She was on her way to relocate from Arizona to Michigan with her boyfriend. Everything they owned was in the back of their old beat up van. It was a junker that he had gotten cheap and fixed up for the trip. Somewhere along the Arizona and New Mexico border the van caught fire. Being confined to a wheelchair, she was unable to escape in time and she died a fiery death along a lonely desert highway.
Losing my mom so unexpectedly and in such a horrible manner rocked my world. My girls were only two and four years old at the time. I was trying so hard to hold it together for them. But pushing my grief away led my body to scream out with physical symptoms. I frequently became overcome with dizziness and my heart would begin racing completely out of the blue and without warning (especially when driving on the freeway).
It became more and more clear that I needed to face my grief. So, like a good therapist, I started attending a grief group. I frequently sat in silence, not quite ready to open up to a room full of people. So when the 6 week group was over, I decided to begin traditional therapy. Over the course of my work in therapy I was able to begin processing my grief. However, my physical symptoms continued. This was very humbling and eye opening for me as a therapist because I had complete faith in the therapeutic process. But I could tell that something was missing. That missing piece ended up being my yoga mat.
Yoga?! I know… It may seem like a strange thing for a therapist to say, but hear me out. Being able to talk through my pain and grief was part of my journey. But yoga brought me back into my body. It centered me in a way that I don’t believe talking ever could. Instead of just speaking about the pain, I was allowing myself to FEEL it.
- I was bringing my awareness back to the present moment, as painful as the present moment sometimes was.
- I was learning how to not push the pain away, and instead to sit with it and soften around it.
- I was learning how to create a healing environment for myself and gently hold myself there.
- I can’t count the number of times I cried on my mat in savasana (the resting pose at the end of a yoga class).
I knew that traditional therapy and yoga both contained important elements of my healing journey. Over time, I became quite convinced that both healing modalities would be greatly enhanced if they could be combined. This eventually led me to become a registered yoga instructor so that I could learn more about the healing potential of that practice and begin to merge it with what I already knew about the therapeutic process of therapy.
I believe that everyone is different and therefore everyone’s needs are unique when it comes to healing. I am certain that traditional therapy is sometimes enough! However, I am so honored and humbled to have the flexibility at Perspectives to work with students in the yoga room, and work with clients in my office, and sometimes to even bring the best of both worlds together for those who are open to the journey.
Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland, Fenton and New Hudson, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.