Professional Experience & Education

Professional Experience & Education

About My Practice

Focus of My Work

  • Trauma-Informed Therapy
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Anger Management
  • Family Violence
  • Male Survivors of Childhood Domestic Violence
  • Heterosexual Ally
  • Separation/Co-Parenting
  • Practical Spirituality
  • Men’s Issues
  • Grief/Loss

Therapy Modalities

  • Trauma-Informed Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Brief Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Acupuncture Detoxification Protocol
  • Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH)
  • Curriculum: Seeking Safety/Lisa Najavits
  • Curriculum: Helping Men Recover/Dan Griffin
  • Individuals/Groups/Couples

 Clinical Experience

  • Mental Health/ Substance Abuse/ Community Care Outpatient Clinician/ Pine Street Counseling Services/ Howard Center
  • Outpatient Mental Health/ Substance Abuse Clinician/ Central Vermont Substance Abuse Services/ Clara Martin Center
  • Mental Health Outpatient Clinician/ Integrated Physical and Behavioral Health/ Milton Family Practice/Howard Center
  • Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinician/ Phoenix House of New England/ State of Vermont Department of Corrections/Intensive Substance Abuse Program (ISAP) and the Risk Reduction/Behavioral Modification Program (RRP)
  • Residential Substance Abuse Clinician/ Maple Leaf Farm Treatment Center
  • Residential Substance Abuse Clinician/ ACT 1 Detox/ Bridge Program – Howard Center
  • Group Facilitator/ Domestic Abuse Education Project (DAEP)/ Spectrum Youth and Family Services/ State of Vermont Department of Corrections
  • Holistic Health Private Practice/ Richmond, VT – Psychotherapy, Trauma-Informed Care, Substance Abuse Counseling, Complementary and Integrative Health. 1992 to present.

 Education and Credentials

  • State of Vermont Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor/ LCMHC (#068.0060333)
  • State of Vermont Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor/ LADC (#000503)
  • Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP).  Completed the 3-year Certificate Program of Somatic Experiencing through the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.
  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional  (CCTP) International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)
  • Johnson State College, Johnson, VT/ Master of Arts in Counseling/ Clinical Mental Health
  • Burlington College, Burlington, VT/ Bachelor of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology
  • Reiki: Hands on Healing/ Levels I, II and III/ Advanced Reiki Training

Office-Based, Trauma-Informed Interventions for Self-Regulation

These are some of the techniques which I make available to my clients in the course of psychotherapy sessions and in particular for the treatment of trauma. Many of these techniques can be taught within the context of a counseling session for the immediate relief from Sympathetic Nervous System dominance (Flight, Flight, and Freeze), for the return of executive functioning to the frontal lobes and for the activation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Digest). Once experienced in session, many of these techniques are then available to the client, in their personal ‘tool-box’, any time, day or night for continuous affect regulation.

  • Pelvic Floor 4-Point Release
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing
  • 4×4 Breathing
  • Chi Kung/Ocean Breathing
  • Body-fulness Practice
  • The Relaxation Response
  • Drumming
  • Trauma Sensitive Yoga
  • Acupressure
  • Tapping/Trauma Relief -Thought Field Therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Acu-Detox – 5-Point Auricular Acupuncture
  • Reiki Hands-on Healing
  • Creative Visualization

Trauma-Specific Training

Somatic Experiencing Advanced Year Module II

August 19 – 24, 2019

Course Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to track coherence via touch.
  2. Describe the SE™ model of working with joints.
  3. Identify at least 3 of the body diaphragms.
  4. Describe the SE™ model of working with diaphragms as containers of affect.
  5. Identify the usual order of focus for touch work as used in the SE™ model, and identify clinical reasons that the usual order may be varied in particular situations.
  6. Discuss, from an SE™ perspective, visceral work allows direct intervention with the dorsal vagal system and its feedback loop.
  7. Identify the ethical standards for the use of touch which are applicable to each trainee’s scope of practice, depending on type of professional licensure and training.

Somatic Experiencing Advanced Year  Module I

March 14 – 19, 2019

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the SE™ concepts of coherence and containment and their importance in working with syndromal patterns.
  2. List at least 2 indicators of increased coherence.
  3. Describe the role of the three key systems in the Polyvagal Theory: Dorsal Vagal System (DV), Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), Ventral Vagal System (VV).
  4. Identify at least 2 key characteristics of the dysfunction found in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) as per the SE™ definition of syndromes.
  5. Discuss why titration is critical in working with SE™ syndromes.
  6. Describe and apply the Energy Wells model of working with syndromes.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to apply titrated stimulations to ANS responses within the category of SE™ defined as syndromes.

