About

Hello! I’m Hayden.

Have you ever felt that love is just too darn hard? I’ve certainly been there, and it’s no fun. In fact, it’s downright miserable!

Most of us simply don’t learn how to have great relationships. On the contrary, a lot of what we are taught sets us up for pain and frustration. As if that weren’t enough, we internalize our “failures.” Lacking tools to tend to the heart of our relationships, we don’t just feel unloved, we feel unloveable. This, I believe, is one of the great tragedies of our time.

After twelve years of studying relationships, I am more convinced than ever that it doesn’t have to be this way. You absolutely CAN get the love you want , and it may be easier than you think. There are a thousand ways to shut love out, but only a few secrets to letting more love in. All you have to do is learn them and how to use them properly.

If you’re ready to stop the pattern of tension and heartbreak, I am here to help. Together, we will uncover the hidden reasons you’re lacking closeness in your life, and unlock your innate capacity for joy and love. I know you have it in you. I’m ready when you are!

My Approach

I view the work of therapy as equal parts recovery and discovery. I believe that no matter how withdrawn or isolated we might become, the spontaneous movement in all of us remains one towards connection and growth. As a result, I rely heavily on my clients’ hard-earned wisdom to guide our process.

At the same time, I also recognize the need we have to move beyond our current capacities, to expand our behavioral repertoires, and to “do” relationships differently. In support of this, I carefully balance nurture, guidance, and loving confrontation with a unique sense of humor and a deep appreciation for our shared humanness.

Although I cherish the therapeutic relationship, my greatest joy lies in empowering my clients to create moments of healing with important others in their everyday lives. Our sessions lay the groundwork, but the true transformation occurs when you are able to co-create different experiences with the ones you love.

What You’ll Get…

  • A professional who views you first and foremost as a human being, not a case or diagnosis
  • My personal commitment to understanding you on your terms
  • A collaborative effort to name problems rather than my one-sided attempt to label them
  • A gentle, resource-oriented approach to intense emotions
  • Nurture, guidance, and loving firmness as needed

What You Won’t Get…

  • Diagnosed, labeled, judged, or otherwise pathologized
  • An emphasis on past history at the expense of the present moment
  • Pressure to “release emotions”
  • Focus on deficits or dysfunction
  • My theories on “why you are the way you are”
  • Shamed for you orientations, lifestyle, beliefs, or relationship style, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, assigned sex at birth, poly/CNM, & use of alcohol or drugs.

What Makes My Approach Different?

I support survivors.

Many systems of therapy are based on a medical model of disease. In contrast, I understand humans to be highly adaptive creatures that learn to survive in their environment. Rather than labeling unwanted thoughts and behaviors as pathological, I see them as reflections of a survival style that has outlived its usefulness. 

I emphasize solutions, not problems.

Many therapies focus on problems that can take years to fully explore. My focus is on supporting your strengths, resiliency, and resources to quickly start freeing you from self-imposed limitations. This doesn’t mean that we avoid problems, just that we don’t get stuck in them.

I honor relatedness.

Most therapies treat the individual as the fundamental unit of analysis.  I understand that we are relational beings, and that we do best when we live in authentic connectedness with others. I teach several “technologies of intimacy” to replace the distorted visions of closeness most of us absorb growing up.

I support nervous system healing.

Most talk therapies are all “in the head” and ignore the pivotal role the nervous system plays in the formation of identity. I recognize that the nervous system follows a predictable pattern of development that can be disrupted by early stress and trauma. My approach is body-inclusive and promotes the nervous system re-regulation that is necessary for healthy self-image and relationships.

I want to see you, not figure you out.

Many therapies focus on the past in order to figure out “why you are the way you are.” I am more interested in helping you clarify how your personal and relational history affects your life and relationships in the here-and-now. I maintain a dual awareness of then and now that is anchored in the present moment.

I’m sex-positive.

I never cease to be amazed at how many therapists either ignore human sexuality or actively shame it. I want to create a safe, non-judgmental space for my clients to explore themselves as sexual beings. I promote an attitude that regards all consensual sexual activities as inherently healthy.

If You Care to Know…

Licensing Information

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas #76661.

