Strategies used by Dr. Nancy Moonstarr
Nancy J. Moonstarr works well and respects different personality types in her practice. She blends listening with directiveness as she understands the needs of each person. Some clients want concrete information and steps to solve a specific problem in their lives, while other are more self-directed and respond to talk- therapy to gain insights and build awareness. Most seek help when a situation, person, or life challenge is out of their scope to manage, such as healing trauma, being in a difficult relationship, entering recovery, or managing a newly assigned gender or lifestyle. Most people require Nancy’s gentle guidance and support as she has a way of getting to the bottom of things.
See below for more specific strategies.
Child, Adolescent and Teen Therapy to Open Communication, Build Coping and Decision Making Skills, Adoption
Nancy guides children to overcome challenges and build self-esteem. Often kids have lost their own self-worth and respect. This show up by withdrawing, acting out, non-action, extremes of behaviors, disrespect and poor relationships. She emphasizes repairing and building relationships in contrast to resentment, hostility and negative actions or communication.
The emphasis is upon having a child restore relations when things turn sour while building brain connections for acceptable behavior. As a child/youth restores or gives back they learn how they effect others and how to repair relatiohships and give back in a meaningful way.
Next, kids often need to learn new ways to express feelings and thoughts inside of their hearts and minds. Safe and inviting language is explored through play and drawings. Nancy helps children communicate with parents and other adults willing to help them.
Suggestions for strong willed children include sharing with both child and parent, the power of brief phrases, direct neutral tone and congruency needed for young minds.
Finally, Nancy shares her tips on radical tyrannical love when needed for children who test extreme limits. Value clarification, goals and emotional support are identified. Starting small, with one focus area is most productive. Her technique blends positive thinking and role playing with practical communication guidance. Further, she helps adults understand the strength of disconnecting swiftly before emotions turn into hurtful words or actions. For example, the young, reactive emotional brain can only manage a maximum of two phrases. Talking too much is worthless. She teaches how to say just enough, take breaks and set up consequences. Additional tips include affirmations, self-compassion and seeing possibility of growth for all involved.
Sources for further reading:
Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster Cline.
John Rosemond’s books on parenting
James Lehman’s The Total Transformation method
Individual and Couples Therapy, Family of Origin, Transition, Codependency, Blended Families, Goals, Intimacy
Each person, couple and family is unique, yet there are some commonalities. The basic commonality is connection. We intend and need to have meaningful connection with each other in a relationship or family. Individuals have similar intention and need for connection to the inner emotional self. Connections are created by communication either between people or within one’s own individuality. Nancy assists building successful communication and close connection by viewing all experiences as means for positive growth potential. Her guidance leads couples or families in the direction of creating extraordinary relationships and individuals living a life worth living. Nancy’s style includes offering information, feedback and communication techniques that move the therapy process uniquely suited to each person, couple or family. Topics often address family of origin issues, co-dependency, blended families, children, career and goals. The ultimate goal is to experience intimate connection and purpose at all levels whether with another person or with one’s own self.
Gender Affirmation and Support for Self or Loved Ones Seeking Information, Validation and Acceptance
Transgender individuals may benefit from emotional support through Nancy’s therapy as they choose gender reassignment or undergo some aspect of gender diversity or gender non-conformity. Gender reassignment also referred to as gender affirmation is a process in which one has decided their birth gender of female or male is not their true gender. Affirming the gender one knows themself to be, is a path to being true to one’s self in a most basic way. Fluid gender identity enables freedom from labeling oneself as ‘either or’ dichotomous male/female categorization. Some may know themselves to be some of both genders or fluid in that their gender may not be static.
Whether one is considering or has decided that reassignment or fluidity is their choosing, they will run up against traditional notions of gender. Therapy offers positive support and validation of gender identity and transition. Often part of the therapy is figuring out how to handle fears that come up for self as well as from others.
Separate from our gender identification as female or male, therapy can provide helpful guidance as a person expresses their affectional gender preference. Affectional preference is typically tied to physical attraction, but not always. Regardless of identified gender, and whether a person is transgender or cisgender (same gender they were assigned at birth), one may choose an intimate relational partner of opposite or same sex or both. Additionally, the choice of intimate relational partner can be quite varied and fluid. Therefore, dichotomizing and permanency of gender identity is on its way out; the belief in being either a male or female no longer holds. In sum, both our identified gender sex and our choice of sex partner allow freedom of alternative choices.
A part of the support in the therapy process, one may also gain encouragement to live their true self in the outside world. Nancy provides help with when or how does ‘coming out’ happen so that the new identity can be public. This process starts with acknowledging what is known by the self already. Starting signs show up as inner nudging or knowing that a different gender, affectional partner or lifestyle is preferred or to be chosen.
Trauma, Illness, Childhood Healing
Nancy assists people overcoming trauma. She guides clients to go beyond managing the aftereffects of trauma and re-pattern the brain. Her approach accesses unlimited power for handing trauma experience and growing one’s self into a stronger, healthier place than even before the traumatic event. Basic treatment concepts include the practices of containment, pacing, naming and neutralizing. Some of Nancy’s favorite techniques are Emotional Freedom Technique or “Tapping”, Counting, Self Calming, Creative Imagery, Clearing and Symbolism or Dream Material.
Recovery and Sobriety
The heart of the work in recovery begins with helping each client develop an intimate relationship with their self, so they understand and wisely use urges, actions or triggers related to relapse. Nancy guides individuals through the process of developing their own self-intimacy. Each person becomes a detective, learning to pay close attention to subtle or not so subtle clues found in bodily sensations, actions, thoughts, reactions and shifts in emotions. Nancy teaches how to identify these clues that can lead to self-harm or relapse. Indicators or clues from relapse or addiction are hidden in the body and mind. As each individual grows evermore aware, they can use clues from urges, sensations and feeling states to improve their healthy choices and inner state of being.
By tuning into experiences, reactions and physical sensations, one gains wisdom and understanding from past choices. This rewarding path to wholeness requires diligence. All life events have potential for gain, as well as for connecting deeper and more intimately with one’s self. This close relationship with the self allows viewing thought and behavior patterns as filled with information. New interpretations of addictions and ability to focus open up. Sometimes the very thing that seems like the worst that could have happened, evolves into the greatest portal for self-growth. Finally, this intimate path may be novel to many because it is not logical or linear. Rather, it is uniquely phenomenological, often led by values, intuition and inner gut knowing. Nancy’s guidance, offers precision as one aligns with one’s own special intimate relationship in this process. Once self-intimacy is learned, life becomes truly meaningful and every other relationship benefits.
Self-intimacy forms the base for increased clarity with each and every choice made. This intimate relationship with the self is also the bedrock from which all other relationships grow. No doubt, the inner emotions also benefit and evolve from this self-work. Healthier boundaries become evident.
Self-intimacy incorporates, yet goes beyond intention and goal setting. By paying attention to spoken words and self-reflections, Nancy helps each person find information regarding self-worthiness, virtues, core beliefs and the personal meaning they represent. At times, guided meditation and self-calming techniques are introduced as tools for further improvement. Nancy’s assistance allows individuals to find their own answers to their deepest longings. Each person may then revise or incorporate new information as needed. Nancy’s style is encouraging, rather than pressured. Her goal is to inspire individuals to run their own recovery, at a pace of their liking.