Founder/ Trauma- Informed Yoga Instructor/ Art Therapist
I am a Yoga Instructor, an Art Therapist, a Mindful Based Stress Reduction Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, a Pregnancy Loss Survivor/ Advocate and a mother. I believe that we are constantly evolving as humans and each connection we experience, aids in this evolution. I bring a compassionate approach to our classes and seek to create an environment of acceptance and inclusion.
I began my yoga practice in 2002, while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy. The practice of yoga has positively impacted my life in countless ways; from making my body stronger and more flexible, to deepening my connection/ understanding of self and improving my relationships. I chose to continue my studies in Yoga, in order to deepen my own practice and to share the gift of yoga with others. I began teaching in 2009 and completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2011 through YogaFit.
I have a passion for supporting women during pregnancy and through the transition to motherhood. This has led me to pursue advanced courses, in order to safely and competently guide women through pregnancy and beyond, including; an additional Prenatal Certification through YogaFit, an advanced Prenatal Yoga Training with Ashville Yoga Center, an online Prenatal Yoga course with Carole Westerman and an online Postnatal training with Mamata Yoga. I am also trained in Spinning Babies and BirthFit. All of this allows me to bring a comprehensive approach to our Prenatal Yoga Classes, Couple’s Prenatal Yoga Workshops, Baby and Me classes and Yoga After Loss group.
I am a Master's level Art Therapist who provides individual therapy to children, adolescents and adults. I specialize in supporting women who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or in infancy, as well as birth trauma. I completed my Master’s degree in Art Therapy in 2004, from Pratt Institute. For over 15 years, I have been supporting children and adults who have experienced trauma (acute and chronic) and partnering with clients to build on strengths, process trauma symptoms and heal.I have worked in a variety of settings, including; children’s mental health clinic, mental health hospital, school setting, domestic violence shelter, non-profit outreach work and community-based creative art agency. These experiences have allowed me to partner with neuro-diverse individuals, addiction challenges, mental health struggles and eating disorders. All of my experiences have increased my knowledge of community systems and therapy models, expanded my capacity for empathy and assisted me in developing my approach to therapy.
I have completed training in the following models; Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child- Parent Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindful Based Stress Reduction and Structural Family Therapy. I do not subscribe to one particular therapy model, rather I collaborate with each person and together we create a path towards healing.
I have also completed Trauma- Informed Yoga training through Yoga Ed, to add to my understanding of trauma and tools in assisting individuals in healing. Trauma comes in many forms (domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one, natural disaster, witnessing violence, etc) and can impact individuals in a variety of ways. When we are exposed to trauma, we receive messages in both our minds and our bodies. These messages create disturbances that later are expressed as symptoms (loss of sleep, lack of appetite, anxiety, depression, avoidance/ isolation, anger, etc). Therefore, we must address these symptoms in both the mind an body. Talk therapy primarily accesses the brain portion of our being. By tapping into our creative side, whether through art, music, dance, yoga or meditation, we are able to connect more with our bodies. This can allow us to process trauma more effectively.
I am currently pursuing my 2nd Master's degree in School Counseling, in an effort to bring all of my skills into one role, to support students in addressing underlying conditions that may negatively impact their functioning and reduce barriers to growth. I am loving my coursework and field experiences and have gained additional knowledge on how to better support children of all ages.
I have recently taken my passion for art and for supporting women through trauma, and has created Womb Warriors Creative- a virtual creative community, for any person who has experienced womb traumas (miscarriage, infertility, birth trauma, abuse, illness, etc). In this community, we come together monthly to engage in the creative process to process our traumas, connect and support one another. Check out wombwarriorscreative.com for more information and to join.