Elisa Pearmain, M.A., LMHC
On this website you will learn about my therapy practice and groups,
and the ways in which I can best help you to feel more at peace and fulfilled in your life.
Working in clinical settings for many years I have helped adults age 18+
with a wide variety of symptoms, life challenges, and goals including:
Depression and Anxiety
Grief, Loss & Trauma
Forgiveness of self and others
Life Transitions including Divorce and Empty-Nests
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
Effective Communication in Relationships
Chronic mental illness in conjunction with your psychiatrist
My training specialties include:
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Relaxation Techniques
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Internal Family Systems
Forgiveness of Self and Others for Personal and Spiritual Growth
Energy Therapies including:
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) and
Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT)
Some of these techniques are described at the bottom of this page.
A few words about my approach
As a therapist I can be a helpful and supportive guide in the process of finding your way through life transitions, stressors, losses and grief. I will help you to know and treat yourself compassionately, and to help you to see with more clarity the rules and stories that keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns, or that cause you to suffer, or to struggle with relationships. I believe that an important part of therapy is learning and practicing techniques that you can use in and out of the therapy session. Techniques for self-acceptance and forgiveness. Techniques to relieve the effects of trauma.Techniques to help you to be more mindful of the thoughts and unmet needs that are causing depression, anxiety and stress. Techniques for assertive and non-violent communication. Techniques to better internalize and be guided by a voice of compassion and wisdom. Techniques for gaining awareness of your body's reaction to stress and for relaxation so that healing can happen.
I received my Masters in Counseling in 1998 at Lesley University.
Internship training at Women's Protective Services, (supporting women who had experienced domestic violence) Framingham, MA
and Hospice West (grief support) in Waltham, MA
Professional training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction through the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine at the Mindfulness Center under Jon Kabot Zinn. 2005
Professional training in Mindfulness for Depression and Anxiety through the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (2004) and a Supervision group led by Christopher Germer. 2004-5.
Professional training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy at the Omega Institute by Zindel Seigel and Susan Woods in August of 2011.
I received my training for Emotional Freedom Technique through Energy Associates of Arlington, MA.
I received my certification for TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) with Patricia Thatcher LICSW of LifeWorks Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Completed Level One -year long training in Internal Family Systems with the Center for Self-Leadership in Natick MA August 2017
I have been researching and leading workshops on the subject of forgiveness since 2008. I am the author of a CD program on the tasks of the forgiveness process called - Forgiveness: Telling our Stories in New Ways. You can learn more about the CD at www.wisdomtales.com/forgiveness.html.
I have also been a professional storyteller and workshop leader for over 25 years
with a special interest in therapeutic storytelling, and helping others to learn from and reshape their personal stories to live more satisfying, joyful lives. I have also been presenting Bullying Prevention through Storytelling programs in elementary and middle schools since 2005.
I am the author of two books:
Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales from around the World (Pilgrim Press,1998)
Once Upon a Time: Storytelling to Teach Character and Prevent Bullying (CDG, 2006)
I am currently writing a book on the tasks of the Forgiveness Process.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a technique of meditation that helps us to pay attention to our present moment experience with kindness and without judgment. It increases self-awareness so that we can choose to respond rather than react to life, to our thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness helps us to sit more easily with difficult emotions that we are in the habit of pushing away. It helps us to calm anxiety as we more quickly identify the thoughts behind it and relax our bodies. It helps us to create a different relationship with our bodies so that it is easier to manage and decrease pain. It improves how we handle stressful situations in our lives and to turn around patterns of chronic stress that have built up over the years. Mindfulness involves simply watching our breath, being present in our bodies, and observing thoughts and feelings as they come and go. Elisa will lead short exercises in mindful awareness, and provide CD's to practice with if you are interested.
If you are interested in taking the full MBSR course you can find more information at the U. Mass Worcester Medical Center website: http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/home/index.aspx or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources: Any books by Jon Kabat-Zinn or Saki Santorelli
Mindfulenss Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) combines the meditation techniques of MBSR with cognitive behavioral therapy to help individuals who have suffered from depression to decrease the frequency and severity of relapses. MBCT helps us to recognize the early signs of depression more easily, and to sit with them differently and compassionately so that we do not get caught in panic and negative thinking and spiral down. Elisa will lead short mindfulness exercises, offer education and CBT journaling exercises to help you manage difficult emotions and symptoms of depression.
For more information see the official website: www.mbct.com or read:
The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn. it includes a CD.
A personal Mindfulness favorite:
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Chris Germer PhD. (New York: the Guilford Press, 2009)
See also the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy www.meditationandpsychotherapy.org for many great resources and programs.
Internal Family Systems
From the Center for Self-Leadership website - www.selfleadership.org:
"Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is now posted on NREPP as an evidence-based practice.
As a clinical treatment, IFS has been rated effective for improving general functioning and well-being. In addition, it has been rated promising for each of: improving phobia, panic, and generalized anxiety disorders and symptoms; physical health conditions and symptoms; personal resilience/self-concept; and depression and depressive symptoms."
Recommended reading for the non-therapist - Introduction to Internal Family Systems Model (2001) by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. The founder of the IFS model. In English and Spanish.
More to come...
Through extensive research, training sessions and clinical practice I have developed my own workshops in forgiveness practice to help individuals and couples to heal from wounds and to let go of grievances. My two favorite definitions of forgiveness are to, "Letting go of all hope of having a better past! " and "To see the light (in others) instead of the lampshade". Forgivness is not about condoning someone's behavior or even necessarily seeking reconciliation. Forgiveness is about letting go of the wounds that bind us to the injury, letting go of our identity as victim, understanding and moving beyond our anger, and in most cases forgiving ourselves for being in a position to be hurt in the first place. Forgiveness involves a process of looking at a situation from more angles, forgiving ourselves, grieving our losses and seeing ourselves as better in our process to move on. The forgiveness process can take minutes, days or years, and can be done about someone who has died. People often experience personal and or spiritual growth as they learn to forgive themselves, others and God.
Energy Therapies - TAT and EFT
TAT - Tapas Acupuncture Technique
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a self-help method of tapping on acupuncture points to relieve a large number of symptoms and situations such as: anxiety, phobias or panic, trouble sleeping, emotional upsets, stuck patterns of thinking and behaving including addictions. It can also be useful in the therapy session for helping clients to get more easily to the root of their upset, to allow feelings to flow, and decrease the effects of trauma. Elisa will teach you a simple sequence of tapping that you can practice at any time outside of the session.
Numerous research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of EFT. For details on these studies and more information and training opportunities go to Energy Therapy Associates in Arlington, MA www.energytherapyassociates.com or ask Elisa to teach EFT to you.
This section is still under construction please call for more information.
Photos by Simon Brooks!