Michelle Hoffman, MA, LMHC
In 1983, I received my BFA from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA where I majored in painting, writing and performance art. In 2011, I received my MA in Counseling from Southwestern College. My internship was at Solace Crisis Treatment Center where I utilized somatic and cognitive behavioral techniques to help people who were dealing with trauma. Other extended studies of mine have included the Trauma Resiliency Method as well as the Latin American traditional medicine of curanderismo which has greatly informed my life and work. I have been employed at Southwestern Counseling Center since June 2011 and also see clients in my private practice. When not counseling, I am facilitating community dance events, teaching dance, gardening, painting and hand crafting medicinal chocolates.
To adequately talk about how I work, I must acknowledge the “eco-system” of the individual and their experience within the therapeutic environment. A human ecosystem has many dimensions: wild and calm, wounded and resilient, buried and expressed, known and unknown. My wish as a counselor is to help harmonize these aspects of body, mind, and spirit. I attempt to make use of all natural resources: the senses, remembrance, dreams, daily experience, personal history, family story, and arising mysteries. Expression may occur in talk, in quiet, in drawing, in writing, in collage, in simple ritual, in any source that nourishes and activates the evolving emotional self.
The explorations happen both in the quiet sanctuary of this counselor’s den and through suggestions or assignments that take place outside the four walls in the abundantly healing world of nature and culture. As the guide, I travel along the same path as each of my clients as we seek out and embody their central life force and connect more deeply to their place of joy.