Counseling with Dr. Cherie Santasiero, Ph.D., MNLP, MHT


Dr. Santasiero is a “spiritual counselor.” She uses a Jungian approach to counseling in addition to her other processes (which she refers to as tools). Her goal is to help people change unconscious, limiting, self-defeating beliefs in order to realize their goals and create positive changes in their lives. One of the many tools she uses is her belief in a higher power, which she enlists to help those who come to her. Of course, Dr. Santasiero uses the client’s own religious beliefs, if any, as a tool toward that end. Spiritual psychotherapy is not necessarily religious. Religion is not always synonymous with spirituality, though religion can be very helpful if a person is religious. “Most people believe in a higher power, whether or not they are confused about what that power is. I keep it simple, asking them, ‘don’t you agree that whatever energy created all there is, is certainly far bigger than we are?’ I have never had anyone disagree.

“My overall approach with myself, as well as my patients, is that once we recognize our responsibility for our own growth, our own healing, then we have the power to change. This is an example of spirituality, which is not always easy. Often it means we have to stop the ‘blame game’ and look into that proverbial mirror, so we can change our circumstances. Yet this is the path that leads us to the truth about our problems and can explain how we got ‘stuck’. With this valuable information about ourselves, we can thus begin the healing process and change our direction and our experiences for the better. However, the rewards for taking personal responsibility are great.

“Negative experiences and behaviors stem from unconscious negative beliefs about ourselves and our environment. When people repeat negative behaviors, they attract negative experiences and people into their lives. When we recognize our negative beliefs and learn to change them, we become empowered to create for ourselves a new and more positive attitude. With that new positive attitude about life and ourselves in general, we then attract positive people and experiences. I help people see how we are responsible for our thoughts, behaviors and therefore, the experiences in our lives. Most people know they need to change ‘something’, but often do not know how or even what to change, and some do not believe they can.”

No matter why someone comes to Dr. Santasiero, they get one and one half hours for their first visit and one to one and quarter hours for follow-up visits. The questionnaire patients fill out before their appointment helps the doctor show them how they tend to unconsciously look at problem areas, hence how they became stuck. This is where NLP™ is useful. For example, let’s say a man we will call Bill just cannot seem to get a higher position at work, even though he knows he deserves it. Between his answers on the questionnaire and talking with him, Dr. Cherie sees that he is very kinesthetic. That means he approaches this type of problem through his ‘guts’ or feelings, his emotions (kinesthetic can also be tactile). That can be a good thing, but not for reaching future goals, at least not in and of itself. She explains to Bill how to change, or tweak, his brain, using his visualization and auditory skills, because that is what he usually uses for goals he has already accomplished. A simple example of a goal he has reached was getting to the center! He had to “see” in his mind’s eye where Sedona Holistic Medical Centre is located from a visual sense. Of course this is a simplified explaination for the sake of this article, but that is just one of many examples of what is called brain-weaking and using NLP™ or Neuro-Linguistic Programming™.

NLP™ is the study of the map of thinking. This has little or nothing to do with personal content, but how an individual perceives the environment around him and how that perception affects thoughts, therefore behaviors. Behavior can also pertain to the physiology, or the body (You can read more abut NLP™ in the Brochures sections of this web site).

Dr. Cherie Santasiero also uses a lot of Ericksonian Hypnosis. Internationally acclaimed, the late Dr. Milton Erickson, M.D., is recognized as one of the world's leading medical Hypnotherapists. Through his lifetime exploration of the nature of the consciousness, in other words, the unconscious and conscious minds, he discovered practical, workable and highly successful interventions for changing negative beliefs and behaviors into positive, productive ones. He achieved a legendary reputation for success with even the most "impossible" clients.  Ericksonian Hypnosis is a very powerful tool. Those of us who have explored and developed proficiency in Ericksonian Hypnosis have learned his inductions, trance, and specific conversation as a form of gentle redirection and healing. Ericksonian hypnosis uses metaphor and experiences to build bridges between the conscious and the unconscious mind. The power of this hypnosis is in the reaching of the unconscious mind (the part that we are unaware of) and “showing” it to the conscious or aware of, mind.”

Results-oriented cognitive or talk therapy is also part of Dr. Santasiero’s practice. She also teaches simple meditation techniques with diaphragmatic or full, breath, visualization for reaching goals and for health, including body, emotions/mind and spirit. She helps people learn to recognize symbols from the unconscious mind through certain words, behaviors, thoughts and dreams and their possible meanings as messages from the unconscious mind trying to help. Just as important is learning how to implement these practices into daily life and future goals.

EFT or Tapping, uses specific acupuncture points (tapping with finger, not needles) with a "setup" phrase, that helps interupt the brain pattern of an unconscious negative belief.  This is used for weight loss, healing past events and uncovering lost memories that have affected behaviors and negative emotions that limit sucess in  life. Call for written information. 

“Learning who we truly are and why we are here is our purpose. Learning how to be the best we can be, bringing forth wisdom from our pain is our strength. This strength brings into our lives the power of oneness with the spirit within, our biggest ally. The spirit loves beauty and peace and brings to us all the abundance, joy and love we were meant to receive.”