrate, and heal these parts of ourselves. The ultimate goal is more freedom and choice in how we respond.