Somatic Experiencing  Intermediate Year Module III

October 18-21, 2018


  1. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, Natural Disasters i.e. earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods, social dislocation from the natural world and community.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, Horror i.e. seeing an accident (especially with blood, gore); watching someone else be abused, raped, killed or tortured; killing or hurting someone yourself.
  3. Demonstrate how to work with survivor guilt and the conflicting impulses toward personal survival and helping others.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, Torture and Ritual Abuse i.e. war torture, repeated rape in war, concentration camp, and systematic abuse (sometimes with the person drugged).
  5. Identify the dynamics of symptom formation in, and demonstrate how to work with clients displaying symptoms of, emotional and/or developmental trauma.

Somatic Experiencing Intermediate Year Module II

July 26-29, 2018


  1. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, High Impact Accidents/Failure of Physical Defense (motor vehicle accidents, falls, etc).
  2. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, rape and sexual abuse.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, physical injury including: surgery, poisoning, and burns.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of and skills in working with anesthesia trauma.
  5. Identify ways to help prepare children and adults for surgery to minimize trauma.

Somatic Experiencing  Intermediate Year   Module I

January 25-28, 2018

Course Objectives:

    1. Identify the hallmarks and common symptoms of a nervous system displaying Global High Intensity Activation (GHIA).
  1. Identify the key defensive impulses, symptoms and typical coping mechanisms of pre-and peri-natal trauma.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of and skills in working with anesthesia trauma.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of and skills in working with suffocation, choking, and drowning.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, High Impact Accidents/Failure of Physical Defense (motor vehicle accidents, falls, etc).
  5. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with inescapable attack (animal attack, rape, sexual abuse, escape inhibited).

Somatic Experiencing  Beginning Year   Module III

November 2-5, 2017

Course Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of, and skills in working with, the elements of internal experience as presented in SIBAM model: Sensation, Image, Behavior, Affect and Meaning.
  2. Demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in working with coupling dynamics (under- and over-coupling). Begin to understand how coupling dynamics can relate to the elements of SIBAM.
  3. Distinguish between joining and merging with client experience.  Identify the signs of merging and demonstrate the establishment of healthy joining/attunement with client.
  4. Identify different types of touch common in Somatic Experiencing® sessions.
  5. Help facilitate the re-regulation of the ANS by restoring gentle cycles of sympathetic and parasympathetic interplay.
  6. Expand a client’s tolerance of their bodily sensations; begin to uncouple the fear response to the traumatic event.

Somatic Experiencing  Beginning Year  Module II

July 14-17, 2017

Course Objectives:

  1. Understand the function of the threat response cycle including: the preparatory and defensive orienting responses; the startle response, the protective/defensive survival responses, and the exploratory orienting response.
  2. Identify the function of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) in the threat response cycle.
  3. Identify symptoms of, evaluate, and restore ruptured boundaries.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency at tracking skills, titration of client’s arousal levels, and establishing continuity through the felt sense.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to empower clients to establish, complete and discharge defensive orienting responses, and fight, flight and freeze protective survival responses.

Somatic Experiencing  Beginning Year   Module I

This four-day Beginning I training module is the first of eight modules constituting the Somatic Experiencing Professional Training.

January 27-30, 2017

Course Objectives:

  1. Understand the physiological basis of trauma and identify how maladaptive physiological responses to threat, and their lack of resolution, may contribute to the formation of PTSD symptoms.
  2. Track sensory and sensory-motor experience in clients and convert other elements of experience into sensory and sensory-motor experience.
  3. Demonstrate working through disorganized sensory and sensory-motor experience using the concepts of orientation, stabilization, containment, resourcing, titration, pendulation, and self-regulation to discharge un-discharged arousal in order to help organism return to homeostasis.
  4. Identify adaptive and maladaptive physiology of activation and deactivation in animals and human beings exposed to threat and its aftermath, such as incomplete orienting and defensive responses of fight, flight, and freeze.
  5. Demonstrate working with language that supports the tracking of sensation.

Assisi Institute: The International Center for the Study of Archetypal Patterns.

 The Language of Trauma: Psyche’s Response and Secular Miracles.

Module 1

Archetypal Approach to Trauma, Resilience and Healing: The Gift of Secular Miracles

3/7/16 Trauma and Healing As Archetypal Reality. Michael Conforti PhD

3/21/16 Losing Soul-Retrieving Soul: A Journey through Hell. Ursula Wirtz PhD

Module 2

Manifestations of Trauma in Treatment

4/4/16 Trauma, Memory and Field: An Archetypal Perspective. Michael Conforti PhD

4/18/16 The Language of Trauma: Unconscious Experience and Unconscious Communication. Michael Conforti PhD

Module 3

Experiences of the Unimaginable

5/2/16 Pentimento: Memory and the Presence of the Past. Sandra Salzillo

5/16/16 An Artists View of Life: Trauma and Healing. Makoto Fujimura PhD [honoris causa]

6/6/16 The Archetype of the Warrior: War and Posttraumatic Injuries. Edward Tick PhD

6/20/16 Children and Suicide from a Therapist’s Perspective. Diane Powell MD

7/11/16 Whither the Soul after Soul Murder? From Fragmentation to Individuation. Ursula Wirtz PhD

