Approach: Trained in Existential Psychotherapy at USC, I have adapted my work to include CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I have developed my own unique blend of these therapies, along with incorporating creative arts, humor, and storytelling. I have seen hundreds of child, teen, and adult patients struggling with misophonia, and receive calls from across the country and even abroad. I work collaboratively with audiologists nationwide to provide the best treatment possible. I have been involved with all of the Misophonia Association conventions for patients and families and have done presentations for other professionals to inform and educate them about misophonia.
Credentials: California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with a doctoral degree and more than 40 years helping people deal with the medical and other challenges of their lives.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private mental health therapy practice in Minneapolis, MN. I offer in-person and telehealth sessions for those living in MN. If you live outside of MN, I can provide consultation or coaching sessions around minimizing the impact of misophonia on your life and/or household. While sessions are primarily one-on-one, I welcome working with as much of the family/household as possible to ensure everyone is educated about misophonia and engaged in the efforts that will help the miso and family best navigate this condition.
I create a safe space for my clients to process the difficult emotions that come with misophonia, help them explore influential thoughts/beliefs around the condition, brainstorm strategies for dealing with triggers and find ways (and the confidence) to advocate for oneself/one’s child. I encourage my clients to take a multidisciplinary approach (i.e. getting support from multiple helping professionals such as an audiologist, psychiatrist, OT, etc.).
My treatment approaches include: psychoeducational (understanding misophonia and how to manage it, understanding the nervous system); physiological (helping the miso increase their agency over their nervous system, primarily through Somatic Experiencing method techniques and use of polyvagal theory), cognitive and emotional(addressing problematic thoughts and emotions related to misophonia), behavioral (developing new behavioral patterns of responding; self-advocacy) and relational (having a shared understanding in the household, addressing dynamics that interfere with a sense of safety in the miso’s primary relationships, use of healthy co-regulation strategies).
I have three years of specialized training in Somatic Experiencing, which I use to help clients learn how to be the operators of their nervous system. It is also a powerful approach for releasing trapped trauma/stress in the body, resulting in one having a greater “window of tolerance” for stress and triggers.
As someone who has had misophonia since the age of 12, I have a unique understanding of what it’s like to live with misophonia and passion for helping this population.
All of my miso clients have said I’m the first therapist they have seen that “gets it” and how valuable that is when it comes to trusting the therapy process, addressing shame they carry about misophonia, etc. As a result of therapy, several of my miso clients have taken steps to advocate for themselves at school or work and have experienced improved functioning as a result. Many of my clients have grown in their awareness of what’s regulating/calming to their nervous system and as a result have increased their window of tolerance for triggers. I make it a practice to connect with the partners (or other household members) of my misophonia clients, which they have expressed as beneficial in terms of (not) taking the triggering personally and learning how to best support their miso partner (or family member) without walking on eggshells themselves.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Minnesota #1714); Advanced Level Somatic Experiencing Trainee, Member and Former Executive Director for the Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
In-person and teletherapy sessions available for those in Minnesota. Online misophonia consultation available for those outside of Minnesota.
Samantha Bookman, LMFT
More Peaceful, With Misophonia
Treating Misophonia with Body Regulation & Family Systems Tools
My practice is all virtual. I don’t accept insurance but I do short term, solution focused work.
Two Fold Approach, assisting the person with misophonia and their family simultaneously
Working with the person with Misophonia:
Using cognitive skills to practice how one will calm their nervous system during misophonia moments
Setting up a mental map for how one will care for themselves
Creating a greater sense of safety and security, “I have tools, there are things I can do to help myself, I will take care of my body and my emotions, I am not powerless in how I respond to misophonia”
Learning & practicing strategies to regulate the nervous system and bring it back into a calm (or calmer) state during and after a misophonia moment
Working with Family Dynamics:
How to balance avoiding harm for the person with misophonia without harming the rest of the family in the process (the “no harm” approach) Helping families understand what misophonia is doing in the brain and body of the person with it
Teaching family what that person is learning and how they will be caring for themselves
Looking at how we all (ideally) care for one another in a family
Once a child or teen has skills to practice so that they can feel safe(r), helping parents see how they can encourage practice and build motivation for a child who lacks it, “If I feel safer in my room with headphones on, why would I ever practice it if it makes me feel unsafe?”
