I'm Justin &
I love being a therapist.

I get to see clients make changes in their lives. It's an unbelievably rewarding experience to see people get unstuck and become the person they have the potential to be.

Therapist Justin Sunseri

More essentials of me: Father of 2, husband to 1, coffee 2x/day, amateur designer, 49er Faithful, Seinfeld nerd

Mission

How

I want to fundamentally change how you understand mental health. I want to reduce the need for psychological concepts like "ego," "shadow" and "parts." And I want to increase your direct experience of yourself: somatically, emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally.

  • teach foundational knowledge, like the Polyvagal Theory

  • teach how to identify and mindfully be with your inner capacity to be grounded in the present moment

  • teach you how to alleviate your stuck defensive state

  • teach therapists and other helpers how to do so with their clients

  • use clear, structured design and communication

Why

It's really important to me that we all be able to experience the full range of ourselves, including the ability to slow down and connect with ourselves and others. We should not be dependent on psychological concepts that add a cognitive layer that is unnecessary, like "ego" and "shadow." It's important to me that we build the capacity to experience ourselves fully and directly.

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What's gone wrong in therapy

Biology has been neglected in therapy for decades. Instead, we’ve focused on creating new labels for those seeking help, modifying cognitions, training behavior and endlessly building insight. This neglect has created an unending supply of repackaged interventions that continue to build on a shaky foundation. My courses provide you with rock-solid somatic knowledge and interventions that are easily understood & applied.

I think differently.

(Therapists are taught they are the expert and the client is receiving treatment. It's a very medical model to view the process of therapy.)

Therapy is not medicine. It's a relationship. A supportive professional relationship, distinct from friendships or family. Yes, therapists are the experts in psychology, but the clients are the experts in their lives. Good therapy is a collaboration between two experts.

(Therapists are taught that their clients have an "illness" or a "disorder". It's a very judgmental and evaluative way to view clients.)

The problem is not simple: not simply a chemical one. Or a problem with thinking wrongly. Or of simply changing one's behavior. The problem is that the client does not have enough access to their biological pathways for safety and connection, something that only comes from safe environments and relationships, core pieces of what works in therapy.

I'm on an obsessive Polyvagal mission.

Once I learned about and deeply studied the Polyvagal Theory, the way that I understood and practiced therapy changed fundamentally. I see my clients (and myself) now as people that are stuck in an autonomic nervous system state of defense, like flight/fight, freeze or shutdown. 

I think the PVT should be standard knowledge for any therapist today. My Polyvagal obsession motivates me to create numerous free resources for therapists or anyone interested. They can all be found on this website, like the podcast and blog.

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I think you're stuck. 

Not broken.

I don't believe you're broken.  You might believe that.  But I simply can't join you.  You can improve your life.  You are capable of doing so.  The issue here is being stuck.  Stuck in a defensive autonomic state: flight, fight, shut down or freeze.  You're stuck. Not broken.

 

There is hope. #stucknotbroken