Here's a brief history of what led me here and what my credentials are. The poppy field in this photo is a tribute to my settler-homeland, land of the Tong-va indigenous peoples.
Well, not my whole story.
But what seems relevant to share with you at the moment.
Like so many healers, my journey started with my own messy, complex, and still ongoing healing.
Growing up in a punitive, shame-based culture of dominance (informed by delusions of white supremacy, cishet non-disabled patriarchy and organized by industrial capitalism) sure has taken a toll on me (and all my relations!)
In my late teens, I started working to liberate the meek, disempowered, people-pleasing part of me that held me back from my authentic expression and embodiment. I was constantly obsessing over how to been seen as good, important, and worthy, doing back bends and shape shifting to fit in and have conditional belonging.
As I dug deep, I learned that my wounding was not my own — it was an internalized oppression, socially conditioned from centuries of cishet patriarchy.
This realization opened up my heart's door for more unpacking. What else had I internalized from our society's violent roots and reality?
I occupy a very privileged identity of mostly agent groups (white, cishet, middle-class, educated, no physical or mental disabilities.) It thus became clear in my early twenties, after being exposed to Pedagogy & Theater of the Oppressed, Ecofeminism, Critical Race Theory, and fierce critiques of Neoliberal Capitalism, that the rest of my healing work centered in unlearning my internalized dominance, taught to me through participating in white supremacy.
I've since spent the past decade experiencing and facilitating therapeutic practices to help uncover, tend to, and transform shame-based limiting beliefs, values, and behaviors from a power-over/under framework to a power-with process.
I whole-heartedly believe that until we uproot the oppressive dynamics gripping our psyches, we will never fully dismantle the oppressive systems exploiting our humanity.
Personal liberation is not the end goal. Inner freedom and emotional security gives us a more effective, sustainable foundation to collaborate with other humans and non-humans from in order to create a more beautiful world.
TRAINING & PRACTICE
Some highlights of my therapeutic training & practice.
MA IN DRAMA THERAPY
I completed my Masters in Drama Therapy at Kansas State University, though I began it at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The curriculum included various creative and expressive art therapies and applications for special populations.
March 2014 - Present
WORKSHOP & GROUP FACILITATOR
Some groups I've offered include public workshops for emotional resilience in the face of global crisis, community-building sessions for members of a housing cooperative, therapeutic groups for troubled teens, and a support group for white-identified anti-racist radicals.
November 2014 - July 2019
DIRECTOR OF TRANSFORMATIVE LANGUAGE ARTS NETWORK
The TLA Network supports people in using the power of words — written, spoken, and sung — to elicit personal and communal transformation. I had the great privilege to work with incredible writers, poets, storytellers, therapists, educators, and more.
June 2012 - Present
NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION PRACTITIONER
Living in the Bay Area of California gave me extraordinary access to trainings and group practices of Non-Violent Communication. This style of communication embodies empathy and healthy boundaries with such clarity that I've never turned back.
January 2007 - Present
I first encountered mindfulness in a yoga class, bringing non-judgmental observation of my felt experience to my moving practice. Since then I've expanded my meditation practice to include Buddhist Vipasana, Taoist Tai Chi Chuan, and Sufi Dances and Walks.
CERTIFIED DUP LEADER
The Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) are a body of songs and circle dances inspired and influenced by the world's spiritual traditions. Certified dance leaders demonstrate a proficiency in leading the dances as well a commitment to spiritual practice and mastery.
It is important to note that I am not a licensed mental health clinician, and thus my services are not a substitute for medical care. If you want a diagnosis or treatment for a mental health disorder, please seek a licensed mental health clinician. I am happy to provide referrals!