I grew up in an extreme family; I am a fourth generation Ski Patroller and our family trips always consisted of adventures in intense heat, blizzard, or backpacking, biking, climbing early in the morning or late into the night. By the time I was 15 I had broken a few bones, had a couple surgeries, and collected around 10 concussions. All of this gave me a good understanding of trauma; however, the thing that had the biggest impact on my life was contracting chronic lyme disease somewhere along the journey.
I joined the Peace Corps after college and began to have strange and unexplainable symptoms: tingling forearms, intense and debilitating back and stomach pain, constipation, and an assortment of mental symptoms I struggled to describe to anyone. When I returned to the States I sought out doctor after doctor and received a variety of diagnoses and treatments that didn’t really help or make sense of my experience and my suffering. I didn’t have the energy for the intense adventures and connections of my friends and family and slowly lost touch with the sense of who I am, who I was, and the purpose of my life.
I struggled for 12 years to really separate out what was my illness, what was my trauma, and what was all the relational, emotional unfinished business that was getting in the way of my recovery. While not fully healed, and likely always in recovery, through psychotherapy, physical therapy, and a plethora of supplements and medications I have been able to regain a deeper appreciation for my life and an ability to get back out there and be a part of the world again. I have also learned to be fiercely loyal to those struggling with their own health and happiness. I believe therapy is a journey we take together and I will not give up on the potential for anyone and everyone to discover greater purpose and meaning in the midst of any illness, trauma, or crisis.
My experiences as a ski patroller and EMT, a martial artists and a gestalt/contemplative based therapist give me a unique perspective on how to blend Western medicine with psychological practices, somatic body work, and provide invaluable insight for those searching to find greater depth and meaning in their lives and work with complex and acute trauma, chronic illness, and all the other stuff life may have to throw at us. I have also learned from my own health problems and recovery that the right kind of therapeutic support can provide you with the tools and understanding necessary to relate to your illness and trauma in an entirely new and supportive way.