MA – Counseling, LMHC
WA State License #LH61242581
It’s so nice to meet you. Here’s a little more about me.
Welcome to Inner Phoenix Embodied Arts, a private counseling practice for folks who like things a little different, a little more active, a little more natural and holistic. I’ve found that when you bring your whole self comes to therapy (not just your mind or brain, but your physical body, your heart and spirit), a whole lot more healing and awareness can happen, including integration of all your parts and systems.
A little about me…
My work is influenced by many paths I’ve walked and my continued learning as I go. One of my gifts in life is weaving and integrating what I learn through nature, ritual and ceremony, safe embodiment, curiosity, night dreams and life dreams together using all of the modalities mentioned here for the most impactful, deeply integrative experience that will be your therapy journey.
I earned my MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and my MA in Psychology / Nature-based and Expressive Arts Therapy and Dreamwork from Antioch University. I have earned credentials as a fully Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). I have also completed Certification as an Expressive Arts Therapist (CEAT) through Northwest Creative and Expressive Arts Institute. I completed 700+ hour Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist trainings in the Viniyoga tradition; Clinical Trauma Professional training; Trans Foundations and more courses through The Transgender Training Institute, and several related trainings in support of trans allyship through other organizations. I participate in continuing education as part of my ongoing professional development and always welcome feedback and suggestions for training topics from my clients.
How We’ll Get There
- Expressive & Creative Arts
- Nature-based Therapies
- Dream Bridging
What is all that?
Expressive & Creative Arts Therapy
The Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective offered a great definition of this type of therapy (2003), “Expressive arts therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, horticulture, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing.” And Cathy Malchiodi (2003) added, “Expressive arts therapy is its own distinct therapeutic discipline, an inter-modal discipline where the therapist and client move freely between drawing, dancing, music, drama, and poetry.” We might explore a dream and create some poetry from it or I might have you step into a role play about what you are struggling with. Maybe you’ll do some collage or express your feeling(s) through sound or movement or I might give you a yoga pose or two to explore and help you with whatever you are working on.
Dreamwork or dream bridging, as I like to call it, is a way of exploring and integrating the content of your dreams into waking life. You can record, share, and explore dreams in session with me, use the information from the dream to gain insight, solve problems, regain power over your nightmares, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall well-being. We do this work using multiple modalities including expressive and creative arts, such as active listening, role-play, poetry, re-enactment, and much more. I will frequently ask you to choose one action to take that honors the dream and brings it into waking life between sessions.
Wilderness Therapy, Adventure Therapy, EcoTherapy
These therapies all have nature in common, utilizing it in different ways.
Wilderness therapy is often longer in duration than adventure or ecotherapy sessions due to the territory (further away and out in – wait for it – the wilderness), and includes more preparation, skill, and elicits significant personal challenge and change. Often, this is a more technical method to help you learn coping techniques, skill building, and increase self-confidence, endurance, and adaptability. You will often find that wilderness and adventure therapies are used together or referred to interchangeably, although they are somewhat different clinically.
Adventure therapy is the prescriptive use of kinesthetically engaging adventure experiences, usually in nature settings, which effect change on mental, emotional, and behavioral levels. (Gass, Gillis, & Russell, 2012). This can include games, trust activities, challenge courses, and even wilderness therapy, albeit at a lower intensity!
Ecotherapy can be seen as nature being my co-therapist, and is so much more. Are you someone who says things like “I need to work this out in my garden” or “I just need to get some time in the woods” or “Sitting by the lake will solve this”? That is what ecotherapy is all about: reducing stress and anxiety, improving your mode, and getting you some clear headspace so you can better solve all the things. In session, this may look like a hike, a walk in the park, or sitting on the beach with our toes in the sand while we talk.
Guess what? Mindfulness is part of every one of these therapy modalities! No matter which one I use with you, or if I weave several into your session, mindfulness is guaranteed to be a key factor. Mindfulness is what helps you get to know yourself better, helps you stay present (or get present in the first place), and this is yet another wonderful way to reduce anxiety, stress, worry, and all of the other ways we get our nervous systems out of whack. Mindfulness can help tame monkey mind, improve memory (YES!), help us become more thoughtful and compassionate to ourselves and others, which all help us self-regulate (calm down, find our center, get grounded, and so on). You can think of it more like observation and acceptance (aka compassion) of what is instead of trying to fix it to death (aka overthinking/rumination).