Healing happens in relationship

 

In my graduate studies I learned that the strongest evidence for healing lies in the relationship itself between the client and the helping professional. I take this knowledge to heart, and I know that it is my presence, my authenticity and nonjudgmental approach that makes the relationships with my clients successful.

After working for two years as a therapist in private practice, I chose to take the leap and offer my services in a non-pathologizing coaching style instead of traditional therapy. Fighting against the stigma of receiving help for mental health problems, and then having to diagnose my clients with disorders just didn't align who I am. With my extensive knowledge of developmental trauma and attachment theory, my work doesn't fit in the world of traditional labels and prescription medication.

My knowledge comes in part from my education, but mainly from my life experience and incessant quest to find Truth. The underlying questions were "What is wrong with me?" and "How do I heal?" Ten years of research, a Master's degree, and years of my own therapy with both licensed professionals and alternative healers informs my work.

Growing up, I knew I was strong. I thought the abuse I experienced wasn't hurting me, although the older I got I simultaneously harbored an opposing belief that I would be "messed up" when I became an adult. In 2003 when I left home to go to the University of Georgia, my prediction became a reality.

In a release triggered by leaving the unsafe environment I grew up in, I was hit with flashbacks, nightmares, depression and anxiety, avoidance of going to class or seeing friends, and an exaggerated startle response where I jumped and yelled whenever anyone touched me or said my name unexpectedly.

In spite of these symptoms, I managed to excel in my coursework and graduate with two degrees in four years. Thankfully, I was somehow functional enough and naturally comfortable with academics to do what my studies required. It wasn't until the summer after graduation when I finally found a therapist to tell me the first answer to the questions that had been forming in my mind when she told me, "You have PTSD."

I was confused. PTSD is for war veterans, right? This news just brought me so many more questions. I began the work of healing and was thrown into chaos. I survived, kept picking myself back up, and continued to seek the answers I needed. So many of the resources I found said there is no cure. It's something you live with forever. I could never fully buy that. I sought therapist after therapist, each one offering some help in their own way but it was never enough to answer my questions.

I joined the Army as a flute player and served in South Korea and El Paso, TX. I married, I divorced. I adopted a vegan diet for three years and became certified in plant-based nutrition. I fell in love again and had two natural home births. I completed my graduate degree. I went into private practice so I could have the flexibility to be with my children. All the while I was seeking answers, reading books, listening to podcasts, falling down internet rabbit holes in search of the information I needed. I followed my heart's urging to dive into a 6-month yoga teacher training, and finally emerged from all of this experience empowered with the answers I had been seeking:

Healing is possible.

There is nothing wrong with you.

Your worth is priceless beyond measure.

Everything has an explanation.

There is no reason to suffer.

Everything is okay.

These answers are the same for each and every one of us. People are inherently good. What happens is we are born into a particular environment, in an broken society, with a particular set of genes to be expressed. Our brains have not yet evolved for the civilization in place today, and our caregivers carry the intergenerational burden of all the unhealed trauma that came before them. Too often, this results in emotional neglect, where the child does not get the unconditional love he or she is born into the world expecting to receive. Many of us, at least 50% of us did not have this need for love met. We are not securely attached, and this creates havoc in our adult relationships both in love and in our careers.

You may find yourself wandering aimlessly, not knowing your purpose for being here. We're sold a story that if we get the career, get the spouse and the house and the kids then we will be happy - yet we're not. And it's because your fulfillment and self-worth come from a deep knowing inside that you are worthy of love and belonging. It's that simple to understand, and yet so difficult to achieve.

It takes work to get there, to that place of self-love, but it's possible. I can take you there. In my work I combine guidance with meditation and facilitation of body awareness to access the intuitive knowing within. Everything you need, you already have inside of you. It just takes doing the work to access it.

 

 TFW the dry bar lets you take a couple quick photos in their lobby

TFW the dry bar lets you take a couple quick photos in their lobby

 From the Army days in Uijeongbu, South Korea

From the Army days in Uijeongbu, South Korea

 Advocating for plant-based food options at a rock concert in my Vegan days

Advocating for plant-based food options at a rock concert in my Vegan days

 With my second daughter

With my second daughter

 Practicing Ashtanga Yoga

Practicing Ashtanga Yoga