Education Details

Sexual Health Alliance Sex Therapy Certification Program (July 2021-Present)

Master of Science: Counseling/Marriage and Family Therapy, Southern Methodist University (2016)

Bachelor of Arts: Psychology, Loyola University New Orleans (2009)

Therapeutic Modalities

I am trained in several therapeutic modalities that I integrated to offer you the best help I can:

  • Relational Life Therapy (RLT)
  • Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT)
  • Gottman Couples Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Spiritual Psychology
  • Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM)
  • Feminist Psychology
  • Polyvagal Theory
  • Hakomi
Personal Hobbies and Interest

Outside of therapy, I enjoy an array of personal pursuits!

In April 2021, my partner Carolyn and I made the leap into fulltime RVing. We are currently traveling the country with our two dogs and have no plans to stop anytime soon. We enjoy camping, hiking (the National Forests are my favorite so far!), fly fishing, exploring new places, and meeting people from different walks of life.

I am also a fitness buff and enjoy moving and challenging my body in numerous contradictory ways. I am an avid weightlifter, but I also love trail running and have completed several ultramarathons. I am currently training for the 2022 Voodoo Ultra, a 130+ mile run from Baton Rouge to my beloved New Orleans.

If I can get myself to sit still long enough, I enjoy playing guitar and writing songs. In early 2020, I started performing locally in my home of Austin, TX. COVID put a damper on my meteoric rise, and it’s been challenging to perform while traveling, but I hope to get back on stage soon! If you’d like to hear my stuff, you can check it out here! (I mostly sing about Austin!)

Issues I’m Passionate About

Intimacy (Obviously!)

I sometimes joke that I didn’t get into this line of work because I’m particularly good at relationships. I spent many years struggling with intimacy, mainly because I had no idea what it actually is. Despite this, I understood intuitively that learning to be intimate was an important task in my life. I decided to turn my weakness into a strength and learn everything I could about it. Thus began a 15-year journey leading to today.

Over the years, intimacy became so important to me that I made it the organizing principle of my practice. I wanted to share with others what I’d learned in my own struggle. I realized that I was not born broken or defective; I was merely one of a great many that had not been taught how to have extraordinary relationships. I see myself in many of my clients, and I find that my own personal journey in intimacy has been much more important in my work than anything I’ve learned from a book.

My sub-specialties reflect the areas that most often challenge intimacy — trauma, grief & loss, and addiction. My greatest passion is in helping individuals and couples overcome and transform these obstacles into a deeper capacity for love.

Men’s Issues

In my quest to learn all I can about love and relationships, I quickly realized that you can’t work with intimacy without working with masculinity. That’s because just about everything we are taught as boys sets us up for crappy relationships as men. I enjoy helping men recover their lost capacities for connection while navigating the complexities of adult relationships.

This realization erupted into a passion all it’s own. In addition to studying intimacy, I have spent the bulk of my adult life learning about, caring for, and empowering men. I consider men an underserved population when it comes to mental health services. I am passionate about supporting men from all different backgrounds in their mental, relational, spiritual, and sexual health.

Sex and Death

Over the course of my career, I have gravitated towards the areas of the human experience that are most bound up in shame and misinformation. This was epitomized at a networking event years ago. Asked about my profession, I nonchalantly blurted out “I specialize in sex and death!” The room didn’t quite fall silent, but I still remember the look of horror on the faces of my new acquaintances. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t still make me laugh!

Despite the funny memory, I am very serious about my work with sex, sexuality, and eroticism on the one hand and dying, grief, and loss on the other. Sex and death are themes that weave themselves through our lives in complex ways. I am passionate about bringing both of these sensitive topics out of the shadows and empowering my clients to have open, honest conversations about how them.

My Influences

My influences are almost too numerous to name, but I will try!

In the realm of sex and relationships, I most profoundly draw on the ground breaking work of Terry Real, David Schnarch, Sue Johnson, Barry McCarthy, and Esther Perel.

In my work with men, I draw on the insights of Terry Real, Jed Diamond, Robert Bly, Aaron Kipnis, Douglas Moore, and Robert Gillette.

I owe a debt to Laurence Heller, Ron Kurtz, Pat Ogden, Alan Fogel, Steven Porges, and Stan Tatkin for my understanding of the nervous system and the important role it plays in self-esteem and capacity for relationship.

And finally, I have Thomas Moore, Richard Rohr,
Pema Chödrön, and Thích Nhất Hạnh to thank for the bulk of my spiritual underpinnings.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Bios!

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