Welcome to Elephant In The Room!
"Living doesn't have to be difficult. Addressing Trauma and Anxiety doesn't need to be painful or repetitive. Negative emotions are not choices!
I have been there! This is my number one credential. "
Zina Ortiz, MA, LPC, EMDR
MA, LPC, EMDR
I am a trauma survivor! I also hold a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. My trainings include completion of trainings and certification of EMDR at the Maiberger Institute in Boulder, CO, REBT at the Albert Ellis Institute in New York, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Rapid Resolution Therapy with Dr Jon Connelly. I have enhanced my knowledge and education with therapeutic methods I have experienced, and have achieved a successful degree of recovery. I use them in my practice because I believe in their efficacy. Please see my Resource page for more information. I have walked the walk and it is relatively painless. This also does not need to be a lengthy process. Truth be told talk therapy is not an effective method for addressing trauma, anxiety and depression.
It is common for trauma survivors to struggle with strong emotions, it makes sense that we would focus on our emotional mind which is also called the subconscious. The conscious part of our mind is the thinking part of our mind, and the subconscious part of our mind the more primitive, emotional part of our mind. That’s why you will often hear yourself say “I can’t help but to feel this way.”
RRT is rooted in the belief that we must go beyond our thinking mind to access our subconscious mind in order to heal. Using altered states of consciousness the subconscious becomes aware a traumatic event is over and no longer needs to spend time focusing energy on protecting ourselves, more space is created for living a life with an increase in clarity and peace. It is as if subconscious mind is finally getting the news that everything is ok, all threats are gone, and there is no need to revisit these memories like a broken record. Don't just imagine breaking free from the ghosts of your past, be ready to experience it because it is possible!
I enjoy the work of facilitating transformation in people's lives. It all started as an 8 year old child playing to help my playmates and listening to their stories. It is my life's work! I continue to expand my knowledge with trainings and readings on new material on trauma and its effects on people. I am licensed in the state of Colorado as an LPC # 0011828.
It takes an outsider, and I am an outsider! someone with fresh eyes to see conditions in an objective fashion, to point out the elephant in the room. Without shaming, blaming, magnifying, or minimizing the main challenge, my goals as a psychotherapist are based on the belief that people want to be happy, effective and successful in their lives and they have within themselves the resources to achieve these goals. I help my clients most effectively by accessing their internal resources to increase self-understanding, to improve decision-making, to solve problems, and to create paths to the lives they want.
My areas of knowledge include:
* Complex Trauma (domestic violence, childhood/physical, mental, sexual abuse)
* Anxiety / Panic
* Grief & Loss
* Women's Issues
I am originally from Mexico, and have been living in the US for more than 30 years. Therefore my education and training has been here in this great country of ours. It has been my clinical experience and observations that we women face similar issues, regardless of culture! Insecurities, low self esteem, shame, perfectionism, and disconnection, to name a few. I have faced these issues myself. I feel privileged in my line of work because my career/journey of self healing have exposed me to different therapy methods, education and trainings that have helped me resolve all trauma and its symptoms to then help others, including but not limited to uncomfortable feelings, emotions, and internal self critic (the little monster that tells us we're not good enough). I have determined that the world needs more empowered women, with impeccable boundaries.
Are you ready to be fearless?
Lately, there has been an increased need for help in treating anxiety disorders for people who have chronic use of THC. If this is the case for you, I can help decrease the intensity of these symptoms, without taking away the joy of its use. Call me to schedule a free half an hour consultation to see if we can work together. It is important to remember consistency in treatment is key to progress.
My fee for a standard 50 minute session is $150.00. I accept personal checks, PayPal, Venmo, cash, HSA and credit cards. All transactions are kept confidential and private. I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Most clients come in 1 time per week though if circumstances warrant, I see clients 2-3 times weekly or bi-monthly, and also do one-time consultations. I also offer video sessions or telehealth through Theranest, which is HIPAA compliant.
I now accept Beacon Health/Kaiser, United Healthcare, Oxford, Oscar Health and Aetna. I also accept insurance as an out of network provider, please inquire. I am a Victim's Compensation provider.
Counseling services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan.
It is important to know that Insurance companies require diagnoses in order to authorize treatment and payment. They also have access to your therapeutic records, and your history of diagnoses. Paying out of pocket keeps your information private and away from insurance companies. I will be happy to provide you with information shared to your insurer.
I approach my work as solution-based on the particular needs and current life situation a person is experiencing. Trained as a depth psychotherapist I believe that one's values, personal beliefs and core beliefs are formed during our very early years, throughout our childhood and these determine individual perceptions of reality. Examining our lives, knowing who we are and understanding our origins is a life's journey. Throughout this journey challenges may trip us up. At these times we can experience our lives as chaotic and out of control. Given whom we are, and where we come from, the coping mechanisms we have developed may become overburdened.
