The Second Annual
Iowa Somatic Psychology and
Movement Therapies Summit
People and Content
Rae Johnson, Ph.D., RSW, RSMT, BCC
A Thousand Paper Cuts
Embodied Microaggressions in Professional Practice and Everyday Life
This session examines the somatic imprint of sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression, with a particular focus on how to recognize the impact of micro-aggressions – one of the most subtle yet damaging forms of systemic oppression. More specifically, we will discuss how these “everyday slights, indignities, and put-downs” are often conveyed unconsciously through our nonverbal communication, making identifying and responding to them more challenging. Tools and strategies for working with this significant but often overlooked form of oppression will be offered, including practical suggestions for supporting clients, colleagues, and students in naming, hearing, resisting, and resolving them.
Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a queer somatic psychotherapist, social worker, and scholar/activist working at the intersection of embodiment and social justice. Key themes in their work include the embodied experience of oppression, somatic research methods, and the poetic body. They chair the doctoral program in somatic studies in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California and teach internationally on embodied activism. Her book. Embodied Social Justice is published by Routledge.
Beth Troutman, Ph.D, ABPP
How to Add New Steps to Your Attachment Dance
Like dance, our strategies for getting our attachment needs met are based on procedural memory. We learn how to be in relationship before we learn to speak. Because these early patterns are ingrained and automatic, they can be resistant to change. This presentation will describe patterns of attachment across the lifespan. We will explore how we can become involved in the same old dance with our clients and how to help them add new steps to their dance with us.
Beth Troutman, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Her clinical work, research, and teaching has focused on improving parent-child interactions for more than 30 years. She has a longstanding interest in the needs of young children in foster care and has spearheaded several efforts to improve services to these vulnerable young children. She completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Iowa, her internship in Clinical Child Psychology at the Yale University Child Student Center, and is a Diplomate in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology. She has studied attachment theory at the University of Minnesota, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Quebec at Montreal, Tulane University, and Marycliff Institute. Her NIH-funded research on attachment theory, parenting self-efficacy, and infant irritability has been published in developmental and clinical journals and presented at national and international meetings. Her book, Integrating Behaviorism and Attachment Theory in Parent Coaching is widely read by early childhood professionals. She has trained extensively in the treatment model she developed, Integration of Working Models of Attachment into Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (IOWA-PCIT™).
Angela Amias, LISW, M.S.W
Daniel Boscaljon, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Somatic Explorations in Relationship Coaching and Couples Therapy
Often, even good couples sessions focus on patterns of conflict that engage the intellectual or verbal level. This ignores how embodied muscle memory can fuel conversations that leave couples feeling trapped or stuck in cycles of conflict. It also fails to help couples learn how to use their bodies to attune to each other in positive and loving ways. Exercises that involve non-sexual physical intimacy often provide a way that couples can communicate a depth of positive feelings that are experienced, not just spoken. This session features a short conversation about the use of somatics as a missing ingredient in relationship coaching and couples therapy, a guided exercise (15 minutes) that allows you to experience the power of becoming physically attuned to another person, a brief wrap-up on how to frame such exercises for clients, and questions/answers.
Daniel Boscaljonis a certified life coach and the co-founder of Alchemy of Love™. He has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, and a second Ph.D. in English, both from the University of Iowa. He is the author of Vigilant Faith: Passionate Agnosticism in a Secular World (2013) and has edited a number of volumes related to art and education, including Paul Ricoeur and the Hope for Higher Education (2020). He serves on the editorial board of the Oxford Journal of Literature and Theology, and has been the guest editor for the Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies. In addition to publishing and editing work, Daniel spent twenty years serving as an award-winning mentor, coach, tutor, and instructor to hundreds of students and clients, from high school students to retired senior citizens.
Angela Amias is a licensed psychotherapist, certified life coach, and the co-founder of Alchemy of Love, which provides relationship programs for couples and individuals. Angela received a Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa in 2009. She's been in private practice as a holistic psychotherapist since 2012. She's a Certified HeartMath Facilitator and holds specialized training in therapeutic journaling and the use of the expressive arts for mental health and personal growth. Angela is a contributing author to the Clinical EFT Handbook. She's been featured as a relationship expert in numerous publications, including Women's Health, Parade, Yahoo! Life, Thrive Global and Fatherly. Angela is also a mixed-media artist and co-creator of the Faces of the Divine Feminine Oracle. Her art has been exhibited in galleries around the United States and published in several journals and magazines.
