I have been engaged with the New Earth Birth & Dying faculty since 2014 and at first I wondered why I should be a part of this – my practice was not specifically focused on birth nor death; instead I was working with adults who were dealing with anger or anxiety issues (self-soothing, affect regulation) after a postdoctoral position in neuropsychology, treating those who’d been victims of traumatic brain injuries or strokes.
I was reassured that my skills made me an important part of the faculty (I have done a lot of organizing and managing, too) yet still I wondered, so I began to examine what I was doing and what made my director so confident in her choice. I looked back and remembered that my whole life experience so far has brought me to this place (About me)….
In addition to these early experiences, my dissertation was titled, “The Role of Empathy in the Domestic Violence Treatment of Male Batterers” and I found my research on empathy and aggression invaluable – especially the role that early trauma (and neglect) play in damaging the developing brain and how we develop the capacity for empathy.
My later training in neuropsychology further increased my passion in brain development and in the exciting field of neuroplasticity. I bring this passion into my work and am inspired to share the depth of knowledge I have about self-soothing strategies, healing traumas and clearing dysfunctional patterns.
The process of getting my doctorate was an arduous and extremely long one and I had many obstacles along the way; my physical health was at times very challenged, my mother died and my daughter suffered traumas that impacted her (and I as her sole parent) for many years.
We finally made it through and I was getting settled into private practice when I was struck with a variety of ailments that knocked me down completely for months. During this time, I learned to practice what I preached about self-care and had to withdraw from any activity that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
I also began to feel somewhat stuck in my sessions and I daydreamed of affecting yet even greater change. It was during this time of deep contemplation that something finally clicked for me – the skills I had been learning all my life (first from my mother and then through my clinical training and life experiences) could be used to break those patterns of trauma and help the new babies coming in!
I finally got the connection and saw perhaps what my director had known all along when I realized how the world might look if parents to be (whether pre-conception, pregnancy or after – “the fourth trimester”) were educated and assisted to heal so these new souls could come into a safer, more welcoming world.
In this process of being involved with the Birth & Dying Faculty, I have realized my own path for greatest potential and so I have shifted my therapy practice focus to healing and transformation for mothers and their partners from before birth and beyond.