I believe that human beings have various challenges in life which give us the opportunity to examine ourselves more closely, seeking clarity and a deeper understanding of our purpose in living. At these crossroads we can become overwhelmed, confused and have difficulty dealing with strong emotions. It is at this point that many of us can benefit from psychotherapy, and explore these deeply rooted issues within the safety of a therapeutic relationship. It is also my belief that most behaviors are habits that have been formed and based on one's core material. My goal is to work with you within the therapeutic relationship, in an environment of acceptance and understanding, to address various issues, develop clarity, and a sense of contentment.
Using an eclectic approach I am able to draw on my training and experience in the workings of the personality, keeping in mind the client's personal history, family of origin, personal strengths, always maintaining a deep and constant curiosity in their life story. I have found that the commonality of humanity binds us together, weaving our own paths which lead to growth. There are times we must stop on that path and look inward, reexamining ourselves and our purpose. I work with a client, to create an environment in which looking inward is encouraged, paced by the client and their particular needs, always mindful of their autonomy and uniqueness. You are worthy of contentment!
Trauma and Anxiety can be addressed in many different ways. My intention is for my clients to feel significantly better than before, feeling satisfied with permanent results. I am interested in resolving these issues at their core, in a short amount of time so that you can live your life feeling and being present, with mind rebooted, refreshed, and updated.
I am trained and certified in EMDR. Don't settle for a therapist who has just been "trained" but someone who has followed through the entire training requirements for certification. EMDR is an evidence based treatment used to resolve issues related to Trauma and Anxiety. It is a fast and effective method which has shown a high rate of success. EMDR is not for everyone. When making a decision about treatment be open about options. You are an individual with specific needs, values, and points of view, and so should your treatment. Consider a treatment that is custom made for you, and not something that has been cookie cut for everyone. EMDR addresses memories connected to disturbing emotions. Using visualizations and meditations, EMDR's main purpose is to normalize these memories so that the emotions are no longer connected to them, turning the traumatic story into an event that happened in the past. Once these memories are resolved you will remember these memories but on your own terms! These memories will no longer assault you. No one can erase these memories for you, and you wouldn't want to however, these will no longer give rise to negative emotions.
Another method of treatment for Trauma and Anxiety is Rapid Resolution Therapy. This treatment also uses meditations and visualizations to address this combination of memories and uncomfortable emotions. Rapid Resolution Therapy also uses games that are fun, silly and very effective! Treatment is not meant to hurt or cause additional emotional pain! Rapid Resolution Therapy is an even faster method of treatment than EMDR. Imagine feeling free of the burden of the emotions caused by a memory from the past! The past is gone, we cannot change it, but we can change our perspective about it. The past is best left behind. Your point of power is in the present! Let's start here.
All of the methods mentioned above I have experienced for myself. They are effective. They really work! I fully endorse and execute them with full faith.
EMDR, RRT, Sensorimotor Psychotheray, Mindfulness Meditation, NLP, Brainspotting will help you achieve alpha, even theta states where we can communicate to subconscious mind the message that things are ok now, and there is no need to replay these memories anymore. It is updating your mind with the message that it is no longer necessary to relive the past and recreate it in the present because it truly does not belong in the present. Emotions = energies in motion. Emotions are manifested in our bodies, and the language of the body or primitive mind is images, sensations, colors, sounds, and scents. I use these elements to help your body process these negative emotions, and let go of them. Comparable to the dirty dish from dinner last week. No need to look at it and observe the old food and gunk stuck to it. This dish just needs to be dunk in soapy hot water, scrubbed and rinsed. It is that easy and fun!
As a responsible therapist education is ongoing. I also address my personal issues within my own therapy. Meditation is a part of my daily practice, and it is also ongoing. I offer Soul Drops because I believe in the medicinal power of plants and nature. The effects are felt overtime, with consistent use of some magical herbs. You can purchase Soul Drops here and get 10% off with coupon Code ELEPHANT.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming. It is a non-invasive, evidence-based method of psychotherapy that helps people recover from the effects of psychological trauma through through the process of adapting and normalizing traumatic memories. EMDR therapy is an eight-step trauma treatment that comprehensively identifies and addresses experiences that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural resilience or coping capacity. Through EMDR therapy, patients are able to reprocess traumatic information until it is no longer a disturbing memory. By the way, I do not use the eye movement part because most people claim it is too distracting and it is difficult to focus on the memory and eye movement at the same time. I use bilateral stimulation with a small device that it is meant to stimulate your central nervous system. This device is meant to soothe and relax, while remembering the disturbing memory thus creating a new experience! As I explained earlier, I help my clients build internal resources for coping because primitive mind's main language is that of imagination and images.
