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Updated: Dec 29, 2018
Good things coming in 2019!
After moving in to the new digs at 21 Orchard Street in Denville, 2018 was definitely a busy year for the practice. It looks like 2019 is gearing up to be another busy year, and for very exciting reasons!
For years, I worked as an advocate in sexual violence and domestic violence programs. Throughout my time in various non-profits and working with other clinicians in private settings, I imagined the kind of practice I wanted to work in, and the type of services I could provide to the community. My passion has always been working with survivors of abuse and trauma, and thankfully I am now able to begin to see that vision come to life!
Because trauma impacts, well, everything, survivors need various ways of healing. Talk therapy has its place and can be incredibly helpful, but we know that talk therapy has its limitations too.
As Judith Herman once wrote, healing from trauma must take place in the context of relationship. The relationship between client and therapist is very important for that reason, but can also be isolating. This is why we are launching a group for women who have experienced interpersonal violence and trauma that fuses music, art, and the collaborative process to utilize the strengths and resilience survivors of trauma have to create something beautiful.
We are so proud to partner with Music Beyond Measure, a non-profit created by Tamara Williams, a Jazz vocalist and survivor, whom I met several years back when she was first starting this great organization. I always remembered Tamara's passion, excitement, and spirit and connected with her almost instantly. Once I was able to move the office and have the space needed, I reached out to Tamara and we began to make great plans for our clients and the community.
This group will take place weekly in the evenings over the course of 12 weeks. The group process will involve creating a song that will then be performed at a private, invitation-only concert. For more information, please visit Music Beyond Measure's website and check out Tamara's amazing work!
NOW OFFERING REIKI!
A few years ago, I met Nancy through a mutual friend and found out that she teaches and practices Reiki. I had had Reiki done in the past and was impressed with how calm and peaceful I felt afterwards, so I was intrigued to take the training. After spending a weekend with Nancy and learning Reiki Levels I and II, I knew that this service had to be available at the practice as well.
Trauma not only impacts the way we think and how we relate to others, but how the body responds, acts, and reacts. It's no surprise trauma survivors often have chronic pain, especially in places where the trauma was "held". The brain-body connection is well documented, and treatment should address each piece of the impact. Using energy to help heal via Reiki is one way to address this, and yoga is another.
Another reason 2018 was so busy? I took a yoga teacher training, just four months post-surgery, I was on the mat each week sweating and learning. It was a difficult process for me, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you ever want to know what you're really made of, practice yoga.
Yoga challenges us to be present, moment to moment, using our breath, and having our body hold a particular pose or form with purpose. Yoga has been shown to help with the dysregulation we can experience, especially after trauma. Clients who regularly practice yoga talk about how they feel more grounded, more present, and calmer overall.
In the coming year, I will be able to offer yoga to clients who want to further add to their healing process. We'll learn breathing, mindfulness, and meditation techniques, and feel strong in our bodies as we connect our breath to each form as we move through our practice.
Wait, there's more?
Yes, I can be pretty ambitious to say the least. I was very happy to have Lori Harris join the practice. I've known Lori from our anti-sexual violence work for many years. She brings great experience to the practice, along with experience in other aspects of trauma, including first responders and 9/11 survivors. Lori has a background in treating substance abuse, and has taken additional training in family work. Lori is looking to start a group or two this coming year. We've got some great ideas, so stay tuned as we post updates to our services!
And of course, there's this blog. Both Lori and I like to write, and we want to post on topics relevant to our work, while providing helpful information to you, the reader. Each month, we'll be posting on topics that we hope you'll find useful. If there's anything you'd like to learn more about, feel free to let us know!
Though we've been a little lax on the social media front thus far, follow us on Facebook and stay informed by subscribing to the blog!
One final note...SELF-CARE!
Of course after I just got done sharing with you all of the amazing things we'll be doing, this means more work! It's never lost on me how hard we work, and how we can lose ourselves in the process. Self-care is still important as ever, so my wish for us and for you is to create more balance in 2019. Do things you love. Challenge yourself. But also take care of yourself. I'm sure there will be more on this topic, too, in the coming year.