"The essence of trauma is disconnection. So the real question is: How did we get separated? And how do we get reconnected?"
The world is a wounding place. And our species is one that requires long years of adequate and nurturing caregiving to grow into full maturity with health and self-awareness. All too often in the modern Western world, the "good enough" conditions needed for each child to have the family and societal systems that promote that kind of healthy maturity are lacking or missing entirely. So we end up with the effects of trauma- whether big or small- from those not-good-enough conditions. These effects are stored inside and become parts of us which define our personalities in both attributes and burdens, character strengths and mental health symptoms. In trauma therapy, it is the parts that carry unhealed trauma that we are most concerned with, for they correlate directly with what we see as our problems- the ones for which we dim our light, and due to which we have limited self-realization potential...
You Are Not Broken: Only Human
According to Internal Family Systems (IFS), the main therapeutic model employed in this practice, those symptoms, or parts, appear in extreme ways in our lives in order to be seen, known and understood. Put another way, our symptoms show up to point us on the path toward healing. In experiential trauma work, we follow that path, aiming to access and then unburden trauma from those symptomatic parts of ourselves so that we can become free today to grow into our Self's full potential: to shine our unique and individual light in the world, which is what we are born to do. Nothing less.
Trauma hides that light. We are here doing this work in order to recover it.
Liz's practice is queer and trans-friendly and fat-positive, and she believes in de-centering whiteness in the mental health profession, particularly for those populations with historical barriers to wealth, citizenship, and land ownership. Please see information located under the Contact tab for more on how this practice addresses those issues in policy around racism and practice fees.
For More on Liz's Therapeutic Orientation:
Here's a short talk on the premise of IFS, by it's founder, Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.:
For more information on what an IFS session may look like, check out this comic about IFS therapy by the artist Sacha Mardou:
Here is a summary of AEDP therapy from their website
For more information on working with psychedelics in therapy
An Article on use of psychedelics in psychotherapy in the New York Times:
Short Article on Psychedelic Integration in Therapy:
Gabor Mate Interview (30 mins):
For more information on healing trauma through an anti-oppression lens, see the anti-racism and systemic change work of the Education for Racial Equality website:
2008 Masters in Counseling from Seattle University
1997 Massage Therapy Certificate from Chicago School of Massage Therapy
1994 BA in Social Sciences from University of Victoria, BC, Canada
2022 Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level 2 training
2021 Psychedelic Integration Training- Portland, OR
2019 AEDP Immersion Training with Diana Fosha- NYC
2018 Neufeld Institute Parent Coach Training
2017 Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level I training
2017 Theraplay Training Levels I &II Vancouver, BC
2016 Certificate in Trauma and the Body Janina Fisher
2014 Certificate in Attachment Therapy with Deborah Gray, Kirkland, WA
2013 EMDR Training with Phil Manfield, Berkeley, CA
2012 Circle of Security Parent Educator Training, Portland, OR
2011 Certificate in Psychological Trauma/University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Board Member since 2021 of Samaritan Center of Puget Sound
About Liz (She/Her):
"I am a mother to 2 school-aged kids, and am passionate about the arts, being active with my family in the community, and getting out into nature (backyard or back-country). I have a long career in the mental health field, starting in the early 1990's, as well as a varied experience of travel and odd-jobs along the way, including massage therapy. I also work as a freelance writer and have penned the monthly Ask A Therapist column in the South Seattle Emerald."