For therapists

Doing therapy is deeply rewarding. But to do it well, we have to ensure that we receive as much nurturance and sustenance as we give. I offer therapists two ways to recharge themselves so they can be more present for their clients. One is a workshop where our teachers are horses - beings that have so much to teach us about gentleness, sensitivity and attachment. The other is through a process called "Soul Coaching" - a transformative experience that integrates somatic awareness, spirituality, breathwork and visualization to help you connect to your deepest self.

A dedication to therapists

The following story is dedicated to all of you wonderful souls that are in the helping profession.

“Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man has to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played in the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. He faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not see the wall. She said, “Perhaps, he just wanted to encourage you.”

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is double. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have money can’t count.” Anonymous

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Programs for therapists:

The work we do, while deeply rewarding, can also be depleting. As therapists, it's part of our job to model great self-care. We have to find ways to nurture our own spirits, so that we have plenty of reserves to give to our clients.

I've developed three programs for therapists (and other professionals) to feel centered, in alignment with their deepest values, and to have a sense of lightness and playfulness.

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Horse Spirit/Caregiver's Spirit - a One-Day Workshop

This one-day workshop is currently in development. Please call if you're interested, and I will contact you with dates, logistics and specifics.

The horse is the Native American animal spirit that represents connection - connection with ourselves and others. Humans and horses have lived and worked together for thousands of years, and the horse has been a loyal and loving companion and helper.

The horse is a gentle being, sensitive and responsive. Like us, horses are social beings. Living in herds, they are inclined toward attachment with others - horses, human or other animals. While horses are highly intelligent, they remain "limbic-centered."

In this one day workshop, you will be invited into the world of the horse. Visiting a local stable, we will experience the unconditionally loving and soothing energy of the horse through grooming - a natural bonding experience, riding - connecting through movement, hiking in nature and reconnecting to earth/source energy, and guided meditation - where you may find the cowboy/cowgirl within.

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Soul Coaching for Groups and Individuals

As therapists, we focus so much on attending to others. We may lose touch with our own yearnings. It's easy to get caught up in a response cycle - responding to the needs of clients, responding to the demands of insurance, responding to the rising costs of doing business. You may feel tired, burned out, or like you're ready for something new/different - but maybe not sure what.

Soul Coaching provides a direct, effective and supportive way to reconnect to your deepest self. The main focus is helping you align your inner spiritual life with your outer life. "By clearing away mental, emotional and spiritual clutter, you can hear the secret messages from your soul." - Denise Linn

I've been trained by Denise Linn, in this remarkable method of coaching, which integrates guided visualization, somatic elements, breathwork, and just the right questions to help you connect with your deepest longings and find ways to bring them into being.

You can experience Soul Coaching one-on-one, co-creating a structure that works best for you. Or you can join the 28-day Soul Coaching program described below.

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28-Day Soul Coaching Program With Vision Quest

Over the course of 7 weeks, we will spend 28 days together, exploring, developing and deepening into alignment with our souls' true intentions. Using the structure of the elements (air, water, fire, and earth).

Here are some examples of what we do:

During the week when we focus on Air, we will do an exercise on clearing clutter from your home - which is a metaphor for your life. This helps remove mental, emotional and spiritual obstacles as well.

Water symbolizes emotion. During the week when water is our focus, we may observe how energy flows in our lives - what zaps or juices our energy? What happens when we add "juicers" and remove "zappers?"

During the week we focus on fire facing the shadow or dark aspects of ourselves through music and movement, helping to integrate light and darkness in the service of wholeness.

During earth week, we look at our connection to the land, cycles of nature, and creating sacred space in our homes. You may create an alter, or just a special place that reflects the colors, natural elements, scents, and objects that help you feel grounded and centered.

Heather Marchman is a Certified Soul Coach. For details on her experience and training, please visit her Bio page.

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Making a Sacred Space for Your Work

Designing your therapy office isn’t just about having a comfy couch - though that helps! The environment you create has an impact on your clients' ability to heal and grow. It affects rapport too. Clients may determine whether to work with you based on how comfortable they feel in your space. After all, you are creating a safe container within the four walls of your office.

I've helped countless therapists create ideal spaces - assessing the population they work with - and their "ideal client" as well as their personality and the energy of the physical space. Together we work to find the colors, textures, patterns and design elements that make your office feel good. If needed, I can also offer energetic space clearing (as well as help with actual clutter), making a supportive space for your clients to do the work.

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For more information or to book a session,
contact Heather Marchman, Marriage and Family Therapist.

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