I offer somatic expressive arts therapy as an imaginative and experiential way of “being-with” in a therapeutic relationship. Through experimenting together with visual art, sound, voice, movement, writing, storytelling, and other art forms, we can access our rich creative resources, support our somatic aliveness, and reshape patterns of connecting with ourselves and diverse human and nonhuman others. No previous body- or arts-based experience is required, only a spark of curiosity to try a new way of doing therapy together.
My practice centers embodied presence and connection, drawing upon relational expressive arts therapy, which views the arts as "modalities of the senses", with somatic experiencing, a technique which eases nervous system patterns of fight/flight/freeze which were encoded during traumatic experiences and continue to impact day-to-day life.
We know from abundant research that reshaping trauma and accessing vitality and ease is an embodied process, which goes beyond eurocentric models which prioritize cognitive and verbal logic.
As we explore somatic and expressive arts-based practices together, I will support you to listen more to the wisdom of your sensory experience, believing this is abundantly important for easing trauma responses and accessing openings for safety, rest, presence, and connection.
We use the arts together in order to bring a bodily, emotional, imaginative, and creative relationship to all that we are navigating.
The expressive arts therapy framework I use values "low-skill, high-sensitivity", which means you do not need to consider yourself to be an artist or have any particular artistic abilities in order to benefit from a therapeutic creative process.
Our use of the arts is also intermodal, using and often combining various art forms such as visual art, sound/music, voice, movement, storytelling, dramatic enactment, writing, and imaginative play. Within a relational therapy frame, we might also create art together, bringing forward new insights around your challenges and hopes.
I value a relational approach, believing safe-enough, supportive, empathetic, trusting, and accountable relationships are at the heart of healing.
This is because many of the challenges we are navigating are due to the power imbalances, disconnection, and individualism implicit within colonialism and capitalism. I take seriously engaging in ongoing practices needed to uphold a supportive therapeutic relationship and reshape ways of being together.
For me, this means ongoing listening, (re)learnings, reflection, and somatic processing around decolonization, anti-racism, 2SLGBTQA+ abundance, harm reduction, body and sex positivity, disability justice, and fluency in the dynamics of diverse relationship and family structures (such as polyamory and relationship anarchy). I am well-practiced in approaching those I meet with curiosity while setting aside my assumptions for later reflection. I believe you are the expert of your own experiences, and view my role as a creative, grounded, and collaborative ally, while you lead the way.
Within the therapeutic space, we engage in ongoing fluid connections with ourselves, one another, and the non-human (art materials, imagery, story, our environment).
As Indigenous folks have known since time immemorial, our capacity to enter into supportive and reciprocal relationships extends beyond the human. We are deeply interconnected with plant and animal relations, and all other parts of the natural world. While we are always a part of nature, and will often attune to it (even in an online or office environment) I am also excited to offer ecotherapy as a part of my practice, where we engage in somatic expressive arts therapy in the outdoors.