Rapid Resolution Therapy
Rapid Resolution Therapy is an alternative treatment that is brings relief in a short amount of time. It is a quick, effective and painless treatment for issues that have been disturbing and problematic emotionally and behaviorally. I have seen positive results for survivors of trauma, sexual abuse, childhood abuse, assault, domestic violence, car accidents, and also for people who have been diagnosed with PTSD and Anxiety. With Rapid Resolution Therapy you don't have to relive the trauma or the disturbing event like traditional therapy or even EMDR. The traumatic or disturbing event is processed in a painless and entertaining way. It truly is transformative!
Developed by Dr. Pat Ogden, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy focuses on body awareness and movement to process disturbing events connected to uncomfortable sensation in the body, transforming these memories, or "disconnecting" the memories from the uncomfortable sensations. As you may or may not know, the human body has memory and is a vessel for emotions. The body moves according to these emotions or sensations, expressing thoughts and feelings, without one's awareness. The body never lies, evidenced by the success of uncovering truths with technologies such as lie detectors. Using your body to move and allowing to process these emotions through movement, then these sensations are "released", creating resolution and a sense of "it's over".
Guided Mindfulness Meditation
One of the main methods in my practice and in combination with all other methods are Guided Mindfulness Meditations. Studies, like this one, have proven that trauma causes states of dissociation as a protective mechanism, to prevent overwhelm, and to mitigate further trauma. It is in these states of dissociation, which are often, outside of one's control and sometimes awareness, that healing can occur. A meditative state is considered a state of dissociation or altered state of consciousness. Therefore, creating a state of resolution cannot occur in cognition or during a conversation, and that's the main reason why talk therapy is limited in this regard. Talking about uncomfortable events does not resolve them, understanding them doesn't either. I also combine NLP principles and Guided Meditations to create shifts, a deeper sense of resolution, something you can truly feel without having to resort to "coping mechanisms" that hinder your ability to just be. Many of my clients have expressed feeling like they "got it" without having been told, it simply is something that is felt at its core.
Virtual Reality Therapy
A concept that is really valuable to VR is presence, the feeling of being somewhere. It is not something we think about on a day to day basis, it is our mind's distinct way of letting us know that an experience is real, and that we are not just looking at a picture or a book. What VR does is activate the motor cortex and our sensory system in a way that is similar to a real life experience. As an outside observer you may not be able to see somebody experiencing presence but what you can see are the physiological and emotional reactions that occur as a result. It is in the safety of VR where you can "practice" presence without the risks that mind has previously assigned.
VR gives people a safe environment to practice things that could be otherwise expensive, risky, or dangerous to replicate. Inner mind does not know the difference between reality and fantasy, therefore it believes the images provided in VR as real. In this environment the mind "learns" safe ways of being in what mind once considered "unsafe". It can be more effective in treating anxiety and phobias than visualization or imagination alone.
It is the safest exposure therapy around! And VR therapy can be done from the comfort of your own home, using your own phone.
VR is an effective method for treating:
PTSD Fear of flying Chronic Stress
Bullying Public Speaking
Depression Test Anxiety
Eating Disorders Sport Performance
Insomnia Sleep/Wake Disorders
PandoraStar is an advanced light machine featuring 12 stroboscopic LEDs that offers a fast, safe and easy way to reach deep meditative states. Using a unique inverted triangle array of LED lights that interlock to create a series of hexagrams, PandoraStar stimulates various brain regions by focusing rays of light on the retinas. Through closed eyelids, users experience a "visible" frequency entrainment of kaleidoscopic patterns of colors and psychedelic imagery, which provides an immersive environment for deel level brainwave entrainment. Regular use of sessions with Gamma frequencies can result in improved short term memory, memory integration, and increased concentration. People also claim Improved creativity. By stimulating the “right brain” users experience significant increases in creativity and focus.
PandoraStar sessions are scheduled with or without therapy. The benefits of PandoraStar are felt and observed even without therapy. PandoraStar helps you achieve deeper meditative states that can facilitate release of stress, anxiety and revolving thoughts. Schedule your session here
According to therapist and creator David Grand, the direction in which people look or gaze can affect the way they feel. During brainspotting, I help my clients position their eyes in ways that enable them to target sources of negative emotion. With the aid of a pointer, I slowly guide the eyes of my clients in therapy across their field of vision to find appropriate “brainspots,” with a brainspot being an eye position that activates a traumatic memory or painful emotion. Through brainspotting I can also help you find positive internal resources to elicit positive emotions. It is a mindful and gentle way to address painful memories.
Animal Assisted Therapy
This is Ali, therapy dog in training. Ali has been my best Ally, consultant, and aide in helping my clients recover from trauma. He is a gentle giant! Ali is a 2 year old German Shepard dog. He has not been accredited yet, however is closely monitored and directed by me, as he is in the process of being certified.
Do you have a need for an ESA letter? I can complete that for you in less than one day! Please reach out by phone or email.