I found my way to SomaSoul®: Somatic Expressive Therapy during a time when I was struggling with chronic health issues, including thyroid disease, celiac disease, digestive distress and body aches. This approach went to the roots of pain and illness in a way that other treatment modalities I sought did not. I also learned to relate to my body and my symptoms in a different way. This has been life-changing for me. I am more able to treat myself and my body with compassion, less likely to fight what I am feeling or to view an experience or symptom as a problem to be fixed. The result is a greater sense of ease and wholeness. Some days I am still in the fight, but now I have more awareness of it and can step out of the fight more easily.
I feel called to help people connect to a deeper part of themselves. I am drawn to exploring our light and our darkness and living with mindfulness. I am curious about what makes us who we are and what it means to be alive. I spend time reflecting on such questions as: How do we live well? Why do some relationships feel so easy and some so strained? How do we connect with ourselves and others? How do we live a life of meaning, satisfaction and joy?
Spiritual Counseling and Somatic Therapy
As a therapist, I draw on my training in mindfulness, pastoral counseling, body awareness, dance and qigong. I listen to my intuition and draw on my connection to Spirit. I sit with you wherever you are and invite you to feel what you are feeling. I also deeply respect when you do not want to feel something. I am here to explore your experiences and emotions with you and see where that leads. There is freedom in learning how to be with what we feel, physically and emotionally. As we learn to make space for our experiences, something shifts and opens.
This work is appropriate for anyone seeking a deeper connection to themselves, their spirituality and/or the world around them. In my experience, it has led to feeling more alive, a greater sense of meaning and being able to trust my heart and my guts.
I feel deep compassion toward anyone who feels they do not fit in, be it due to illness, minority status, family structure or social dynamics. If you are part of the LGTBQ+ family, know that I am, as well. You are welcome here.
To read my blog post about riding the waves of life amidst challenge and illness, follow this link for my post "Everything Changes." For an archive of all my blogs by category, see below. You can also find me on Facebook.
Training and Education
I completed SomaSoul®: Somatic Expressive Therapy and Shake Your Soul®: The Yoga of Dance trainings with LIFE Movement founder Dan Leven. I am incredibly grateful that I came across these trainings. They were pivotal in bringing me back into a deeper connection with my body and spirit. I am a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist with the International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association (ISMETA).
I have been practicing meditation for over a decade. Overtime, I have developed a daily meditation practice, which continues to be an important start to my day. I have studied Spring Forest Qigong with Master Chunyi Lin, learning that we are energy, not in some ethereal, intangible way, but in a way that each of us can experience and feel with practice.
I earned my Master of Pastoral Counseling degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Additionally, I continue my professional development through the Hartford Family Institute's Body-Centered Psychotherapy Training Program. These enriching and life-changing experiences have brought me closer to my own humanity and deepened my understanding of the darkness and light that reside within us all.
I have a Bachelor's of Arts in Biology and Environmental Studies from Knox College. One highlight was living off-campus at the college's biological field station with 12 other students and a staff and experiencing a deep sense of connection to the natural world.
Life Experience and Living with Illness
During my twenties and early thirties, I served in AmeriCorps, traveled the country, worked seasonal jobs and explored the world. I lit prescribed fires in Minnesota, did taxes for low-income families in Chicago, took adolescents backpacking in Oregon and advocated for LGBTQ anti-discrimination laws in Kentucky. I wanted to see and do it all.
In the middle of all that, I came to know I have celiac disease. I faced additional health challenges and had to learn how to slow down and take care of myself in a different way. It has been a long road with many ups and downs. There was a time when I was in so much pain. I did not know where to turn. I was trying anything to feel better. That is when I found this work.
Throughout this journey, I have learned a lot about sitting with pain and the healing process. I take less for granted. I have more space for stillness. I have more appreciation for unexpected moments of grace. And I still feel called to be outside surrounded by the natural world as much as possible.