Julia Buchkina, MD, MPH
Supporting Mental Health with Functional Medicine
This talk will focus on the principles of addressing imbalances in gut health and the microbiome as they relate to multiple mental health conditions. Often rooted in the gut, conditions such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, dementia, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia all improve when imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract are addressed and the microbiome is modulated with whole food nutrition, augmented by simple movement and mindfulness.
Julia Buchkina, MD, MPH practices Functional Medicine in Iowa City. Dr. Buchkina received her medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver School of Medicine, and her certification in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine in 2014. She is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. Julia began her medical career in the UIHC in family practice medicine.
Meg Eginton, MFA, RSME-T, RSDE
Introductory Somatic Movement Class
Somatic means "of the body, with the body, and for the body" in the context of emotional education, therapy, and performance. The century old historical tenets of Somatic Movement education and therapies presaged and still align with the history of contemporary neuroscience: our lives are created by interactions and influences between emotions that arise in the body, sensations to which our brain responds, and feelings and thoughts which arise in our mind and lead us into actions. Somatic movement helps us identify our own and others' moods within cultural contexts. It can also be about alignment of breath, spine, fascia, muscles and organs for better energy and easier aging. It increases self knowledge and comfort levels with expression, and so, mental health. Its form and scale are human. Somatic Movement interrogates or doesn't: it can be large or tiny, rough or smooth, rhythmically pulsing, sensory stillness, or flowing energy. In essence this way of observing and experiencing the movement that is us, because we are movement -- as well as the movement outside of us -- is the primary gateway to wholeness from birth to death. If we can live fully in session, and if we can help our clients and students live with embodied breath, thought and gesture, we and they can feel/be truly "in the moment" and "aware" of strong or fleeting emotions, interoceptic and exteroceptic sensation, healthy body use, and communicative and expressive habits. This leads to freedom.
This is truly an introductory class in Somatic Movement, and self change. We will start at the beginning: developing Sensory Awareness of psycho-physical being: some experiments from the work of Elsa Gindler, the mother of us all, for fulfilled sensation and breath, do a little alignment for ease work that you could use with clients, and we'll finish with some Bioenergetics tremoring. No experience of somatic education or movement training is necessary. Please wear comfortable clothing. Pre workshop materials will introduce you to the rich history of cross currents between somatic movement and psychotherapy.
Meg Eginton is a Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator registered by the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association since 1994. Her movement therapy practice focuses on helping people recover from idiopathic chronic pain exacerbated by ACE's, CPTSD, and grief. She uses her training in Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais ATM, Gindler/Charlotte Selver Sensory Awareness, Howard Schubiner M.D.'s Unlearn Your Pain, Dance for Parkinson's, Strategic Intervention Coaching, Death Midwifery, Authentic Movement and 28 years of teaching to customize treatment. She also enjoys teaching somatic movement and ballet classes for adults. Meg led graduate level movement for actors programs at NYU, FSU and Harvard, and began her career as a professional dancer/choreographer and actor/director in New York and Europe. She is the grateful recipient of many arts grants and awards for dance and theater, including a 2020 Iowa Arts Council grant to keep her studio going, and a 2020 Americans for the Arts fellowship for lifelong artistic achievement, with a nod to her socially constructed 2020 project, Gettysburg. Meg founded the Summit in 2019 and owns Movement for All studio and offices.
Lori Enloe, PT, MA, CEEAA, CTI, NBC-HWC
Regulating the Nervous System with Tai Chi
Tai chi is a multicomponent mind body therapeutic practice which incorporates relaxed flowing movements with breathing and cognitive skills (focus, imagery, awareness). Practicing Tai Chi helps individuals modulate the stress response and the sympathetic overdrive. In this class, we will experience how tai chi is taught to individuals with conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain in order to rebalance the nervous system. Studies have shown that practicing tai chi has beneficial effects for various populations on a range of psychological well-being measures, including anxiety, stress management and depression.
