My approach
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Relational Therapy Meets Neuroscience

As a relational therapist, my approach is based in the understanding that secure relationships with ourselves and others are essential to our emotional well-being. In my practice, I use the framework provided by the field of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) to explain how our brain, body and relationships work together to create our mind – or lived experience. Because these three systems are different for every one of us, they interact – or integrate – differently, providing us with our own unique take on the world – and on ourselves and our relationships with others. 

Pathways to Neuroplasticity

As we make our way through life, the neural circuitry in our brain changes according to our experiences. Both our internal (intrapersonal) experiences as well as our external (interpersonal) experiences literally change our wiring. While both positive and negative experiences have an impact on the way we feel, the impact of being left alone with overwhelming feelings (trauma), may lead to persistent anxiety and depression, dysfunctional relationships, or other issues that hold us back from healing and living our lives to the fullest.

My approach to therapy helps you make sense of why your brain works the way it does in the first place, so you can get to work reframing and rewiring your neural circuitry. When you learn to observe yourself, you can see your thinking in action and meet yourself with greater acceptance and compassion. Our triggers are often unconscious. An important function of therapy is to bring those triggers fully into your awareness so you can change them. Through a process of mindful attention, you’ll learn to identify your triggers and find ways to integrate them differently. 

My goal is to give you tools that promote flexible and adaptive ways of thinking – what’s called neuroplasticity – so that you become aware, open and capable of creating lasting change.

Tools for change and growth

I like to remind my clients that therapy isn’t about fixing you. It’s about helping you understand your actions and options so that you have a choice to make changes that feel right and promote your sense of well-being. Relational and interpersonal neurobiology provide effective tools to unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back, so you can experience a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

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Katie Dillingham in a field of wildflowers


The duration of therapy is wholly individual. Because long-format sessions allow us to do more in one session, clients often find they benefit from just one session a month, or one session every few months. The choice to continue or return to counseling is entirely yours, and the duration is dependent on your individual needs and what you’re working on.

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