Hi, I'm Katharine!
I find that developing curiosity and awareness is a key to restoring Balance. By regulating our emotions, shifting our perspectives, tolerating our distress, and effectively navigating our relationships, we are better equipped to connect fully with life, its sadness and its joys!
I specialize in the treatment of Complex Trauma. I deal with the chaotic aftermath of highly charged stress that shows up in destructive life patterns emerging from an array of symptoms. I apply an integrated treatment focus that supports the regulation of the nervous system. My style engages clients in actively participating in the process of reframing their life "story" as the body releases its hold on "fight, flight, freeze" responses. The dysfunction dissolves into the past and clients walk free into the now.
I do this in a creative engaging way that invites your curiosity and challenges you to take the journey between “Risk and Possibility.” This is the sweet spot of tension that motivates change.
If you are willing to explore… and go there… I will join you on the edge… I’ll go with you, and we will dip our toes into the water, get wet, begin to find our way.
About Treatment Services
I am the Director of a Counseling, Coaching, Consulting and Educational Support Practice. I offer support for families and individuals who are struggling to manage Complex Trauma or Chronic Unpredictable Stress. I also provide educational trainings and lectures on the Treatment of Trauma and supports for those who work in the clinical field, or for those who work collaboratively with clinicians, such as those in Family Law, Social Services or Foster Care Prevention. I offer supervision to clinicians seeking licensure in the state of VA. To see the full spectrum of services, please see the Services page.
About Integrative Treatment Focus
My practice is known for Integrating Creative Expressive Therapies in a way that supports a triad focus on: “feeling emotions, reasoning thinking and physical sensing (interoception).
I work with and teach my clients about the nervous system’s Threat Response Cycle. When we get stuck in a loop in our body’s protective reactions to keep us safe, then a chronic level of “fight, flight, or freeze” occurs. This can trigger all kinds of stress reactions in our body, in our emotions, and in our “story” or thoughts. The rapid cycling of this loop can be repaired best by integrating these 3 parts, rather then just focusing on one aspect such as the mind or just working with our emotions. In other words, I am not just a “Talk” therapist. I work with the Soma or Body, as well as our thoughts and emotions. And, I do this in a creative way, introducing attentive strategies for regulating the Nervous System.
It’s helpful for clients to reflect on how often they get stuck in their “story”. People can tell and retell their story until they get tired of hearing it and still not find relief. What I suggest is to step “outside” the story and notice how they hold that story in their body.
What else do they notice? Taking a look at the patterns that have emerged repeatedly over time helps us unwind them. What keeps cycling in our lives? Do we keep finding ourselves struggling with the same symptoms over and over again? How can we shift this cycle? How can we complete the sequence that wants to heal? What wants to resolve that keeps getting in the way of our joy? What is actually present that we keep missing? What is the one strength that we bring to our life that seems to go unnoticed by our constant focus on the squeaky wheel?
What inspired me to pursue this profession?
I was a creative arts teacher for years, both in Waldorf schools and in public schools. After getting my Masters in Special Education and working in the field awhile, I found that I could not help the families by teaching alone. So, I went back to school and got another Masters, this time in Counseling.
Over the last several years I have focused on Somatic Experiencing, a trauma healing method, which originated with Dr. Peter Levine. This helped me to integrate the missing pieces that “talk therapy” and Creative Expressive Arts Therapies lacked. Somatic Experiencing has changed the way I work completely. This integrative approach to healing has had the largest impact on my career and life.
Dr. Peter Levine tells us, "No one can heal effectively and efficiently from emotional, physical or spiritual pain and suffering without involving the body." He teaches that trauma is not in the event that took place, but in how a threat-response to that event, can become stored in the nervous system instead of released. The holding of this powerful energy, unexpressed, is what creates the symptoms associated with complex trauma or PTSD.
New studies show that adverse childhood experiences will predict serious life outcomes. This has created a passion in me to share how healing wants to happen and is always available to people no matter their age, no matter their history. Healing is indeed right on the edge of our comfort zone and wants to happen now.
TRAINING & ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS
I have taught in a Waldorf school, and worked with a wide variety of ages. I have more than 40 years of experience serving a diverse population as a teacher, artist, business owner, author, counselor and storyteller utilizing my two Masters degrees, M.Ed. in Special Ed. and M.Ed in Counseling, in a creative “outside-the-box” way for solution-focused outcomes.
- BFA, Art/Dance from Kent State University
- M.Ed. Special Ed from Lynchburg College
- M.Ed. Counseling from Lynchburg College
- Licensed Professional Counselor (VA)