I internalized this violent, dominating mode of operation by shaming, punishing, and marginalizing parts of myself. I realized the systems of oppression that I wanted to uproot in my relationships existed within myself.
Through combining Inner Relationship Focusing, Nonviolent Communication, and Expressive Therapy, I was able to make huge shifts in how I was relating to myself.
With this framework and practice, I could relate, support, and help heal the parts of me I previously regarded as a burden. By coming into a therapeutic relationship with myself, I found more spaciousness and choice in how I showed up for other's in their complexity.
Now I'm on the next leg of my journey, supporting others walking a similar path of personal and collective transformation.
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 and building the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible (thank you for the poetics, Charles Eisenstein.)
PUTTING THE PIECES BACK TOGETHER
Ever since I left my childhood home, I’ve been living and learning in some form of Intentional Community.
Small collective homes for friendship and spiritual development
Cooperatively run, live-in organizations for social change and environmental sustainability
Multi-family cohousing for shared resources and support
Each community experience was challenging, inspiring, disheartening, and encouraging in their own way.
My patterns, wounds, gifts, and values were illuminated by rubbing up against others in the rock tumbler that is Intentional Community.
The insights and gains with every step were supportive, but when my outdated behavioral patterns continued to repeat with every new community, I started questioning how much progress I was really making.
Why was I still over-accommodating others and avoiding conflict?
Why was I still not able to meet my own and other's shadows with compassion and accountability?
Why was I still holding my creative, expressive self back?
Why was I still struggling with my sense of belonging?
Was I just gaining social skills, or was I actually healing and transforming?
Facilitation trainings, psychotherapy, anti-oppression trainings, spiritual practice, Nonviolent Communication, books, courses, dancing, drama…
Even with years of guidance and practice, I kept coming back to the same blocks.
Until I realized that I still hadn’t created the cooperative culture of peace I was striving for within my relationships and community inside myself.
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) taught me that some people, behaviors, and values were superior and acceptable, and that others (most) weren't.
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 in Nonviolent Communication, emotional resilience in the face of global crisis (Work That Reconnects), 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 Nonviolent 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.
Teri is not a licensed mental health clinician, and thus her 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.