From an early age, I felt an intense pain that seemed to mirror the pain I saw in the world around me. I started meditating at 18 out of desperation for some relief and became dedicated to the practice of Vipassana, and yet I still suffered tremendously. At 25, I somberly walked into my therapist's office for the first time. I expected to be diagnosed, handed a prescription for medication, and given instruction on how to manage my emotions. Instead, I was met with kind eyes and a patient demeanor, and all that pain slowly began to unravel in her presence. At the end of our time together, nearly a year and a half later, we expressed the deepest gratitude for each other and the wisdom that had blossomed out of our relationship.
But I never entertained the idea of being a therapist. My professional background focused on the big picture: I worked with individuals and local community groups as an environmental educator, volunteer coordinator, wilderness therapy instructor, and environmental anthropology researcher in Alaska. While my passion was making sense of these large-scale problems, I found that the explanations provided for their existence weren't satisfying. Something was missing. I felt we were not identifying the root.
After a year studying climate impacts on remote northern lifestyles in Alaska, I found the issue much deeper and more complex than I initially imagined, and switched to a clinical mental health counseling graduate program at Prescott College in Arizona. There, I taught and supported undergraduate courses in fields that explored how our inner worlds and our outer sociopolitical realities intertwined. Along the way, I studied trauma and somatic work, and decided to try a handful of sessions myself. It kicked off a profound process that continues to turn my world upside down.
My newfound inner journey and understanding of trauma began to provide me a sense of the root we had been missing. The psychosomatic patterns and dynamics embedded in our own bodies - both the good and the bad, the violent and the compassionate - mirror the bigger world around us. If we wanted a more peaceful, less violent world, we would have to address those patterns within ourselves, and if we wanted a more peaceful, less violent inner world, we needed to address the sociopolitical world that continues to traumatize us.
I've checked the boxes and gotten the papers: certified in EMDR Basic Training, Brainspotting Level 1, and the Living Inquiries, and I'm a licensed therapist. And no certificate could account for the radical transformative journey I unwittingly embarked upon. I continue to do the same work myself that I provide to my clients, and that deepening continues to influence my practice.
My background includes previous jobs as a wilderness therapy instructor, community mental health clinician working with adults, adult clinician in a private counseling center, and an adjunct instructor teaching ecopsychology at Prescott College.
Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Prescott College
Licensed Professional Counselor in Wyoming, LPC # 1730