Get to know more about our new community member, Liza Brockway. You can find more clinically-related information about Liza here.
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Why were you interested in working with CCIH?
I was working as a therapist at Howard Brown Health, an LGBTQ health center, and early one morning I woke up suddenly feeling very inspired about the idea of leading embodiment groups to support trauma survivors in being more safely embodied. It also felt really exciting to work more independently. I started doing research on resources and thinking about how to move in that direction.
Later that morning, I was at my consultation group for Internal Family Systems therapists (a kind of mind-body-spirit approach to psychotherapy that guides people in inner work with themselves), and I shared my inspiration with the group. That same afternoon, I received an email from the group leader with the posted CCIH position. My jaw literally dropped, because absolutely everything that had come to me that morning was in the call for applications, even the phrase “safely embodied”.
It was all so synchronistic that I knew I had to apply, even though I hadn’t been actively looking to make a transition until that very morning.
What’s something you want potentials clients or colleagues to know that isn’t in your standard therapist bio?
That this work is an immense part of my life path. All of the approaches I use as a therapist are modes of healing that I have experienced myself and that I have internalized into how I move through the world. The way I approach my work isn’t only a result of training, but also my lived experience in diving into healing modalities that have opened me up and shaped how I experience myself and everything around me.
What inspired you into the therapeutic field?
In undergrad, I studied Spanish and English for secondary education, but even though in some ways it felt like a fit, something about it never felt completely right for me. In my last semester, I had an “aha” moment where I realized that I felt called to somehow be a loving presence in the lives of children and youth who hadn’t received enough love. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I had that vision in my mind. I lived in Boston teaching for a little while, and I had a sudden inspiration to follow through with a long-term dream of living in South America.
Sudden inspiration is apparently a theme with me! So I googled “children’s home in South America.” A few emails, a couple months, and a plane ride later, I was living in the city of Bucaramanga in the Colombian Andes. I lived and worked as a volunteer in a children’s home leading expressive arts groups with children and teenagers who had experienced sex trafficking, sexual abuse, abandonment, and conscription to be child soldiers. Essentially, I went around the city to different homes within the organization, carrying a backpack of art supplies and making art with children and youth.
In the girls home where I lived, in the evenings girls would often ask to talk to me, and they shared the stories of their lives. It seemed like there was something about me that made the girls feel comfortable opening up, and sometimes girls would laughingly make a little line to talk to me. They at times confided, “I wish you could be my therapist,” or “You should be a therapist.” It seemed to be so clear, that maybe this is what I should do with my life. They called me to it, and I’ve never looked back.
How do you like to spend free time?
I really like artistically expressive things, like painting and singing and making music and dancing. Actually, I make music with my partner every morning before the sun comes up; my partner plays a kalimba and I sing. Making lotions and aromatherapy blends has become a creative thing for me too. I meditate daily. I also love reading, some fiction but a lot of mystical poetry and non-fiction about meditative traditions, shamanism, spiritual healing, and ethnography. I of course also love being with my family and friends, and being with animals and in nature is really nourishing to me.