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Tending the Heart

In her counseling and companioning practice, Rachel holds space for rest and refuge where change, growth, grieving, and healing can happen. As a therapist, she is warm and non-judgmental, patient and loving. She provides a space where you can feel safe to open to and process difficult emotions and experiences so that you can live fully and authentically. 

Rachel created this collage as a visual representation of holding space for a woman who has just experienced the most inconceivable of losses and whose heart is broken. This collage also represents the power of love, connection, and support on the journey to piece back together a shattered heart. She was inspired by her own personal experience of delivering her deceased baby, the women who held space for her grief and mourning, and the profound love and support that helped her to piece her heart back together.


What is counseling?

Counseling happens in the context of an empowering, co-created relationship between the individual seeking counseling and the professional serving in the role of counselor or therapist. Counseling is gentle and non-judgmental professional guidance and assistance in coping with adversity and personal challenges, such as loss, changes in relationships, transitions through life stages, and parenting stress.

Rachel's approach to counseling has been largely shaped by her experience as a professional social worker in multiple settings, including school social work, school-based mental health treatment, parent and educator support, trauma prevention, and crisis intervention. She works with adults to build personal and communal resilience for coping with problems, self-defeating habits, and negative beliefs that are interfering with living a balanced, compassionate life. Rachel uses a heart-centered, strengths-based, companioning approach that integrates mind and body-based practices, including but not limited to solution-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, attachment theory, mindfulness, self-compassion, yoga, and positive psychology, into her work with individuals and groups. 

What is companioning?

Since childhood, Rachel has been a person of refuge. Someone who people go to when they are feeling insecure, afraid, or upset. Someone who listens to them and makes them feel seen and heard. A safe person who is calming, patient, and present. Recently, she discovered a word that describes this innate gift: Companioning.

"Companioning" is a term and philosophy created by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt that guides his work with the bereaved. His tenets of companioning are as follows:

  1. Being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain.

  2. Going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.

  3. Honoring the spirit; it is not about focusing on the intellect.

  4. Listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head.

  5. Bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing these struggles.

  6. Walking alongside; it is not about leading.

  7. Discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it is not about filling up every moment with words.

  8. Being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.

  9. Respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.

  10. Learning from others; it is not about teaching them.

  11. Compassionate curiosity; it is not about expertise.

Going inward requires vulnerability, trust, and patience.

I would be honored to walk alongside you on this journey.

Rachel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has walked alongside people experiencing profound transitions and loss as well as hope and joy. She believes that sorrow and happiness exist on a continuum and that holding space for both is essential for living a balanced life while also recognizing how difficult and lonely it can feel to hold that space for sorrow. 

She works to help people gently, lovingly open to the struggle or suffering they are holding, so they can skillfully process their emotions. 

Her professional and personal experiences moving compassionately and patiently through the muck in life have revealed deep beauty on the other side. 

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