“Not only can the human’s being not be understood without madness,
but it wouldn’t be the human’s being if it didn’t carry within it madness as the limit of its freedom.”
“I will always lean my heart as close to your soul as I can.” Hafez
“One of the deepest longings of the human soul is to be seen.” John O’Donohue
As a somatic therapist and anthropologist I attend to the ways that individual and collective traumatic experiences impact everyday lives and communities. Through attuned verbal connection, touch and slow movement I facilitate resolution of somatic symptoms and related behavioral patterns that express unmet needs, as well as current life, intergenerational and socio-historically
Traumatic experiences – whether relational or event-centered – share a common thread: the experience of the absence of choice. My approach involves supporting the unique spatiousness and safety conditions that each individual requires to connect within with the feeling of choice. The process of knowing, feeling and acting from a place of true choice is foundational for transformative healing.
I specialize in adults who are living the physiological effects of early/developmental/relational trauma, such as autoimmune complications, depression and anxiety, and I commonly work as an adjunctive member of wellness teams that support individuals processing chronic illness. I also have extensive experience supporting academic faculty and graduate students, as well as individuals moving through professional and life transitions at all stages of adult life.
PRO BONO SUPPORT FOR THOSE WRONGLY CONVICTED/EXONEREES. ONLINE SESSIONS AVAILABLE. My research expertise in the areas of racial bias and discrimination supports me in providing a depth of care that extends beyond interpersonal/familial injury, thus incorporating the ways that broader, systemic and institutional dynamics morally impact and injure the individual psyche.
My practice is informed by 13 years of training in Somatic Psychoeducation, also known as Perceptual Psychoeducation and the Danis Bois Method <danis-bois.fr> & <cerap.org>. Created in France in the early 1980s by osteopath and physiotherapist Dr. Danis Bois, Somatic Psychoeducation is a fascia-focused practice whose roots originate in the osteopathic tradition. As the practitioner’s empathetic hands perceive and slowly follow an autonomous ‘inner movement’ – a vital life force permeating all tissue matter – they guide individuals through the perceptual experience of sensing this ‘inner movement’ themselves. The process of sensing this curious phenomena solicits the experience of ‘appearing to’ or ‘sensing’ one’s self at a profound tissue level. Such perceptual entrainment brings sharp awareness of the enlivened intelligence inherent to physical matter; it awakens individuals to their embodied potentiality, thus supporting or accelerating personal inquiry processes.
I’m a certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (SEP) and my current work is deeply informed by intensive training and assisting in Kathy Kain’s touch practice <somaticpractice.net>. This is a trauma-focused practice that uses attuned touch to sense an individual’s immediate capacities for physiological and behavioral regulation. The intention is to explore the unique pathways through which each individual is available to the cultivation of internal experiences of safety and thus capacity expansion and resilience. This approach is foregrounded by the idea that sustainable change and resiliency will not occur until some internal sense of safety is tangibly experienced. Kain’s approach taught me how to creatively apply the deeply refined touch sensitivity I developed in the Danis Bois Method to trauma-based cases.
A rich research past as an academic equally enhances my approach to my work. I previously taught in the Departments of Anthropology at the University of Florida and the University of Chicago where I focused on theorizing the re/production of pervasive social norms like racial, gender, class, and citizenship bias; I assessed how adverse, everyday sociocultural patterns go unrecognized because of our normative relationships to them. Today, as a somatic therapist, I maintain an anthropological eye that’s skilled at excavating un/subconscious patterning. Yet now I work from a reversed perspective: instead of assessing how or why patterns work, I attend to the safety conditions that support their unraveling such that people acquire access to the choice to live more fully. I had the fortunate opportunity to explore such unraveling as core faculty in the Somatic Studies specialization doctoral program at Pacifica Graduate Institute (2016-2019). I recently made the decision to leave academia, again, to create space for an exclusive focus on the mastery of my craft as a somatic trauma therapist. Such mastery includes service as a somatic researcher of the embodied experience of individuating from socio-historical patterning and unjust judicial and economic events that dehumanize experiences of self, belonging and community.