I became a therapist through my journey as a client. Like most of us, I came from a family that was less than ideal, but as I see every day in my office, we turn out pretty damn well anyway. For me this means that I had enough resources to make a semi-mess of my life, to find help to clean it up, and to learn to laugh at myself along the way. (I really have been called the laughing therapist!)
I attended Naropa University, graduating in 1994 with a M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, which specializes in contemplative education, and have been in private practice since that time. I began to delve deeply into my mind and feelings to learn how to help others. I love this direct approach to using my own experiences as the ground of learning. It was hard and wonderful; like putting yourself on the operating table while also being the surgeon. This has continued to be my orientation, constantly on my own inner journey and using the fruits of that journey to assist others.
THE ENNEAGRAM, MEDITATION, HEARTMATH AND EMDR
Internally, my path has been one of being blind to the inner workings of my mind, in which I experienced painful reactions to my own experiences and to others, to greater illumination and compassion, and a great deal more peace and calm. The Enneagram (pronounced ”˜any-a-gram’) has been an incredibly powerful system on that path. It helps me to understand my mind, perspectives, reactions and motivations. It’s like someone turned the lights on when I first heard about the system. There was some order, some pattern to my experiences rather than just confusing chaos. Teaching the Enneagram is my passion and I became a certified teacher in the Narrative Tradition in 2001 with Helen Palmer and David Daniels. In 2012, I joined the core faculty of The Narrative Enneagram.
Mindfulness Meditation practice has also supported me throughout my adult life, allowing me to be aware and accept what is arising in my body, heart and mind rather than defending or ignoring my inner experience. It has helped my nervous system to calm to an amazing degree. Mindfulness Meditation combined with the Enneagram, make a truly transformative duo.
When I discovered the HeartMath tools and techniques, I found an answer to a prayer. Meditation practice is often difficult for clients to commit to and practice regularly. While I would work with mindfulness techniques in sessions, these were challenging for clients to replicate in their daily lives. Using the emWave PSR gives immediate feedback on the status of your inner state and using it with contemplative practices, encourages both commitment and practice. HeartMath’s extensive research into the science of the heart provides the evidence needed to transform how we relate to what arises in our experience. I am grateful and excited to be working with their tools and technologies and became a Certified HeartMath Practitioner in 2010.
One other technique I use in my private psychotherapy practice is called EMDR. It is a highly effective tool in releasing stored traumatic experiences. From living with a critical parent to sexual abuse, EMDR allows laser-like access to events that we just didn’t quite work through in the moment of the traumatic experience. It is highly effective and assists in the release of the charge held in these past experiences so that we can heal, learn and move on.
PROFESSIONAL ENNEAGRAM EXPERIENCE:
I’ve been teaching the Enneagram for fifteen years through workshops and ongoing classes locally in Boulder and now nationally as part of the core faculty for The Narrative Enneagram. In addition, I have also worked with small businesses, co-housing communities, and womens groups as well as given public talks at various events. The Enneagram is extremely adaptable to fit the needs of a variety of groups and organizations. Please contact me if you have an interest. References are available upon request.