I am an integrative somatic psychotherapist as well as a physical therapist, which means I work with both physical and emotional aspects of the nervous system. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans in 1983. I completed a Master of Arts degree in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) from Regis University in Denver.
Certifications & Specialties:
- Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
- Prenatal, Birth and Attachment Therapy
- Somatic Experiencing
A Meandering River
“The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” – John Muir
My career has been like a river, winding through a variety of landscapes and settings. During my career as a physical therapist, I was always fascinated by the connections between physical and mental health, and all the ways our minds and bodies are intertwined.
In my early career, I observed how serious disabilities like head injuries could lead to major depression and place a strain on marriages. Working in home health placed me in the intimacy of patients’ homes and I was able to observe family dynamics up close, and see how support (or lack of it) plays a large part in someone’s recovery. I collaborated with family physicians in an outpatient clinic, where the doctors were surprisingly holistic, and in tune with the fact that psycho-social stress is an important factor in patients’ pain and overall health.
In the early 1990’s I attended my first Craniosacral Therapy (CST) and I took to it like a “fish to water!” I was astonished to find that such gentle work could result in sometimes miraculous relief for patients who were in pain.
I also explored a variety of holistic methods of bodywork including reflexology, Shiatsu, Reiki, Trager, Hakomi, Watsu. I used CST and Watsu in a chronic pain center. Here, I began to see how adverse events in childhood were significant determinants in the development of chronic pain.
I then trained for two years in Birth, Prenatal and Attachment therapy to address early trauma, using Craniosacral Therapy and Somatic Experiencing (SE) (developed by Peter Levine). I applied my attachment training to babies, toddlers and families in my next career adventure in pediatrics. I had profound experiences with the kids that inspired me to go back to school to become a counselor.
My training as a physical therapist coupled with my training in psychotherapy has led me to a more holistic and deep understanding of healing from trauma and other issues. Weaving together the physical (what I palpate with my hands) with whatever emotional or relational aspects show up in each session is like an elegant “dance.” When I trust the underlying Health and Intelligence, I am always in awe of the transformation that occurs with my clients!
An Invitation to You for Deeper Healing
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi
You may appreciate and benefit from working with me if you are:
- Seeking more freedom and ease in your body and life.
- Longing to be free from bothersome patterns that seem to repeat themselves, whether physical, emotional or relational.
- Interested in exploring how chronic stress or trauma may be impacting your health and/or relationships.
- Looking for an alternative approach to traditional medicine, and want help healing from:
- Brain injuries with ongoing headaches, cognitive struggles, fatigue, vision issues.
- Birth trauma, including interventions like forceps, induced labor, or C-sections.
- Early separation from caregivers, or attachment disruptions, due to time spent in an incubator (NICU), surgeries as an infant, or maternal health issues.
- Mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.
- Chronic pain.
Personal and Professional Intersections
“Knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
My psychology professor in PT school said something I took to heart for my whole career: “You are the most important instrument you will ever use. Be sure to invest time and energy in fine-tuning that instrument!”
My yearning to better understand myself and my relationships with others led me to read many “self-help” books and to seek counseling off and on over the years. When I discovered body-based therapies that addressed emotional as well as physical pain, this resonated deeply with me.
Craniosacral therapy was totally transformative for my own personal healing, as well as my career. I was introduced to birth process workshops with Ray Castellino and this dropped me into even deeper, preverbal layers of what my body and psyche had been carrying all my life! I eagerly studied this work for two years in a Prenatal, Birth and Attachment training with a magnificent teacher, Myrna Martin. It combines CST with SE to re-pattern early “imprints” related to attachment ruptures or perinatal traumas.
Through these trainings as well as personal sessions, I have renegotiated many patterns around my own birth, such as having the umbilical cord around my neck. This is one example of aspects of the birth experience that can have longstanding impacts, causing habitual physical strain (e.g. neck pain), emotional reactivity (e.g., anxiety with transitions), and relational adaptations over a lifetime.
The good news is that these effects can be re-patterned to free us from underlying physical tensions and hidden emotional compensations, and allow us to feel more resilient, to find ease and joy in our bodies, minds, spirits and relationships!
How I Recharge and Renew
I am most nurtured by two things: nature and social connections. I love the mountains of Colorado, whitewater rivers, colorful wildflowers and seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. Camping and hiking in the great outdoors rejuvenates me, especially when I can share these adventures with a friend.
Story-telling is a hobby of mine, and I have told several true stories about my life on stage at the Denver Moth Storyslam. Telling stories is a uniquely human activity, and one of the things that helps create meaning and connection with others. This may be why I have always loved working closely with people because I find their life stories to be so fascinating and rich.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me. I look forward to meeting you, so that we can discover together where your path of healing may lead you!