Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy

My Practice
 I have been in practice since 1993, private practice since 1995. I also led groups at The Wellness Community of Southwest Florida for about 10 years. I am fortunate that my passion and my competence intersect when facilitating the interactions of couples as they take the risk of getting closer to each other, and when working with individuals who seek to transcend the challenges of cancer, depression, anxiety or other life challenges.

Why a mindfulness-based, Cognitive Therapy approach? The science on the benefits of emotional regulation is clear. When our emotions are in turmoil, our higher brain centers go off line. Mindfulness practice gives us the tools to move from an emotionally chaotic state to one that we have control over.  Cognitive Therapy practices are proven to work well with depression and anxiety, but only when you have control over your higher brain centers.  This control consists of two equally important qualities:  1) that you are able to tolerate strong emotions, so that you don't fall into "fight, flight or freeze," and 2) that you are able to attend to your thoughts as they are happening, so that you can stop and change any rumination that increases your difficult emotional states.

I have been practicing various forms of mindfulness for 20 years. I am by nature a seeker, and I don't profess to have any "answers" about what's "right." I know that what works for me and what works for you may be very different. 

Mindfulness-based Couples' Therapy takes the best practices from Dr. Susan Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy, the research of Dr. John Gottman & his colleagues, and combines it with the ability of mindfulness practice to teach us both emotional regulation and the ability to see our lives and their difficult moments with response, rather than reactivity.

If you or someone you love has received a diagnosis of cancer, I was on the staff of The Wellness Community of Southwest Florida, from its opening in 1996 to 2004. (TWC is now called "The Cancer Support Community of Southwest Florida."  It is a free program for people with cancer, and their primary caregivers, and is based on a model of therapeutic community. It's a wonderful program, and I encourage you to refer anyone you know who's received a cancer diagnosis to speak with them -- 941-921-5539).   There I led support groups, and taught classes in mind-body-spirit health and mindfulness/meditation technique.

Mindfulness-Based Couples Therapy and my general psychotherapy practice draw from all of these elegant systems of evaluation and treatment to provide you with tools that you can take with you & use on your own.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy,
& treatment for depression, anxiety, grief/loss.

Betsy Nelson, LCSW
630 S. Orange, Suite 200
Sarasota FL 34236

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