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For further information, visit Toni Pieroni's website.
HEALTH IS A FUNCTION OF CONNECTION
I have been in private practice as a counsellor/therapist since
1993. I graduated from Antioch University in Seattle, Washington in 1993
with a MA in Psychology (Counselling Track). Previously, I worked as
a Dental Hygienist in clinical practice. During my professional career, I
pursued an avocation in psychology, personal development and holistic health
by participating in a wide variety of courses, workshops, trainings and therapies.
I brings this eclectic background to my work today as a therapist.
My background as a health professional has led me to study and train in
body-oriented psychotherapies, such as Reichian Breathwork, Integrative Body
Psychotherapy (IBP), and Self Regulation Therapy. I have done further training
in Lifespan Integration for healing trauma, Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and I am a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist.
I work with individuals and couples dealing with such issues as:
Emotional, physical and sexual abuse
Addictive and obsessional behavior
Anxiety and depression
MY APPROACH TO THERAPY
" A core sense of self, once recognized in the body, is a consistent source of
internal support and stability."
-- Jack Rosenberg, Ph.D, founder of Integrative
The Goal of Psychotherapy:
To experience and live from one’s core/authentic sense of self.
It is not uncommon for people to have moments or periods of life which feel
authentic, i.e., the felt sense that "this is who I really am". This experience
is usually accompanied by a sense of expansion, aliveness and well-being, a
body-felt knowing of one’s true self. However, they may not know how to live
from this knowing in a more consistent way. Some people may not recall having
had this experience, yet feel a vague (or pressing) sense that something is
really missing or that they need or want more out of life. They may feel a
sense of deadness, a lack of passion or emptiness. For many, life is often
about physical and emotional survival and coping. They may predominantly feel
fear/anxiety, pain, loss/grief, despair and/or a lack of joy, happiness, peace
As a result, people may experience a variety of symptoms or issues in their
lives: relationship difficulties, physical illness, lack of success or satisfaction
in work/careers, chronic emotional or physical pain, substance abuse, addictive
behaviours, sexual dysfunction, etc. People often seek and enter therapy when
their own attempts to solve these problems are unsuccessful.
The first step in the therapeutic process is to develop a good working relationship
with the therapist. The earliest stages lead to increased awareness. Most
of our responses in life are reactions – automatic, habitual and unconscious,
learned from our earliest experiences. These become neurologically and biochemically
encoded in the body. Many people enter therapy when they become aware that
patterns are being repeated in their lives and they don’t know why that is
or how to change them. All reactions begin as a contraction in the body.
Under stress, the body is hardwired to react in a survival response of fight,
flight, freeze. Patterns become behavioural forms of those responses. They
are not who you really are (your authentic/core self).
Therefore, another aspect of the therapeutic process is working through and
releasing emotional and cognitive content from the past that perpetuates the
continuation of patterned responses. It is said that you can heal what you
can feel. The natural response of the organism is to move away from painful
stimuli as quickly as possible, like touching a hot stove. However, as children,
we were powerless to move away from sources of pain that occur within our home,
family, school environments, and so we develop ways to defend and protect ourselves
from further pain. These defense mechanisms become our means for survival and
become physically, mentally and emotionally a part of our system. Any stimulus
that is reminiscent of previous painful events triggers us to respond in the
only way we know how, i.e., our learned survival response. That mechanism was
essential to our survival when we were children. However, survival is not the
same as thriving. As adults, our means of survival often become the barriers
to resolving problems and actualizing our potential.They also limit our capacity
for intimacy and deeply satisfying relationships.
The body, emotions and spirit are powerful resources within each person that
can assist you to respond in life-affirming ways: ways that expand our aliveness
and well-being and that move us toward wholeness and integration of who we
really are. Therefore, another step in the therapeutic process is to experience
the resources available within and to learn tools for accessing those resources
on an ongoing basis. This is done in a variety of ways: through the relationship
between the therapist and client; through body awareness and breathing techniques;
through experiential exercises and processes; through verbal interaction and
Another aspect of therapy is coaching. As we work through reactive patterning,
options and choices open up. Coaching involves goal setting and developing
congruent actions that move you toward positive outcomes.
An expanded experience of aliveness and well-being
A greater capacity to fulfill the potential of who you really are.
A greater sense of confidence in your ability to resolve problems and proactively
create from life’s challenges and opportunities
A greater sense of confidence in your ability to resolve problems in your intimate relationship and to grow towards more intimacy and connection.
Development of compassion and acceptance of oneself.
Discover how to move increasingly in a life-affirming direction.
Discover your own inner resources and how to draw upon them.
To experience a sense of wholeness and integration of self, i.e., body, mind
and spirit are one.
A greater capacity for healthy relating and intimacy.
More empowered to meet the
challenges of our complex world and to participate in its healing.
To know that
you make a difference
Articles by Toni Pieroni:
I believe that healing, growth and development occur within the context of relationship. Therefore, choosing the right therapist is a critical aspect of the therapeutic process. I bring over 30 years of personal development interest and experience in various modalities to the work I do.
In the past 15 years, my areas of study have been therapies that deepen the felt-connection between the body, the mind and emotions and spirit toward more integration and wholeness. I have also trained and am a Certified Imago Therapist, focusing on couples therapy.
For new individual clients, I offer a short introductory phone session at no charge, for about 15 minutes. For couples, I like to talk with each of you for about 15 minutes over the phone. I invite you to read the information below and/or to phone me directly at: (604) 737-0168.