Diane Breneman Counseling, LPC

“Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Counseling Services

Diane’s counseling practice provides skills to address a wide range of emotional challenges including those stemming from stress and trauma. No matter the emotional issue, whether anxiety, grief or depression, her body-based tools provide the ability to dissipate the emotion and quiet the mind.

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Who is Diane

Diane Breneman is a licensed professional counselor who obtained her masters in counseling from Wake Forest. Diane studied extensively with the creator of formative psychology, the first psychological modality to focus on the body’s power to relieve stress and trauma. Diane has traveled the globe studying meditative and somatic practices that she incorporates into her work. Prior to becoming a therapist, Diane was an attorney for over almost 30 years specializing in the area of burn injury which created her interest in the science-based stress and trauma treatment she devotes herself to today.

Diane Breneman

What Methods Does Diane Use

Diane’s practice combines a variety of evidence-based psychological approaches including formative body-based work, narrative, gestalt and motivational therapies. Diane’s emphasis is on cutting edge body-based techniques that are particularly effective at addressing stress and trauma. What science now recognizes is that talking about issues seldom creates the depth of change you are seeking. Instead, it is critical to bring the entirety of your being on line to integrate and calm the whole system. Practices that address the emotions through the soma aka the body, are critical to achieving such an outcome.

Diane combines her somatic methods with powerful meditative work to create both daily practices for rewiring emotional patterns as well as practical tools to be used in the moment to decrease emotional reactivity and increase choice while cultivating peace and clarity. Through the daily use of these tools, you gain the ability to experience all life has to offer, creating a profound sense of fulfillment.

Diane Breneman Counseling Methods

How Diane’s Work Addresses Stress and Trauma

• Mind and Body – Addressing the Entire System:

The role of mind and body has long been misunderstood. What neuroscience has discovered is that emotion is primarily a form created by the body. The brain processes that embodied form and the resulting experiences. Science used to believe that the brain was running our human system. As a result, psychological approaches long addressed thoughts and behavior without providing direct ways to manage uncomfortable and painful emotions.

What is now known, is that communication flows both ways and although our thoughts can trigger emotions, most of the communication is unconscious emotions triggering thoughts. In fact, 80 to 90% of the nervous system’s communication comes from the body up to the brain. The body constantly scans the environment for potential threat, creates various postural forms in response and reports information in the form of sensations up to the brain. Therefore, if you wish to create change at depth, the mind alone is not enough. Emotions are the answer.

• What Happens to Mind and Body with Stress and Trauma:

The problem is that no one has taught you how to effectively manage emotions. Instead, you have likely learned to distract, numb or push down emotional sensations when you become aware of them. When the emotional sensations are too intense, in the case of chronic stress or trauma, your brain’s processor goes offline. Neuroscience can now see the parts of the brain dedicated to processing emotional sensation from the body actually go white on the brain scans, during traumatic situations.

In severe stress and trauma, the emotional experience is beyond what is known as the brain’s “window of tolerance” and your brain’s processor quits functioning. As a result, your body continues to try to do its job and reports critical emotional information to the brain. Over time, the sensations become more intense which causes increased resistance to experiencing these uncomfortable and sometimes painful sensations. As a result, you get stuck in repeated uncomfortable emotions, thoughts and experiences.

• Addressing Emotional Patterns at the Root of Stress and Trauma:

Thankfully, the brain’s window of tolerance for processing embodied emotion, can be expanded through the right type of practices. By training your brain to reengage with increasing levels of sensations from your body, the brain gains the ability to finally process those experiences of chronic stress and trauma. When that happens, your body calms down and your mind quiets. This is what trauma therapists now understand about how trauma and stress can be healed. As your window of tolerance increases, not only is your trauma and stress processed but the result is a greater capacity to engage in the world with increased emotional intelligence and less stress. This is the work to which Diane is devoted.

Stress and Trauma

Contact Diane

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