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Lisa, LCSW

Somatic Trauma Psychotherapist

Lisa is a trauma therapist in Henrico, VA who has specialized in treating addiction, complex and developmental trauma, and nervous system dysregulation in adults and adolescents since 2006. She is a pioneer in the use of somatic methods in the therapy room, drawing primarily from a variety of specialized trauma-informed yoga trainings and Somatic Movement Therapy. Through her use of intentional movement in the therapeutic space, Lisa is able to guide individuals safely back into their bodies, and away from dissociative states, chronic muscular tension, and stuck fight/flight/freeze patterns. By introducing and inviting movement practices, individuals are able to become aware of and manage their body’s internal states, effectively rewiring the trauma echoes stored in the brainstem. 

As the brainstem is rewired to effectively discern threat from safety, individuals experience a drastic reduction in trauma symptoms - as there's no longer an internal impulse to remain hypervigilant. This means decreased symptoms of anxiety, mood swings, negative self-talk, chronic pain, sleep disturbances, and depression.

In addition to somatic therapy, Lisa's practice is informed by parts-work and an attachment-based lens. These theoretical perspectives create a non-pathologizing experience in the therapy room and center the professional relationship around connection. 

Lisa first started working with trauma survivors in 2001 when she got a job as a Community Educator in a domestic violence agency. She was in awe of the dedication and care that the Social Workers in the agency provided and decided to pursue training in Social Work. After graduating in 2006 with a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University, she worked in various agencies in New York and Massachusetts. This included working with LGBTQIA+ youth as an Outpatient Therapist in community mental health, at a Family Resource Center, and at a Juvenile Court.


Lisa has also held supervisory roles, managing a youth substance abuse program and in an intensive care coordination program. Most recently, Lisa was working in Massachusetts facilitating groups at an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and as an Outpatient Clinician at a community mental health clinic. 

After moving to Massachusetts, Lisa began training in how to incorporate movement into therapy. She discovered her yoga studio was offering a program that would lead to becoming a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist. As she completed this life changing program, she increasingly became passionate about the overlap of movement and therapy. In 2020, she fulfilled a dream of completing a 200 hour yoga teaching training through Kripalu. This awakened her ambition to determine how to make yoga accessible to all, which led her to a 30-hour certificate program in Accessible Yoga. After achieving this, her interested was only further piqued regarding the use of yoga with trauma survivors. She completed a 300-hour yoga facilitator training in Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), which taught Lisa not only about yoga, but about how trauma lives in the brain and body. She decided to continue her studies and completed a certificate program in Traumatic Stress Studies through the Trauma Research Foundation.

Lisa has spoken to many people who have felt detached from their own bodies due to trauma and feel intimidated by movement. Some people have talked about feeling embarrassed at movement classes because the environment did not feel safe and they did not feel comfortable doing the same movement that was offered. Lisa is committed to making movement practice accessible and trauma sensitive for all and finding how to make movement work for individuals in the most healing way possible. 

About: About Me
"I am reconnecting with myself- my body, my boundaries, my preferences, and my life's purpose."

Participant of therapy with Lisa

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