Dr. Runyan offers individual, family and couples psychotherapy to any and all members of our community. She treats clients with diagnosable mental illness and those who are suffering due to painful life events. She uses all methods including cognitive/behavioral, depth psychology, evidence based therapies and other practices designed to evoke unconscious material which balances the conscious mind. The talking therapies are immensely effective if undertaken with a super-shrink such as Dr. Runyan who forms warm lasting relationships with her clients and is willing to share her own experiences in order to deepen that engagement.
My clients find their way to my practice because they are suffering. This pain takes many forms including depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, separation and loss, conflict and grief. Suffering begins the process of change and growth towards higher planes of maturation and consciousness. Without consultation, this suffering can take a downward path towards addiction or dis-ease.
The Buddha describes the Earth as Samsara, the place of suffering, and his principles proscribe a life path without suffering through detachment from our desires, selflessness and emptiness. This is achieved differently for the Cloistered who meditate often in silence and for Householders who live in families, have jobs, and tread on crowded pathways. We often need psychotherapy to strengthen relationships, find solutions and change our world view.
The transference is the projection of the client onto the therapist, which becomes the transit to the enlivened archetypes thus allowing transformation. The night dreams and day dreams offer clues to the Souls’ purposes for this lifetime. I use all this material to open pathways for change and growth.
I love to treat couples because I am committed to partnerships and marriages working well and creating the joys of true connection. I have worked with many couples successfully to find trust, loyalty and love again. Communication is not the only answer. Partners are not JUST Friends. The Gottman Institute provides a treatment model for therapists based on empirical research with couples. The model is called the Sound Relationship House. To construct the house, we Build Love Maps, Share Fondness and Admiration, Turn Towards Instead of Away, Manage Conflict, Make Life Dreams Come True, and Create Shared Meaning.
Couples therapy also involves healing the intimacy that was so crucial in the early stages of learning to trust and to love deeply. Many of us tend to drift away from our partners sexually and even reduce the physical touching and hugging that enhances the neurotransmitter oxytocin. Our lives feel less full as we withdraw from our own inner sexuality and lose the sensations of pleasuring ourselves and others. Your movement back toward your partner will include both sharing and touching.
Most communication occurs through body language which is a manifestation of emotional energy. When we are afraid of disapproval, criticism, or even abandonment, we go into our defensive mode and adrenalin starts pumping. We engage in fight, flight, or freeze behavior and the possibility of intimacy is destroyed. We learn to protect ourselves against each other. Couples therapy can disrupt these patterns so that the underlying emotions can be felt and shared.
The earliest 20th Century psychotherapists including Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung focused on the inner life of the individual including conscious, subconscious and unconscious material. More recently a new breed of psychotherapists have come to believe that the family is the primary system within which we are socialized and form our identities and should be the target system for psychotherapy. These family therapy theorists include psychotherapists such as Salvador Minuchin, Virginia Satir, and Jay Johnson.
Dysfunctional families can have rigid roles and boundaries. They may have hidden rules and subtle forms of communication which make some members sick, wrong or bad.
Working with the parents and children together helps to clarify roles and rules, freeing the family members to communicate their own truth. Each point of view is heard and validated.
I love working with as many members of families as possible. I can observe and help modify the communication. I can learn the family patterns in order to help free the members from rigid roles and hidden rules. This type of treatment is particularly effective for children and teenagers who are rebellious or depressed and for families diseased by addictions to alcohol, drugs, eating, gambling or shopping.
The Supreme Court of Florida has certified Dr. Runyan in the practice of mediation for Family Court. Mediation is a process in which the two parties attempt to reach agreement on disputes without the time, money and loss of control which Courts generally signify. She has been trained at the Conflict Resolution Collaborative at University of South Florida and is certified as a Family Mediator and in Parent Coordination. She practices mediation to assist separating and divorcing spouses to reach agreement on parenting plans, equitable distribution of property, child support payments, and other issues pertinent to a successful divorce.
The Supreme Court of Florida has certified me in the practice of mediation for Family Court. Mediation is a process in which the two parties attempt to reach agreement on disputes without the time, money and loss of control which Courts generally signify. I have been trained at the Conflict Resolution Collaborative and certified as a Family Mediator and Parent Coordination in order to assist separating and divorcing spouses to reach agreement on parenting plans, equitable distribution of property, child support payments, and other issues pertinent to a successful divorce. I can perform this service as a line of business within her private practice.
Lawyers generally suggest Family Mediators for their clients and I have close relationships with several Lee County Family Court attorneys. Judges and attorneys also recommend Parent Coordination for parents who have difficulty dividing time with their children. The Parent Coordinator is given the authority to resolve these disputes with the parents and perhaps make independent decisions in the best interest of the children.