Lori Enloe works as health coach and tai chi instructor at the Iowa City Veteran’s Health Care System. She partners with veterans as they make lifestyle changes on their journey to live their best lives. She develops tai chi programs for veterans with chronic health conditions and consults with the VA Integrative Health Coordinating Center for tai chi policy and program development. Lori has studied tai chi for over 25 years and is an Advanced Certified Tai Chi Instructor with Tai Chi Health. Lori offers seminars about the benefits of tai chi and meditative movement. She offers Tai Chi Fundamentals® teacher training locally, regionally and nationally. In addition to her Tai Chi expertise, Lori holds a certificate in physical therapy from Mayo School of Health Sciences and a MA in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa. She is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
Julie Jack MS, MA, E-RYT, C-IAYT (2020)
Understanding Prana (Life force Energy)
for Healing and Balance from the Lens of Yoga Therapy
This session will connect Polyvagal Theory and Prana within trauma-informed yoga. These practices stimulate the vagus nerve, soothe the nervous system, and help us regulate our own emotions through deep relaxation. Throughout the presentation we will explore Prana breathing experiences and mindfulness techniques. You will take away a better understanding of what Trauma Informed Yoga and Prana are and why they work. The session will include tools you can immediately use for self-care and therapy with your clients,
Julie Jack is the creator and director of the Exhale Project, a grant funded project that offers free yoga classes to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and other related traumas around Iowa. She holds a MS in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in Counseling Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology with certifications in Focusing Therapy for Complex Trauma and Latino Family Therapy., and will be licensed as an Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMHC) this fall. She’s worked with adults, children and teenagers from diverse backgrounds in both the U.S. and Mexico, treating a wide range of issues but focusing heavily on trauma and transition.
Adina Joy Levitt, B.A.
Dance as Spiritual Practice: Opening to Guidance Outside the Mind
What would it feel like to partner with our bodies and appreciate their sacredness? Can we imagine dancing around a group altar, with eyes half closed, letting go of preconceived notions of how we should look, in order to open ourselves up to the opportunity to connect to something outside of ourselves? Come with a question, we will explore our inner landscape, open to the guidance that is available at any moment, there is no audience. You are invited to bring an object from your own spirituality to place on the group altar to connect with as you practice listening outside of time and space.
Adina Joy Levitt has a B.A. in Human Development and Social Relations and will be attending the UI MSW program in the fall. She created the Our Sacred Bodies Free Form Dance & Movement Series by listening and following the guidance of the unseen realms. Through a combination of her modern dance training, yearning to move her body for her own healing, and experiences in outdoor ritual dance work, she created classes and workshops using dance to facilitate others on their healing journeys. Adina is a Shamanic Practitioner who connects with the earth to assist clients to feel grounded, release their blocks, and call in their personal power. In 2010 she began a 3 1/2 year long shamanic apprenticeship with Jaes Seis in Madison, WI where she was opened to the world of shamanic journeying in order to connect to Spirit Guides and Helpers to assist clients. During this time she became a mesa carrier initiated in the Peruvian, primarily Q'ero, Inka Lineage, where she learned how to work with the energy body and connect with the living energy of nature. She completed a 6 month yoga teacher training program in India in 1999, and owned and taught at the Classical Yoga Center in Iowa City from 1999-2009,
Anita Mischuk, ATMW
From Surviving to Thriving
Alexander Technique as a Tool to Regain a Healthy Mindbody Relationship
The Alexander Technique provides easily applicable tools for self-development to change long-standing habits that cause unnecessary tension in everything people do. The Technique helps improve health and well-being by addressing such conditions as repetitive strain injuries, stress and anxiety, and back or neck pain caused by poor posture habits and the pressures of modern life. It enhances balance, coordination, and confidence in artistic, athletic, and everyday activities. In this gentle introduction, Anita will focus on techniques for sitting without neck and back pain while using a laptop computer for writing or Zooming. Please bring your laptop.
Anita Mischuk grew up in Germany and moved to Iowa City in 2017. She is a certified teacher of Contemporary Alexander Technique and owner of ATMW (Alexander Technique Midwest). She completed her training as an Alexander Technique teacher after four years with the German branch of the Alexander Alliance International. Her most influential teachers are Bruce Fertman and Robyn Avalon. She teaches the Alexander Technique in individual lessons, small group classes, and workshops in Iowa City/Corridor Area, IA and Dayton, OH. Anita's passions include singing, playing the recorder, kayaking, dancing, and walking. She is also a certified hypnotherapist and has practiced in Germany as well as the United States.
