• How it all began (well, at Emerge therapy at least)

    Emerge Mind Body Therapy began over a dinner conversation between two friends and colleagues. We (Jamie and Liz, the co-owners of Emerge) are actively involved in the psychoanalytic community, and are currently candidates in training at the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. As conversations between therapists often go, we began discussing theory and articles we were reading for classes. This dinner conversation revealed that we shared an affinity and understanding of working with the body in therapy in a way we felt that the psychoanalytic tradition often leaves out of the conversation. This led to many more chats over coffees, walks around the lake, and eventually business planning dinners. We thought that the Minneapolis therapy community was missing a critical resource; a place where patients could come to explore not only what was happening in their minds and discuss the struggles in their lives, but a place to understand how these struggles were showing up in their bodies. Our bodies often hold the stories that our minds do not yet know. Bessel van der Kolk (and many others) talk about this, and say that the body often holds the key to the reason of suffering, and to many unexplained mental and physical illnesses. During the shifting political climate of 2017, the conversations between us deepened as the #metoo movement emerged. We realized that not only does the body need to be more part of the “conversation” in therapy, but there are often thoughts, motivations, and actions of which we are unconscious. The psychoanalytic tradition speaks volumes about this, from Freud to more contemporary theorists. What was unfolding in our country and society, however was a movement that was outing the unconscious thoughts, motivations, and actions of people who were unaware of their power, control, and ability to dominate others. But what was grossly misunderstood, was how these actions and/or experiences were stored in the bodies of people on both sides of the table. Awareness of sensation and bodily experience needed to enter consciousness, and thus enter the therapy room.

    So before we drift too far into political discourse or attempt to solve a complex social-political issue that has been present for centuries, let us tell you more about Emerge. Emerge is a collective of therapists who all see the body as playing an integral role in how we as humans move through the world, and thus has an integral role in the therapy room. Each therapist at Emerge works in different ways with the body, however we all share a common vision to help people reconnect with their bodies, and thus their minds, and ultimately gain a greater knowledge of themselves. Self knowledge is what can lead to change in patterns that have persisted over time. Think about it: before you can make a change, you have to not only realize what the problem is, but what might be causing that problem. If the body is storing memories that the mind does not consciously know, the acting out and repeating of what is unknown persists. Bringing the awareness of the body and sensation into the therapy room allows for exploration, and ultimately understanding of what has occurred, and what is trying to be communicated. As we said, it this understanding and awareness that can lead to lasting change. 

    Emerge offers various types of psychotherapy including: psychoanalytic psychotherapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy, emotion focused therapy, play therapy, executive coaching, as well as therapeutic trauma informed yoga groups and classes. If you are wondering more about each of these offerings check out website or reach out to us, as we love to talk about what we do. We treat children to adults and couples and families and welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Currently we are gearing up for our fall group and yoga series. We have groups on yoga for anxiety and yoga for kids, and also an on-going trauma sensitive yoga class. As we move forward, we plan to add more trauma sensitive yoga classes, groups for various diagnostic struggles (e.g. groups for people struggling with eating disorders, shame, depression, etc), as well as classes and groups for children and parents. Emerge offers a safe and inviting place to explore what gives you trouble, and also those experiences, thoughts, or memories that are stored in your body or parts of your mind, of which you may be unaware. We would be glad to see you and help you begin to understand yourself, begin to wonder about why your body feels a particular way in certain situations or with certain people, why you can’t seem to get a particular thought out of your head, why you keep doing the things you do even though they cause difficulty, and why these patterns are so difficult to change. 

    We would love to chat with you more about who we are and what we do. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit us online at www.emergetherapy.com.

    - Jamie Larson Jones, MS, RD, LPCC

  • Book Launch by Dr. Sherry Walling

    We are so impressed with the work of our colleague, Dr. Sherry Walling. She has a unique and personal understanding of the emotional needs of the entrepreneur/founder and keeps a full schedule of national and international speaking engagements, distilling essential psychological truth to a community familiar with sacrificing relational and mental health in the service of creative passion. 

    She is now launching her book, The Entrepreneur's Guide To Keeping Your Sh*t Together, which is an accessible resource of her best thoughts in this area. A great read for anyone who has ever contemplated the elusive 'work/life balance' while also feeling committed to creating new things. Available on Amazon in hard copy and Kindle.

  • New Spring Groups

    Click here to learn more about Moving Through Shame and our other Therapeutic Yoga programs.

    Click here to register.

  • Good Men Doing Bad Things: Weinstein, Franken, and Freud.

    A slice of American culture is in a bit of upheaval. It has taken some time, but it is finally the case, at least for this moment in history, that sexual assault and misconduct is everyone’s problem, not just the women who have endured it. It has become the problem of men because the voices of women now have enough economical and political power to make it hurt; not necessarily because the perpetrators were overcome with insight, guilt, and remorse. (And let’s remember that women in poverty without mobility or privilege, as well as people who are not gender binary, will likely be the last to feel the benefit of this shift, and that the story of male victims also needs to be told. The headlines are binary and hetero, but this story belongs to many.)

    As with any disruptive movement, there is backlash. Many fear the swift retribution, and while it is long overdue that a woman be believed, supported, and get justice, the force of this pendulum swing has broken the sound barrier. Waiting on the legal system to wend down an often protracted, retraumatizing, and disappointing road to justice was previously the only recourse. Now, there is no court that is handing out reasoned sentences with each crime judged by a law; rather, industries are acting swiftly to distance themselves from credible claims and social media is taking care of the reputations of the rest.

