Therapist | Writer | Disrupter | Fire Breather
I believe in tearing down the status quo and dismantling our oppressive culture.
This work of tearing down and dismantling is both an internal and external process.
My training in family systems during graduate school and in universal systems (micro and macro) in undergraduate school, instilled deep within me the understanding of how, while we are all unique individuals, we are also part of, contributors to, and victims of our current oppressive and patriarchal culture.
What this means, is in my work I help shed light on the interconnections and intersections of our own lived experience, how the experiences of our ancestors have been passed down to us, and how the culture we live in impacts who and how we are in the world.
Education and Training
I received my Bachelor of Science in Physics from Seattle University in 1998 and my Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Saybrook University in 2015. I interned and am now externing at The Healing Center, a family grief support center, working with children, teens and adults. I am currently a licensed marriage and family therapist associate (LMFTA) in the state of Washington (since 2015).
Within and outside of my formal education I have intensely studied
- family, communal and cultural systems
- child and human emotional development
- human life span development
- trauma (acute & chronic lived experience events, inter-generational/ancestral, & cultural) and crisis
- life transitions (marriage, birth of child, divorce, death of partner, aging)
- attachment theory
- feminist theory
- personal individual impacts of patriarchal culture
- women’s history
- brain development/neuroscience
- Jungian archetypes
- mother-daughter relationships
- body-mind-spirit connections
- the grief process (specifically Worden’s Tasks of Grief)
- and more
I find family relationships (ancestral and present day) and the human mind-body-spirit connection to be fascinating and enjoy exploring the who, whats and whys of how we all tick.
Self Actualization + Social Liberation = Being Unleashed
I deeply believe the way to being connected to and integrated within our Whole Self is by:
- being self-reflective and analytical
- connecting to our embodied emotions and physical sensations, both uncomfortable and pleasurable as well as our innate wisdom and knowing (intuition)
- having clear boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others
- understanding the interconnection of all peoples, living and dead
- activating in the fight for justice for all living beings
The more self actualized we become the more aware we become of the social injustices outside of our own lived experience. Part of our own individual healing process is to become active in the fight for social justice in ways that are deeply personal and motivating for us based on our own lived experience.
Trauma – Acute and chronic lived events, inter-generational, and cultural relational
Trauma impacts all of us. All of us carry within us the traumas of our ancestors (intergenerational trauma) passed down to us through our DNA (thank you epigenetics for scientifically finding this). Additionally, each of us is traumatized (and constantly retraumatized) by our culture, to varying degrees (depending on skin color, perceived gender, gender identity, sexual preferences, religion, heritage, socio-economic status, education (or perceived education) level, body and mind abilities, etc).
Most of us also have experienced acute or chronic traumatic events in our lives. These could be physical or sexual abuse or assault, rape, psychological abuse (gas lighting, shaming), surgeries, car accidents, being attacked by a dog or wild animal, bicycle accidents, traumatic childbirth experiences (either as the one being born or as the mother giving birth).
Generally speaking, most therapists who work with trauma only focus on acute or chronic lived experiences, and do not treat, or even acknowledge the existence of, inter-generational or cultural relational trauma.
Yet all these types of trauma are deeply and tightly interwoven, and having one type of trauma affects our ability to process other types of trauma.
The good news is, I have found, that we actually don’t need to treat each type of trauma entirely separately. For example, when processing inter-generational trauma, cultural relational trauma and acute or chronic lived events trauma also process and heal. And, truth be told, we can’t actually focus on one type of trauma only, because as we process one, memories (be they visual, auditory, felt sense or other) may come forward and ask to be processed too.
The power of community
I deeply believe in the power of community. Because of this most of my work is done in circle or group format. Being witness to and holding space for a group of people on similar and yet incredibly unique journeys is beautiful. Watching how each group comes together, offers support for each other and allow themselves as individuals to be witnessed and supported is its own special kind of magic.
I have had the honor and privilege of facilitating several different types of groups and circles, for several different ages, from as young as four and five year olds who are grieving the death of a parent or sibling, to women and men grieving the death of a partner to women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s who are experiencing a sense of frustration or emptiness within their own lives.
While I deeply believe in community as one of the best ways for most people to process grief, trauma, and life transitions, I also know that often there is a need for individual work with a therapist. I offer a small number of individual sessions and packages each month to accommodate this, and some of my longer (nine and twelve month) circles also include individual sessions with me. If you’d like to explore working with me individually, you can learn more here.
2017 and beyond
What I’ll be doing over the next year (or more!)
- Continue developing the concept and connecting the dots of Cultural Relational Trauma. This will look like having some articles published and possibly, at the end of the year, starting a book.
- Speaking about Cultural Relational Trauma to other therapists, counselors, psychologists, and coaches, and finding ways for us to integrate how this phenomena affects our clients into our work.
- Facilitating and guiding women’s (CIS, Transgender, and AFAB non-binary) circles, workshops and retreats. So far on the calendar:
- Open Office Hours, a monthly gathering on Zoom to talk about a variety of topics or whatever is on your mind. Beginning June 10, 2017
- Self Care for Challenging Times :: Holiday Edition, a three month online workshop learning and practicing practical tools to calm the nervous system, connect to your boundaries, and come home to your body. November 1, 2017-January 31, 2018)
- Unleashing Our Selves, a six month circle exploring and processing inter-generational/ancestral and cultural relational trauma (Tentative for 2018 :: April 1-September 30)
You can also sign up to receive my weekly love letters, which contain an essay connecting the dots between the personal and political, Self and social, individual and collective, nervous system soothing exercises, stream of conscious writing prompts and more.
I look forward to connecting with you soon.
In rebellious solidarity,