You can only ever start where you are. If you are seeking support, then change and healing are already beginning.
Therapy with me: I approach the therapeutic relationship with great compassion, and recognize the honor it is to serve as a temporary support during a portion of your personal journey. There is strength in the therapeutic relationship and the safe space therapy provides. I want you to feel witnessed, heard, and supported. One of my most important jobs is to hold space for another person’s experience and process – sometimes serving as an anchor, guidepost, a source of hope – but also to help EMPOWER you. This may lead to you reclaiming and reframing much of your own life’s narrative.
My background in bodywork informs my therapeutic style, which utilizes mind-body philosophies and bottom-up approaches. Throughout the therapeutic process, one goal I often have is to help you connect back to your Core Self, where you can access your authentic self and wisdom, free from external and embedded influences that have created a disconnect over time from who you truly are.
My impacting identifies/roles that inform my work: I am a white cisgender woman, and I grew up in a middle class setting with a supportive family. I acknowledge the privilege and opportunities this has afforded me in life. I continue to work to recognize and learn more about what my identities mean in our society and how that differs from so many others. I am also a wife, a mother, a military spouse, a bodyworker, an animal lover, a sister/aunt/daughter and more. I have also been through my own share of obstacles in life. These many roles I fill and my own life experience have fed into the tools and wisdom I bring to my work.
I feel informed and knowledgeable about: Through over a decade of experience as a bodyworker, I have seen how impactful stress and emotional and mental struggles are on the body, and likewise how healing can happen by using the body as a tool. I continue to pursue training in the nervous system, mind-body therapies, and perinatal mental health. I’ve also had a long time interest and worked in conjunction with professionals in integrative medical and holistic health fields, and I bring this holistic integrative background and knowledge into all the work I do.
I work best with clients who: Understand that there is not necessarily a quick fix to what brings you to therapy, and are willing to be open to exploration and work throughout the therapy process. People seek out therapy when in a state of stress, when their homeostasis has been disrupted. But the triggering event may be an opening into a deeper healing journey, as the therapeutic process may uncover many layers and help you get to know yourself on a deeper level, offering healing and growth along the way. I also enjoy working with clients in the new phases of parenthood, including during pregnancy and postpartum periods.
I am not a good clinical fit for clients who: Expect therapy to give them an immediate answer or resolution without any effort on their end…who are deeply resistant and closed off… who are currently engaging in dangerous coping mechanisms and may need more intensive support than I can provide at this time.
What makes me unique: My path to being a therapist came from first working with people through massage and bodywork, and eventually I trained further to become a clinical social worker and trauma informed bodyworker. This uncommon background to my path as a therapist makes me unique! I am also a military spouse; recently, over the course of only 3 years, I have lived in 5 different states and moved at least 6 times (and became a mother!). I’ve also been studying yoga, yoga psychology, breathwork, and many other somatic modalities.
How I am Learning and Growing
I love to learn and grow my knowledge and skills! I’m constantly reading and attending trainings, all of which fuels my passion for this work and adds to the toolkit I bring to treatment. But besides proactively studying material related to counseling and mind-body therapies, I truly believe that life itself is the curriculum. My own personal experiences, along with the work I have to do for my own healing and mental health, inform my work and help keep me grounded, connected, and compassionate toward others’ experiences.
Some of the programs I’m currently studying include:
-Somatic Embodiment & Regulation Strategies
-Perinatal Mental Health
-Yoga Teacher Training, Prenatal + Baby & Me Yoga
-Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction & Mindfulness Coaching
-Internal Family Systems
-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Fun Facts/Resilience Building
What resources me to build resilience: My supportive family, friends, and my hard-working husband who is both an inspiration and source of encouragement and emotional support. Motivation to be a positive example to my daughter. Military spouse community.
Self-care and utilizing my own experts, receiving and participating in therapy and coaching, plus yoga, meditation, and exercise (not as often as I’d like, but every little bit helps!).
Snuggling my cat and visiting or having visits from far away friends and family. And healthy social connection!
-University of Maryland; Baltimore School of Massage; University of New England; various post-graduate organizations for further training and certifications
Certifications/Trainings/What I’m Reading Currently
-As mentioned above, I am currently pursuing some certifications in somatic embodiment and regulation, yoga, and mindfulness coaching. I’m happy to read, listen to, and/or watch anything by Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Dan Siegel, and Brene Brown, among many others!
Some of my certifications include:
Yoga Psychology, 300-hour Certificate
Certificate in Advanced Trauma Treatment
Denise is supervised by Chelsea M. Haverly, LCSW-C