If you are thinking about attending a group, seeking supervision, or embracing a professional development opportunity, knowing something about me and what I bring to the table is important. The simplest description of who I am and what I bring is to say that I am a doctoral level, licensed psychologist with nearly 25 years of clinical, teaching, and supervisory experience. I have primarily worked with women who are survivors of violence. I am also an initiated shamanic practitioner and I have significant formal training and independent study in theology, body-based energy work, and ethics.
However, the most important thing that I bring to the table is the belief and experience that we can reclaim our essential self, we can re-infuse our work with the energy of our soul and that this is an important and meaningful journey for us as providers and for our clients. This belief did not come easily and rather as a gift of grace at the end of struggle and angst. The struggle and angst was profoundly intensified in early 2010 when, after years of practice as a psychologist, I nearly quit.
It was not the first time I had thought about trying to do something else. It was the first time I really thought I could no longer bear the heartache of the work. Maybe it was the previous 20 years of listening to and sitting with women who were survivors of trauma and the despair that can go with that. Maybe it was the constant unease of using a more personal, emotionally intimate style of therapy in a landscape dominated by short-term, cognitive behavioral approaches and warnings about boundary violations.
Maybe it was the angst about trying to work more integratively in a professional environment that often labels somatic or soul based interventions in psychotherapy as unwise or even unethical. Maybe it was the deep sorrow of saying good-bye to that one client who had touched me so deeply with her vulnerability, her courage, and her need for that emotionally intimate, integrative style of therapy.
Whatever it was, somewhere in the midst of the traumatic stories, the unease, the angst, and the sorrow my heart broke in a way that felt unbearable. I was no longer sure what my practice was, how I wanted to work with clients, what I believed, or maybe even who I was. I searched for a way to make meaning out of my experience and understand what was going on. I talked with colleagues, I read books, I attended trainings, and I struggled.
At some point, as many of us do after intense periods of struggle, I realized that the struggle had lessened and that my work began to feel different. I noticed that compassion nudged despair to the back seat, trust muscled out unease, confidence overshadowed angst, faith held sorrow at bay, and understanding served as a guidepost more frequently than confusion. Even more profoundly, I realized that internally I had been transformed.
As part of this transformation I now thought very differently about my role as a psychotherapist. I was comfortable integrating somatic, energetic, and spiritual interventions and I more often turned within, listened, and followed my soul for direction. This allowed me to bring a stronger, bigger capacity to my work and the work became more powerful. Ultimately the struggle and transformation helped me reclaim my soul as a provider, a part of me that I had lost somewhere in my training or early experience as a professional. Reclaiming my essential self awakened the healer within me.
Anamaura - the business, the website - is an invitation for you to embrace your own personal and professional transformation, increase your capacity for inner listening, and awaken the healer within you. If any of my journey and the gifts I bring speak to you, I welcome an opportunity to get to know you - read and comment on my blog, attend a workshop, request supervision or consultation. Mostly do something that reconnects you with your essential self and enlivens your soul as a provider.