As a recovering alcoholic, I am committed to helping addicts achieve recovery. I use the principles and 12 Steps of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous when the client is open to this strategy. I refer clients to AA and NA meetings whenever possible because she believes in a life commitment to sobriety one day at a time.
I am also a Licensed Certified Addiction Professional in Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico and use the techniques I learned while studying at the Addiction Institute. These include Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy for adolescents using drugs or alcohol. I am very familiar with the programs and services and around the country and can refer to rehabilitation programs that suit the client.
Medical Qi Gong is Traditional Chinese Medicine practiced for centuries in China along with Acupuncture, Tai Chi and other disciplines based on the movement of Qi or energy throughout the body. I am studying the cultivation of Qi with a doctor of acupuncture, Isaac Goren. I have finished Practitioner 3 out of 5 Practitioner Levels and will complete in May of 2015.
I completed my Practitioner Level certification and have attended three 5-day trainings at the Therapeutic and Masters Levels with Isaac Goren at Tao House. I am currently using the MQG general protocol, Shen Gong, Soul Retrieval, Protecting from Demon Possession, Pulling Out the Pain, and many other practices. I am adding many of these practices to my book Psychotherapy with Twins that will be released in 2020.
I have reached the intermediate level in my hypnosis training with the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and am studying for full certification. I am permitted to practice hypnosis by Florida law within the areas of my clinical licenses, psychotherapy and addiction treatment.
Hypnosis is a procedure during which changes are suggested in sensation, perceptions, thoughts, feelings or behavior. A hypnotic state is usually established through the use of an induction procedure but may occur spontaneously. Hypnosis often allows us to influence autonomic and physiologic processes, promote healing, and influence behavior, attitudes, cognitions, perceptions and emotions. It is effective for symptom relief and rapid unconscious exploration of dynamics and causes of symptoms. Hypnosis is more effective when a warm and trusting therapeutic relationship has been establish between clients and psychotherapist.
In hypnosis, the patient experiences a substantial increase in theta brainwave, the predominant state in children. This might allow greater access to childhood memories. Traumatic memory also appears to be encoded differently and this suggests that traumatically induced amnesia and delayed recall exist.
To the client, I will say that hypnosis is a state of inner absorption concentration and focused attention. It is similar to what occurred when as children we played with a magnifying glass in the sun – when the rays of the sun are focused, they are more powerful. Similarly when our mind is concentrated and focused we are able to use more of our potential and power of our mind. Learning hypnosis is actually the ultimate in a self-control skill. We encourage the use of imagination, we present ideas or suggestions, and we explore the unconscious where there may be underlying dynamics, motivations, or unresolved feelings about past experiences that may be influence us.
Meditation is a form of balance and centering within one’s own Self. Our inner world is as vast as the outer universe and can only be seen with inner vision. For those overstimulated by sensory bombardment and constantly streaming events, a place of silence and reflection is crucial. Dr. Runyan uses meditation practices from Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity to calm the mind, to open the heart and to heal the body. She often uses the breath to move energy in and out of the body through the chakras.
The great religious traditions recommend prayer and silent or guided meditation to make contact with our own inner Selves. The outside world is often too stimulating and causes us to forget that the inner world is equally vast and complex. Even a few minutes each day of centering practices helps us maintain balance and perspective in the face of overwhelming events.
I have studied many forms of meditation and I tailor the meditation practice to the interests and needs of my clients. I spent most of my life in Christian ritual and prayer; my grandmother played hymns on the piano while my twin sister Malinda and I sang in harmony. “I sing a song of the saints of God, patient and brave and true…..”
Later I was introduced to Buddhism and studied with Lama Tsultrim Allione at the Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Pagosa Springs, CO. There I received transmission of Kapala after a long study and now I practice Feeding Your Demons to dispel neurotic complexes. I also use the seven chakras to upload and download energies into the body. Many of my meditations are designed to help a particular client relieve symptoms within the body caused by blocked energy. I use the prayers and meditations attributed to Prajna Paramita, the goddess of wisdom and the ground of being. Finally I have received transmission of Chod, a healing practice accompanied by Tibetan Drums and Bells, in which we dissolve and feed our bodies to the various worlds.
I studied Taoism in NYC with Ron Diana, senior master of Mantak Chia, 15 years ago. I learned Inner Smile, Microcosmic Orbit, and the Fusion practices. I am now studying with Dr. Isaac Goren at the Tao House in Hollywood, Florida and have learned numerous additional meditations which I tailor to the needs of the client.
Persons who value dreams will recall them more readily and frequently. My clients bring many dreams to me and we interpret them together based on the meanings they bring to the patterns of your life. Every dream symbol and narrative has multiple levels of resonance, and the symbols can reverberate deeper and deeper as we explore them over time. We will learn much from them.