7/25/16 Mythodrama as a Means to Work with Traumatized Refugees. Allan Guggenbuhl PhD

8/8/16 Trauma: Psychological and Spiritual Pathways toward Healing. Ann Ulanov PhD

8/22/16 Spiritual Renewal through Suffering. Diane Powell MD

Module 4

Somatic and Neurological Effects of Trauma

9/12/16 What Clinicians Need to Know About the Treatment of Trauma Disorders. Part I.  Ruth Lanius MD PhD

9/26/16 What Clinicians Need to Know About the Treatment of Trauma Disorders. Part II.  Ruth Lanius MD PhD

Module 5

Healing and the Creative Psyche

10/17/16 Beauty in the Broken Places: The Role of the Creative In Moving toward Healing.  Loralee Scott-Conforti MFA

11/7/16 Creativity and Healing. Gilda Frantz MFA MFT

11/21/16 The Archetypal Roots of Healing and the Emergence of Secular Miracles. Michael Conforti PhD

 Bessel van der Kolk MD

“The Body Keeps the Score” Two-Day Training

August 27-28, 2015

Day One: The Integration of Mind, Brain and Body in the Treatment of Trauma.

  • An examination of how neuroscience research has revealed, in the course of development, children learn to regulate their arousal systems and to discern what is most relevant for survival and the maintenance of relationships.
  • Discussion of how trauma, abuse and neglect derail these processes and effect brain development.

Day Two: Advanced Training: Rhythm, Synchrony and Getting to One’s Self.

  • After being traumatized, the body keeps pumping out stress hormones that make people feel frazzled, agitated or shut down. Talk therapy by itself, even when combined with warmth and empathy, doesn’t reset the limbic system, the part of the brain that contains an inner map of the world, which in the case of people with histories of abuse and neglect, include feelings of oneself as fundamentally flawed and the world as unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Discussion of how traumatic imprints can be addressed using techniques drawn from yoga, theater, neurofeedback and somatic therapies.


Eric Gentry PhD, LMHC

Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) Two-Day Training

International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)

June 8-9, 2015

Day One: The History and Evolution of Traumatic Stress, Grief and Loss.

  • Adaptive and maladaptive coping behaviors.
  • Integrated theoretical concepts from stress, crisis and trauma theories.
  • Effective treatment interventions.
  • The biochemical, affective, and cognitive impacts of traumatic stress.
  • The impacts of traumatic stress across and within developmental stages.
  • The role of traumatic stress in clinical disorders such as depression, anxiety and dissociative identity disorder.

Day Two: Evidence-Based Trauma Treatments and Interventions.

  • Theories of traumatic stress, loss and grief.
  • Bereavement and adjustment disorders.
  • Techniques and interventions.
  • Interactive exercises and the application of skills.
  • Needs assessment.
  • Critical incident behavioral health.

Bessel van der Kolk MD

“The Body Keeps the Score”

June 5, 2015

  • New Advances in the Treatment of Trauma.
  • Understanding Interpersonal Trauma in Children: Why We Need a Developmentally Appropriate Trauma Diagnosis.

Vincent Fellitti MD

“Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACE) Study

November 21, 2014

  • Mental Health at the Forefront of Healthcare.
  • The Demonstrated Strong and Graded Relationship between ACE and Chronic Disease (Including Addiction).
  • The Lifelong Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Dan Griffin MA

“Helping Men Recover” – Men, Trauma and Recovery

October 25, 2012

  • Men’s Evidence-Based, Integrated Trauma and Substance Abuse Treatment.
  • Relational Theory Model.
  • Male Psychological Development.

New England Survivors of Torture and Trauma (NESTT) Conference

September 15-16, 2011

  • Asylum and Legal Issues Impacting Survivors of Torture.
  • International Human Rights and the Prevention of Torture.
  • Working with Survivors of Torture and Trauma.

Bessel van der Kolk

“The Frontiers of Trauma Treatment”

May 13, 2011

  • Developmental Trauma Disorder: Towards a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories.
  • Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research in PTSD.

Lisa Najavits PhD

“Seeking Safety” Treatment Protocol / Vt. Conference on Addictive Disorders

October 1, 2010

  • Evidence-Based, Integrated Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress and Substance Use Disorder.
  • Seeking Safety is a present-focused coping skills model consisting of 25 interrelated or standalone modules, addressing four core content areas: cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal and case management.

Acupuncture – Detoxification Training

May 18-21, 2006

  • National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) in conjunction with Maple Leaf Farm Treatment Center.
  • 4-day training in the 5-point auricular acupuncture (Acu-detox) protocol for the treatment of drug and alcohol detoxification.

Community Disaster Response Training – Howard Center/Washington County Mental Health Services

April 13-14, 2006

  • Emergency Medical Provider Training Services: Disaster Behavioral Health
  • Sudden Death Notification and Response
  • National Incident Management System (FEMA)
  • Creating a Trauma Informed System