Confronting the trade offs associated with sheltering from noises and learning ways to care for oneself in the midst of noises
Discuss limit setting with a child who is genuinely struggling and in pain (yes, you can feel enraged and take steps to care for yourself, but you can’t scream at people, say cruel things or physically lash out)
Investigate the balance between protecting our children from suffering and helping them feel okay being in the worldThe world isn’t going to stop making these noises (how much easier my life would be!). So, how do we arm our children with the skills they need to lead fulfilling lives that are not controlled by misophonia?
Addressing relationship struggles that are usually making misophonia reactions worse (For example, if a teen is already mad at their parents, misophonia will magnify that until underlying issues are addressed, if a parent has trouble setting limits around behavior in general – homework, chores, sibling relationships – it will be especially hard when misophonia enters the picture)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Social Media posts from the Parents of Children with Misophonia Website:
“I just wanted to share the contact information for a great thearpist we used for my daughter this fall right after she developed misophonia. Things still aren’t perfect but they have improved a ton and my daughter really enjoyed their sessions. She has a husband and two kids with misophonia so she really gets what it’s like to live with this on a daily basis.”
“Wanted to share the therapist that we have been working with for a few weeks now. Samantha Bookman is very knowledgeable about misophonia and connected with my daughter on what miso is, how to respons ewhen in a trigger moments, how to explain it to friends and family, and overall just how to live with it. I highly recommened her. We did virtual visits and they worked great!”
“Samantha Bookman, an adolescent therapist who specializes in Misophonia, has recently helped my 15 year old so much! After just a few sessions, my kid is managing her food/cheweing/swallowing triggers so much better. Samantha really gets it (having kids of her own with miso) and gave my daughter tools and tricks to manage that fight / flight response and I feel much more hopeful that my daughter will lead a fully functional life. I know the miso won’t go away, but being able to control those horrible trigger responses has made my daughter much happier”
“After struggling to find a local therapist that truly understands misophonia, we connected with Samantha Bookman and have done zoom sessions with her once a week for the past month or so. She has helped my 11 year old daughter a great deal in a relatively short amount of time. I believe she has been mentioned here before, but I wanted to recommend her again”
Notes from clients:
“There just seems to be so few people who actually understand what it even is and how debilitating it can be. It’s been great to have somebody for her (and me!) who truly gets what we’ve been going through.”
“Thank you for today. (my child) was super resistant to doing the session today, but after, she said she really liked you, and felt like you really understood her situation….so she’s all for moving forward!!”
Caroline Burdett, Limitless Expansion
As there is no known cure for Misophonia, I take a harm reduction, mindfulness based, and experimental approach to treatment. If there is no know immediate cure, there can still be relief. I work with clients to identify the areas of life most impacted by Misophonia and implement interventions to relieve the suffering. These interventions can involve audiological tools, lifestyle adjustments, conflict management and communication coaching, as well as more experimental exploration including novel treatments such as psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. In New York, I offer Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP). For out of state clients, I work as a coach and help you identify resources in your area and assist with preparation and integration.
I have seen these results in my patients:
A deeper understanding of internal and external boundaries, a reduction in shame around having Misophonia (a greater acceptance of what is), stronger self- advocacy skills around Misophonia related interpersonal challenges.
I also have Misophonia so I know on a deeply personal level the struggle and the suffering you are facing. No matter the issue at hand, healing always begins with acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t not mean that you like it or would ever choose it, but it is an acknowledgement of what IS. Finding acceptance for something like Misophonia can seem counterproductive and impossible, especially when you are searching for treatment. Acceptance is the first step toward managing your Misophonia and helping others in your life come to accept it as well. Acceptance is not the only step though! There is hope for you if you suffer from Misophonia. I am here to help you find relief.
LMSW (Licensed Master Social Worker)