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Philosophy

The name “Dancing Spirit” is an aspiration.  The word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, which means breath, and dance comes from a German word meaning to stretch.  Being aware of our breath tethers us to the moment and grounds us in our bodies.  When we dance, our bodies stretch beyond our typical reach, and relax with an embodied faith that we can remain graceful and steady.  Dancing is a celebration of life and self-expression; it is vulnerable and joyful. 

Each person has their own unique journey in this life.  Healing – whatever that means for you – can be something of a paradox that invariably requires developing a relationship with the unknown.  We have to go beyond that with which we are comfortable in order to grow, and yet there are often important reasons why we remain contracted.  The mission of Dancing Spirit Psychotherapy is to provide a space for you to explore your heart and mind, heal from painful past experiences, and move beyond perceived limitations toward a greater sense of wholeness and possibility.


About Michelle (she/her)

 

Michelle has been a practicing therapist and meditation teacher for 7 years.  Beginning with interests in neuroscience, addiction recovery, and Eastern spirituality, her practice has evolved into a focus on identity, sexuality, relationships, and community.  Taking the first step toward therapy can be a leap into the unknown – and for many folks struggling to cope with issues related to sexuality and relationships, they are often overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and shame, or a fear of being pathologized, misunderstood, or judged.  Her compassionate and curious approach to therapy is equally informed by lived experiences and continuing personal healing, as it is by education and training.  Michelle has a deep appreciation for the courage it takes to reach out for support, and how difficult it can be to open up to someone about your concerns.

 

Michelle is passionate about helping people enjoy healthy, satisfying relationships.  She strives to help clients uncover and transform the obstacles that get in the way of growth, healing, and connection.  She is client-centered and integrative in her style, drawing on numerous approaches to help clients achieve their goals.  Michelle is especially welcoming of 2SLGBTQIA clients, gender/sexual/romantic minorities, and sex workers.  She provides an affirming and respectful space with regard to gender, sexual orientation, erotic, and relational diversity. 

 

Michelle also loves to dance and spend time with her partner, pets, friends, and family. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Education

  • Master of Arts – Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology, Naropa University, Boulder, CO, 2015
  • Master of Science – Medicine (Neuroscience), Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, 2008
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Behavioral Neuroscience and Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, 2005

Certifications and Trainings

  • Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies, University of Guelph (In Progress)
  • The Developmental Model of Relationship Therapy – Level 1 with Dr. Ellyn Bader, The Couples Institute (In Progress Through June 2022)
  • Science of Female Sexuality with Dr. Stephanie Buehler, The Buehler Institute, 2021
  • Emotion-Focused Couple Therapy Externship/Level I with Dr. Sam Jinich and Dr. Paul Guillory, San Francisco Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, 2021
  • Treating High-Conflict and Conflict-Avoidant Couples with Dr. Ellyn Bader, The Couples’ Institute, 2021
  • Compassionate Inquiry 240 hour professional training for Complex Trauma with Dr. Gabor Maté, 2021
  • Intensive Sex Therapy Training with Dr. Markie Twist – University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, 2019
  • Cybercounselling Level I Certification with Paul Parnass, 2020
  • Gottman Method for Couple’s Therapy Level I and II, Gottman Method for Addiction, Trauma, and Infidelity, 2018-2021
  • Advanced Motivational Interviewing with Dr. Jim Cullen – Newfoundland and Labrador Housing and Homelessness Network, 2017
  • Buddhist Approach to Death and Dying with Dr. Andrew Holocek – Nalandabodhi, Boulder, CO, 2017
  • Emotional Rescue: Working Skillfully with Emotions with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche – Naropa University, Boulder, CO, 2016
  • Treating Trauma and Addiction with Dr. Gabor Maté – Naropa University, Boulder, CO, 2016
  • Path of Freedom Training with Fleet Maull – Prison Mindfulness Institute, Providence, RI, 2016
  • Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, trained by Dale Asrael, Naropa University, Boulder, CO, 2014

Professional Memberships

  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC), #13293
  • British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC), Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), #17663
  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Associations (DORA), Registered Psychotherapist, #0104693
  • American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists (AASECT), Professional Member
  • Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (C-PATH), Professional Member
  • National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)/Kink Aware Professionals (KAP)
  • Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists Canada (ACNN), Registered Naturopath, #19-6368