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About

emilyswansonmft-profile

I believe that we are all born with a unique gift, or personal “medicine” to offer the world. We feel our most vibrant and joyful when fulfilling this purpose.

Our culture is oblivious to these gifts, and in fact actively shuts them down. So we forget...

I believe this forgetting of our true gifts and the resulting stagnation of our purpose lies at the core of much of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual suffering.

It is my purpose to help you remember and reclaim your gifts and find meaningful ways to deliver your medicine to those that need it.

About a decade ago I began a journey of personal healing that continues to unfold. I had the good fortune to encounter some wonderful therapists who helped me to begin to see my uniqueness, sensitivity and empathic qualities.

I didn’t even realize I was sensitive. I just thought I was a wreck. As my journey progressed I realized just how much I had cut off the very parts of myself that made me...me.

An intense personal crisis led me to leave a long and highly successful business career. I entered graduate school as a new mother in order to become a therapist. During that process I learned that that my sensitivity, empathic abilities and intensity were not weaknesses. They were gifts, my “medicine” that I could hone to use in service of helping others.

Along the way I discovered ecopsychology and traditional earth-based approaches to healing and wholeness. I encountered shamanism, the world’s most ancient religion and a spiritual approach that honors the sacredness and aliveness of all beings. I re-engaged my relationship with nature, which for many years had become simply a backdrop for my hyper-busy professional life.

Reconnecting with the magic, beauty, and aliveness of the natural world helped me to connect with the magic, beauty and aliveness of the inner self I had buried deeply within me. Nature could hold my grief and shame and fear, as well as my joy. I learned to trust the earth and as a result, myself.

Because of my background in the fast-paced technology industry, I bring to my work a personal understanding of the pressures of seeking balance in an urban environment within a high-pressure career. As a mother and stepmother, I have a deep compassion for the unique challenges and joys of parenting and partnering in a blended family.

I have an M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and advanced training in Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy through the Holos Institute. Currently I facilitate the ecotherapy and gardening program at BaysideMarin, a residential drug and alcohol treatment center in San Rafael. I also lead nature-based groups in various locations throughout the Bay Area.

When not working, I enjoy trail running, gardening, wandering in wild nature, spending time with my family and two wonderful cats, and experimenting with traditional cooking methods and herbal medicines.

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Verified by Psychology Today

verified by Psychology Today

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