Jessamine Martin, Psy.D.
adults: individual, couples, group
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
depression, anxiety, & trauma
child & adult assessment
education & experience
University of New Hampshire: BA
Pacific University: MA, PsyD
main phone: 303-547-3700
Monday through Friday
9:00AM to 5:00PM
contact info & fees
$155 for 50-minute session
$232.50 for 75-minute session
$300 per month for group therapy
The first thing you'll notice when you walk in is that I am tall. . . and usually wearing heels. My hair fluctuates between various shades of red. I love being surprised by a really good joke. Why tell you all of this? Because many people feel uncomfortable when they first meet a therapist--a complete stranger to whom you would tell your deepest thoughts, hopes, and fears. So now I am a bit less of a stranger, and you have something you'll know to be true the first time we meet. I also want to give you an idea of how I approach therapy, and how I might help you.
First, I help you explore your dialectics. A "dialectic" is a fancy word for describing the sensation of having two opposing wants and needs, when both are true and valid. By identifying and exploring your dialectics, we would work together to validate both sides and resolve the tension between them. Have you ever wanted to succeed with a new diet, AND craved processed sugar and pizza? That is a dialectic. Have you ever been having a pleasant evening out with family or friends, AND wanted to be cocooned at home? That is also a dialectic. Or how about walking away from a negative relationship, AND finding yourself deeply missing that person? These are examples of seemingly opposing wants and needs that we will explore together. We will identify and help you understand your dialectics on a day-to-day basis. It is possible to acknowledge both sides of a dialectic and still feel satisfied with the choices you make from day to day. Sometimes it just takes a little more conscious effort than before.
Our fast-paced, technology-driven culture encourages us to split our minds and attend to multiple tasks at once. This makes it easy to mentally check out, ignore painful emotions, or breeze through the day on auto-pilot, hardly aware of ourselves or our surroundings. Regardless of whether this is even productive or efficient, too much of this multi-tasking mindlessness can lead to feeling disconnected from our own emotions and needs and hopes. In therapy, I help you learn mindfulness skills which have been modified from Buddhist and other meditative practices. These skills help bring you back into your body to remind you to focus on being grounded in the present moment. This ability to focus and be present then evolves into joy and pleasure, truly appreciating the here and now, and increasing awareness and appreciation of positive moments-and even acceptance and comfort with negative moments. The pull to multitask and disconnect from the present moment also severs our connection with our emotions and needs. Actively maintaining a mindful awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors (both positive and negative) can greatly improve overall mental health, general independence, and self-sufficiency.
Change does not occur when we are comfortable and satisfied; it comes from conflict and discomfort. Therapy is not easy because it shines a spotlight on these internal conflicts, and encourages change with all of the bumps and setbacks that are a natural part of it. That being said, my approach to therapy should not feel like torture. As I work with you I strive to find the humor in the conflict, the laughter in the discomfort, and your humanity in the pain. Yes, it is possible for humor to become a mask, something to hide behind or translate into backhanded compliments and self-deprecating remarks. However, in my approach I attempt to use it for good, to comfort you in tougher moments and to increase your self-acceptance and validation. To err is human, and to be able to laugh at oneself is to understand and accept those occasional bumps.
To grieve is to feel the pain that comes with loss. While we often think of grief being associated with death, we all experience loss on a regular basis. In therapy, I approach grief in one of two ways: Processing the present pain from a known loss, and identifying a loss that has been placed in the unconscious dark but still has a big impact on your daily functioning and happiness. We all grieve in our own unique and personal ways, and in therapy I strive to explore with you ways that your mind and heart are experiencing and processing grief. Together we will help you find comfort and familiarity around you, and help you finish the grieving in a more complete way.
Along with grief and laughter and mindful awareness of the present moment, another element of our everyday lives that we might explore is music. Music can evoke strong and deep emotions, shape our thoughts, help us recall old memories, and change our mood. Blended within our work of building skills and increasing your awareness of self, I also work to integrate a whimsical element of music within therapy. This can take many forms, such as building playlists to cope with different emotions, or bringing in meaningful lyrics or powerful ballads and exploring their deeper meaning for you. You do not need to be a musician for music to impact your everyday experience, and--if you find it helpful--is something I will enjoy exploring with you.
While music can help evoke a lyrical and melodic form of expression, a more physical form of expression can arise from dancing. I have been involved in partner dancing for many years, and I love it enough that I made it the topic of my dissertation! Dancing is something I plan to devote much of my career to researching. I hope to learn more about both the physical and emotional benefits of participating regularly in some form of dance, be it social partner dancing, club dancing, or just dancing around your home while cleaning or cooking. What does this mean for our work in therapy together? We could explore ways that dancing may help social anxiety, chronic pain, depression, isolation, lack of body awareness, grief, and much more. I can promise that as my client you will not be required to dance. My only request is that you be open to a conversation about it if it comes up as possibly being helpful to you. As I mentioned before, change does not occur when we are comfortable. Instead, personal growth arises from challenging ourselves and stepping out of our comfort zones. I am here to help, if you are here to try.
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