Dreams have been considered the Self’s attempt to consolidate memory and create meaning out of life experience, hidden clues to the most important existential questions, and useless stimuli colliding in the brain. Dreams might also embody autonomous beings within or without the Self.
I wrote my PhD dissertation on the dreams of identical twins, using the quantitative methods of Calvin Hall and Robert Van de Castle. Dr. Van de Castle introduced me to the International Association for the Study of Dreams, the Rhine Institute for paranormal studies, IONS for consciousness research, thus opening many doors during my doctoral studies at Capella University.
Freud believed that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious. He used free association to discover hidden meanings of dream symbolism. Dream material also pointed him towards unacceptable repressed memories in the unconscious. Dr. Carl Jung founded the practice of active imagination which includes creative activities which allow us to delve more deeply into the unconscious. The methods include art, journaling, creative story-telling, day dreaming, and sketching or doodling. Jung used amplification (expansion) of dream symbolism, seeking the archetypal material in the unconscious which was trying to escape and compensate for the over emphases of the conscious mind. He connected dream material back to life experience, forward to important decisions, and archetypally to fairy tails, myths, and history.
Robert Moss who invented Active Dreaming and Sandra Ingerman who practices Shamanic Journeying have been two of my mentors based on their books and courses on the Shift Network. I am using these practices of Dream Reentry, Dream Recovery, Journeying to the Lower and Upper Worlds to help my clients reclaim their creativity and imagination. Dr. Goren taught us that the three ways to change our DNA are affirmation, imagination and visualization.
I am also trained to read Astrology Charts, particularly the natal or birth chart, which according to Jung reflects the Soul’s intention for this life time. I use Pegasus software to plot time, date, and place of birth. The resulting chart shows the Planets, Signs of the Zodiac, and Houses for that individual birth, often revealing the challenges awaiting the Soul on this journey.
Tarot is another method to tap the unconscious archetypes. I read the cards for clients whom I know fairly well because the interpretation depends often on the life journey of the individual. I also use Narrative Therapy techniques such as Dreamscapes, Preferred Legacy, or Preferred Future.
Both fraternal and identical twins have very different life experiences from singles. Joined from conception, twins have prenatal bonding and competing. During early childhood, twin pairs tend to bond more closely with each other than with the mother and father. In school they are unusual, magical, powerful compared to peers. Some pairs become complementary and some competitive; these modes can shift dramatically. Twin separation and loss are profoundly difficult situations. Parents also have questions about dressing twins alike or differently, putting them in the same class or separating, allowing them different skills and hobbies and.enhancing individuation.
I was raised as an identical twin in the 50s and has since studied the phenomenon of twin ship with fascination and commitment. I wrote her doctoral dissertation on the dreams of identical twins. I hosted a live one-hour weekly radio show on World Talk Radio called Twin Talk that was broadcast world-wide for two years. During this process of immersing myself in twin studies, I read thousands of studies and books, met the foremost twin experts in the United States, and made inroads into improving psychotherapy for twins, their parents, friends, siblings, and partners.
I am available for psychotherapy sessions, consultations in the community and lectures. Please look at the menu options Twin Tales to read some of my material.
You can purchase my book Do Twins Dreams Twin Dreams? under the Podcast tap. I am writing two other books on twins. Contact me to be notified when they are released.
Astrology is the study of the placement of the planets as they affect life here on earth. All cultures have understood the importance of the archetypal influence of the planets, the signs of the zodiac, and the houses. The natal chart according to Carl Jung himself reflected the Soul’s Intention in coming to Earth. I invariably look at the natal chart of my clients using Pegasus software and often study the transits at seminal moments in their individuation. I have recently studied at the Psychological Astrology Center in London and found support for the miraculous import of the transits in the life cycle of the individual through the work of Richard Tarnas Psyche and Cosmos and Stanley Krippner, a pioneer in using psychedelic compounds to assist in psychic transformation.
The Supreme Court of Florida has certified Dr. Runyan in the practice of mediation for Family Court. Mediation is a process in which the two parties attempt to reach agreement on disputes without the time, money and loss of control which Courts generally signify. She has been trained at the Conflict Resolution Collaborative and certified as a Family Mediator and Parent Coordination in order to assist separating and divorcing spouses to reach agreement on parenting plans, equitable distribution of property, child support payments, and other issues pertinent to a successful divorce. She can perform this service as a line of business within her private practice. Lawyers generally suggest Family Mediators for their clients and Dr. Runyan has close relationships with several Lee County Family Court attorneys. Judges and attorneys also recommend Parent Coordination for parents who have difficulty dividing time with their children. The Parent Coordinator is given the authority to resolve these disputes with the parents and perhaps make independent decisions in the best interest of the children.