I have always been drawn to the phenomena of healing, the intricacies of the human body, and what creates health and wellbeing as opposed to illness and suffering. I’ve wondered what increases the body’s capacity to perform in excellence and what causes the magnificent human form to break down, temporarily, as well as which factors - medical interventions, support, attention, and time – help it to regain balance and health. From early in my life, I have nurtured a passion for assisting others along the path to healing.
I have a strong belief that we have unlimited capacities to heal physically, as well as emotionally. All of us have, at one time or another, inadvertently stuffed away our emotions as a means of self-protection or denial. Often these protective mechanisms are subconscious and fueled by unacknowledged insecurities, judgments, or pain caused by others. Sometimes, core parts of us are just left behind or cluttered over in the hustle and bustle of life. By reclaiming those aspects of ourselves, we can transform the effects of chronic pain, PTSD, chronic stress, grief, and loss into fertile ground for personal growth, relationship development, and professional expansion.
As I look behind, viewing the trajectory of my life, I realize that I was also deeply influenced by the yin and yang of “doing” versus “being.” My first career was a strong and passionate reflection depicting my values of doing, producing, creating, and living large. I devoted nearly three decades to healing the human body through the field of physical therapy. I love the field, but while working year after year, I frequently encountered people returning with the same symptoms, people with serial injuries, or the most heart-wrenching challenges, individuals for whom recovery was elusive.
A new seed of awareness began to awaken in me as I observed the effects of chronic stress, traumatic incidents, chronic grief, and loss. I started to see how a slumped posture of physical collapse could be associated with a pervasive sense of disempowerment. Or, how perceived chaos and rigidity could interfere with restoring, physical strength, flexibility, and passion for previously cherished activities. I observed how the despair of broken relationships, family struggles, or involvement in a life-threatening experience, such as a car crash, could trigger anger, which in turn creates unconscious chronic muscular holding patterns. And most devastating, failed medical interventions could leave a person feeling completely hopeless and broken.
This is when the power of “being” started to take center stage for me. I became increasing curious about how the mind affected the body and how the state of the body affected the mind. Mindfulness, meditation practices, experiential psychology, and the practice of processing traumas out of the body’s sensory and memory systems started to catch my attention.
It is often said that our physical form is just a reflection of our internal perception. I believe that by addressing all aspects of our humanness – our physical, emotional, spiritual, and thinking parts – we can create embodied wholeness and health. I believe that the most assured way to success is to address all aspects of ourselves, in a safe, non-judgmental therapeutic environment.
I have over 30 years of experience working with people who are in the healing process. I am a somatic psychotherapist, a trauma specialist, and a physical therapist. When illness, disability, and chronic pain persist, they may be best addressed by this interwoven, deeply intuitive approach to healing. I incorporate and integrate many body-centered modalities for trauma resolution. I incorporate mindful movement exercises aimed at restoring function and work to alter your relationship with and experience of pain and suffering through proven psychological modalities. This combined approach works to restore a deeper sense of wellbeing and self-empowerment.
I also draw upon spiritual and intuitive disciplines that are inclusive of all spiritual beliefs and backgrounds. I am comfortable talking about awkward topics that seem inappropriate to discuss with family, friends, or even your physicians. I enjoy working closely with your medical team; I can consult with your physical therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, body workers, etc. I view all of them as my colleagues.
It can be so challenging to have a physically disruptive experience, especially one that entails a long road to recovery. What is even worse is when the road keeps running into obstacles, blocks, complications, and confusion. This experience can leave you feeling helpless, hopeless, and isolated. There is a Buddhist expression that I am reminded of: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”
I believe this to be true; however, while grappling in the throws of turmoil, grief, and loss associated with a traumatic event, medical challenge, or significant unplanned life transitions, it is nearly impossible to remember, relate to, and take heed from this little nugget of wisdom. You need a guide who understands all of the ins and outs of physical suffering. One who knows how to support you to make lifestyle changes, learning to slow down and listen to your bodies’ quiet calls from within, as well as discovering the incredible positive attributes of shifting into a life expression that is more in alignment with “being.” I am passionate about your wellness, and I can help you navigate the challenges you are encountering with more self-compassion, grace, and ease. Together, we will address your goals and develop unique and individualized strategies to reach them.
More About Me, Beyond Therapy
Between my two careers, I actually tasted the sweet life of retirement. During that time, I learned how to ride a Harley Davidson, crisscrossed the country several times before putting the bike in storage, and then boarded a sailboat to sail around the world.
My former husband and I lived aboard a sailboat for seven years (see my accompanying blog on my travels if you are interested), sailing along the West Coast of the US, all through Central America, the Caribbean, the East Coast of the US, the Bahamas, and across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, where we sailed for two and half years. It was during my years at sea that I became a true enthusiast for fostering calm, quiet meditative time in your day. Practicing good self-care enables you to live more in the present moment, in a state of alert readiness, as opposed to near exhaustion.
I returned to Colorado to live near and to contribute to my precious grandchildren’s lives. I feel so blessed and passionate about my life.
I live in Boulder, CO and have offices in both Boulder and Denver. I offer an initial phone consultation at no charge and no obligation. This gives us the opportunity to explore how we can best work together and which location might best fit into your schedule. Please contact me with any question you have about my professional orientation and background, my counseling services, and how I can best support you in this process.
Jeri Innis, MA, LPC, PT is a Colorado state Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC.0014084), a Licensed Physical Therapist (PTL.0001111), has a certificate as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and is a Level 3 certified Brainspotting Practitioner. She is a member of American Counseling Association (ACA), Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (SE), and Rocky Mountain Brainspotting Institute. She specializes in PTSD, sexual trauma, pain syndromes, post concussive disorders, and chronic illness.