Nisha Mittal, Ed.D
Spring Forest Qigong for Healing Self-Care
Dr. Nisha Mittal will teach some of the easy to learn Qigong movements for self-care. Qigong is an ancient practice that leads to improved health, fitness, and wellbeing while having a strong spiritual aspect. Recent western medical research has demonstrated that Qigong helps in decreasing fatigue, chronic pain, depression, and difficult emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness, grief, irritability, etc. She believes that we are all born with unlimited potential and the innate ability to heal ourselves and others, we just need to awaken that gift. Practicing the simple techniques can help us unlock the potential within us while healing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Nisha's class is in the tradition of Spring Forest Qigong. She invites you to come and experience the power of these easy-to-learn movements and how they increase energy and lift spirits.
Dr. Mittal is a Certified Advanced Instructor for Spring Forest Qigong (SFQ) ThetaHealing®, and Meditation. She has worked as Professor, Researcher, and Testing and Evaluation consultant for 25+ years. From the scientific background and the world of numbers, she was introduced to holistic modalities when an obstruction in a peripheral artery could not be healed even by the most advanced allopathic medical interventions. She self-healed herself using alternative healing modalities. She is certified in Spring Forest Qigong, ThetaHealing®, Reiki, Quantum Light Weaving, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Pranayam, Kriya-Yoga. She has practiced Transcendental Meditation for 40+ years and teaches Integrated Amrita Meditation for Amma, the Hugging Saint's gatherings. In her private practice, she uses one or a combination of various methods to help people self-heal.
Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez, M.Ed., MDiv.
Growing Inner Compassion: Self-Care for Religious and Spiritual Healers
Religious and spiritual healers often forget about their own bodies. Mind supersedes body in our training modalities leading to self-care as escapism. How our own bodies feel when providing spiritual care to those in deep emotional or physical pain is not a question we are taught to ask. Nor are we taught fully how to respond to our bodies after intense spiritual care experiences. In this session we learn to reclaim our own health by reconnecting with our entire inner selves while learning how to re-center ourselves each day in small acts of inner compassion.
Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez is a writer, early child development specialist, theologian, and mother of two tall sons. Her faith formation curricula and worship ideas appear in resources published by Augsburg Fortress, John Knox Westminster Press, and 1517 Media. Jennifer’s articles and essays appear in Young Children, Spotlight on Young Children and the Creative Arts, The Lutheran, The Lutheran Digest, The Living Lutheran, Zoay, Books Make a Difference, The Christian Century, and Faith + Lead. Jennifer’s current focus is the intersection between trauma, trauma recovery, and faith. She curates Compassionate Christianity’s Trauma Recovery page and explores the topic on her blog. Her forthcoming book, A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance: A Love Story of Grief, Trauma, Healing and Faith, will be published by Chalice Press in early 2022. Jennifer is currently awaiting first call and ordination in Word and Sacrament ministry in the Ev. Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Wendy Stokesbary, LHMC, RYT200
Guiding Inner Calm When Talk is Not Enough
Using Body-Based Practices to Facilitate Change within Traditional Talk Therapy
The benefits of guiding clients in mindful movement and breath practices are many. Clients who can learn to be present with their breath and body during a therapeutic interaction gain the primary benefits of emotional regulation, and also the experience of safe co-regulation in the presence of the helper. With gradual and incremental practice, clients can begin to learn effective tools to soothe when aroused, Experience relaxation and self-regulation.
and to keep calm in the face of daily stress. As helping professionals trained mostly in didactic and cognitive practices, we can expand our tools for our clients and our own self regulation, by adopting small but powerful somatic practices in our work.
Join Wendy in experiential practices of pranayama (breath control), guided meditation, tapping, and gentle yoga based movement. Reviewing professional ethics and boundaries in regards to somatic practices will be a part of the discussion. The objectives of the session are:
Empower helpers to consider ways to bridge didactic interventions with body-based techniques.
Learn pranayama and mindful movement tools that feel comfortable and simple to use.
Experience relaxation and self-regulation
Explore ways to utilize movement and breath for increased attunement and rapport with clients.
Wendy Stokesbary has more than 25 years of counseling experience. She has utilized mindful breathing practices with clients for the past 10 years. However, she primarily emphasized the cognitive aspects of mental health change when treating clients. Due to the large number of individuals who have experienced trauma seeking her services, Wendy became interested in the neuro-biological effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences. This led her to completing training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Yoga Teacher training. Because of Wendy’s personal and professional experience of the benefit of mindful and somatic practices, she now practices mental health care from a holistic view that includes mind, body, and attachment variables specific to the individual.