Somatic Psychology

Students and Alumni

Students and Alumni of Somatic Psychology

STUDENT PROFILES

Deborah Butler
"I came to the Somatics program after several years of researching graduate programs that weren't the right fit. Something just clicked when I read about CIIS's Somatics program, and Don Hanlon Johnson's and Ian Grand's work.

After receiving my BA from the Evergreen State College, I spent many years working in the human and social services field, and as a movement practitioner in the field of dance (specifically, butoh) as a performer and teacher. The division between these two worlds was often a source of frustration, and my wish was to lessen the gap between them.

"Pursuing Somatics has shown me that there is a space in this world for both and that my life's work does not have to be an either/or decision. To be immersed in the Somatics lineage here at CIIS is one of the best decisions I've made for my future as an educator, therapist, and artist."

Cherie Felzer
"Movement/dance is my passion, and I've always been inclined toward helping, listening, and processing. Finding a career path that brings these things together seemed perfect for me. Bridging my past experience working in wilderness therapy with adolescents, and my personal practice studying the 5 Rhythms movement meditation, has organically continued at CIIS.

The experiential and holistic aspects are what first attracted me to CIIS; the emphasis on the importance of the body attracted me to the Somatics program, where I've been encouraged to learn about myself and my relationship with others in a deeper and more profound way than any other personal growth work I've done.

"I appreciate how the first year of study brings students into ourselves in an embodied way, while the second year allows us to take that outward-to begin looking at being in service to others-and finally, to the world at large. The cohort model has been invaluable in collaborating with and learning from others."

Pat Graef
"I entered this program as a 59-year-old single woman with a deep desire to develop a second career-a career where I can continue to uncover and develop who I am, and assist others in their journey to know and develop themselves.

"In the Somatics program, I am immersed in uncovering and development of self by the program's diverse ways of learning, including experiential, group projects, and personal and academic writing. The program requires personal therapy as a part of the graduation requirements.

"What a concept: have the practitioner do their own work. I did not know that I would be shaken by my experience in this program. I didn't know that I would be transformed. But shaken I am, and in the transformation process, I continue to be. Though it's not a walk in the park, I am grateful that I am here and on this path."

ALUMNI PROFILES

Maria Cristina Borges, MA (2007)
Maria works in a community-based agency in the Mission District of San Francisco providing support to Latino families throughout the process of surviving violence and other forms of trauma. Her work consists of helping families understand how they have been shaped by their personal experiences, such as civil war, immigration, acculturation, poverty, and family relations.

She helps them develop new ways of relating and a resiliency that allows them to be in this world in a way that feels better for them.

Abbie Endres, MA (2003), MFT
Abbie has a somatically based private practice working with individuals and couples. She also maintains work in community-based mental health, currently serving as a director of training in an agency serving adults with severe mental illness.

Zachariah Finley, MA (2007)
Zachariah is an intern at the Marina Counseling Center in San Francisco, where he works with individual adults and couples. He is also a consultant at Sherman Elementary School, where he conducts sandplay therapy sessions with children, and a volunteer clinician in the Substance Abuse Treatment program at New Leaf Services, a mental health agency serving the LGBTQ communities.

Robin Greenberg, MA (1995), MFT
Robin is adjunct faculty in the Somatic Psychology program at CIIS, is a candidate in analytical training at the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and has a private practice with offices in San Francisco and Kensington, California.

Connors McConville, MA (2005)
Conners is employed by a nonprofit hospice company as a spiritual care counselor. Connors counsels the dying and their families, from young children to people in the hundreds?, and considers the work a privilege and a gift.