    We have our own reactions, informed by our personal stories, to each one of the men who have been exposed. Some feel more obviously condemnable as grandiose, selfish, and lacking a moral compass. But some are good fathers; legislators who fought for women and minorities; smart men making positive changes in their communities. Many of these men were held in esteem, legitimately admired for who they were and what they did. And yet, they are also men who intimidated and assaulted women, leaving their victims, families, communities, and themselves with the task of reconciling how these opposing traits exist, seemingly unopposed, within one person.

    Sexuality, aggression, desires for closeness, rage at being thwarted, and delight in being loved are all part of the human experience. As children grow, in an optimal situation they are taught to understand, manage, and use these feelings in the service of their goals, including forming healthy relationships and finding meaningful activity in life. Aggression and rage may be funneled into a love of social justice and activism, as well as long-term relationships that are marked by open conversations around needs and limits. A child who was able to safely depend on others may, in adulthood, have a better sense of judgement when relationships are unsafe and be empowered to choose healthier partners.

    When this learning does not occur, children must then find other ways of managing their strong feelings. In the words of Freud, they develop defenses to protect against knowing about things inside of them for which they have no help. And for many, these defenses continue into adulthood, keeping natural needs, emotions, and drives at bay, and stuck in the unmitigated intensity of childhood.

    These normal feelings can be split off in two ways: pushed underground and hidden from conscious awareness, or kept on the side, like an alternate version of the self, one with different rules and morals and, often, a terrible ability to delay gratification. A man who was raised to inhibit his aggression and deny his sexuality is not able to think about his needs and desires in an integrated way. Similarly, neither is the man who knows no limits on his behavior, as he acts on impulse and want, never learning to moderate himself long enough to think of others.

    These kinds of splits serve their function by maintaining an acceptable sense of self that can live in the daylight. But it is a vulnerable self that is set up for trouble, because the sun always seems to set. A man could keep a sense of being a ‘good guy’ because the traits that are so fraught with conflict (e.g. sexual desire), or that bring such illicit gratification (e.g. power and domination), are sequestered into separate corridors in his personality. However, the boundaries don’t hold forever, and what often follows is destructive behavior that has a knack for avoiding immediate consequences. With either split, there is no integration of mind and body, of thinking and action. Impulses, needs, and desires then exist separately from the person who is having them. And this is how you can have good men who do bad things.

    However, as with any story of human nature, it doesn’t just apply to ‘them’. The challenge of integrating our strong feelings and needs into a workable life is one we all face, and is at the heart of what we mean by mental health. In Minnesota, denying our rage and aggression is very popular, for both men and women. Managing sexuality is complex turf even without the influences of strong religious mores and cultural prohibitions. And it is also the case that so many have experienced traumas of many kinds, but lacking a supportive environment, were left with no recourse but to split off knowledge of what has happened. But as we know, the splits don’t hold and eventually symptoms start to show up: insomnia, depression, increased risk taking, self-harm, avoidance – the list is long, and it is familiar.

    Perhaps there is more being churned to the surface than just the changing tides of sexual and gender politics. Perhaps there is something we can learn about our human nature that causes us to cut off, to stop thinking or knowing about parts of our selves we feel ill-equipped to deal with.

    This is the kind of growth and change we are interested in at Emerge. We aim to partner with our patients to understand and integrate their emotional lives with thought and action so that less has to be split off and defended against. We are a holistic shop providing psychotherapy and therapeutic yoga because we believe the mind and the body are in an inseparable relationship, and that the body has much to tell us about our emotional and relational lives. (It’s one more split in the human experience we could all do without.) As we may ask our bodies to be more flexible and resilient to strain, we need to also increase our emotional range of movement. The more we can freely explore our needs and feelings, the less likely they are to wreak havoc within ourselves and on those around us.

    Liz Vogt

  • Sublet Openings

    Emerge Therapy is a collective of therapists who work from range of perspectives but who share a vision for holistic, integrative care. Many of our practitioners are also registered yoga teachers, and we have a studio that supports our therapeutic yoga program. Psychoanalytic thought, somatic wisdom, and the impact of various kinds of trauma on inter- and intra-personal life are common perspectives.

    If this sounds like a fit for how you work, we’d be glad to talk and see if our space is a match. We have openings in our studio that would suit massage therapy, group therapy, somatic experiencing, children, couples, families, and individuals. We also have openings in our other suites that range in size and are able to hold 2-5 patients and all are appropriate for children.

    We are hosting an open house on Saturday, 1/27, from 3-5pm. This would be an excellent time for you to see the space and the atmosphere we are cultivating. Email us at info@emergetherapy.com for more information. 

  • Grand Opening

    Please join us for our grand opening celebration on Saturday, January 27th from 3-5pm. We are located in the heart of Uptown, Minneapolis with four psychotherapy offices and a yoga studio space for trauma sensitive yoga. We look forward to seeing you all and celebrating our new space. 


  • Our Website is Live!

    Welcome to our practice. We are excited to share our new website with you all. Please click around and make yourself at home. If you are a prospective client, we look forward to meeting you and helping in any way we can. Click on our contact us page and reach out with any questions. If you are another professional we look forward to meeting you as well. We hope to collaborate and share referrals, so please reach out and share your specialties with us and let us know if you have any questions about the services we provide.

    - Jamie and Liz

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