Join us in expanding our healing knowledge!
- Meet on the 3rd Friday of the month, September- June
- 9 AM – 10:30 AM: 90 minutes of learning, discussion, and networking
- FREE to Holistic Professionals Group members
- Open to nonmembers for a $25 drop-in fee
- Some disciplines are eligible to receive CEUs (separate fee)
The selection of workshop topics and presenters occurs on a continual basis throughout the year. If you or someone you know is a skilled presenter and wants to influence healing across disciplines in the DC metro area, consider applying to get onto the Holistic Workshop Series calendar by filling out the presenter application form.
Survivors of Sexual Trauma
May 15th, 2020
This event will take place online and is a chance for holistic professionals to connect with one another, learn about a variety of healing modalities, and build their professional networks.
We’ll have brief presentations from practitioners in diverse fields focusing on the use of sound in healing modalities. Experiential groups will include:
-“Inside My Head,” a piece on mental conditions written and performed by speaker and Broadway pianist Zak Sandler
-Brain-based trauma treatment with Georgiana Mora, LICSW
-A sound bath with Elizabeth Piren, MA, LPC
-“Sound and Somatics” with Zeshan Mustafa, JD, CCEP
-An Auditory awakening of our vagus nerve using the chakra system with Arielle Mesa, LGSW, RYT-200
-Tibetan Chanting with Candida Deluise, MSW
-A sound healing breathwork exercise with Colleen Avis
This event is free, and you will receive the Zoom link after registering.
June 2020 Energy Healing
Presenter: Tim Rogers, LMT
May 8th, 2020
Introduction to Surrogate Partner Therapy
Presenter: Brian Gibney
Since its introduction into the therapeutic community by Masters and Johnson, Surrogate Partner Therapy (sex surrogacy) has been a powerful, if often misunderstood, therapeutic tool.
In this presentation, we will examine the use of surrogate partner therapy (SPT) as a tandem treatment for patients experiencing obstacles to physical and/or emotional intimacy. We will cover a brief history of SPT, identify typical issues that SPT may address, outline the relationship between the supporting clinician and the surrogate partner, and examine the process of the work. We will also discuss the overarching philosophies of SPT, ethics, and legality of the use of surrogate partners.
During this workshop, attendees will be invited to participate in some optional, guided exercises and discuss how they promote holistic well-being in clients.
About the presenter:
Brian Gibney has worn many hats in his life: scientific researcher, educator, personal trainer, professional artist, and circus performer. His life experiences have exposed him to a wide variety of people and lifestyles and helped him appreciate the common threads that bind us all together.
As a surrogate partner and intimacy coach, Brian seeks to use his knowledge to help people overcome obstacles to physical and emotional intimacy. Applying techniques pioneered by Masters and Johnson, he uses an interdisciplinary approach to help others find balance in their intellectual, emotional, and physical selves. With the help of a therapist, Brian guides clients through the resolution of a variety of presenting issues in a safe, non-judgmental environment. His practice is rooted in patience, authenticity, vulnerability, touch…and
sometimes a little bit of humor. Brian adheres to a strict code of code of ethics as outlined by the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA).
Brian believes that advocacy, outreach, and professional education are essential parts of providing the best care for clients. In addition to his therapeutic work, he is a passionate advocate for surrogate partner therapy and an experienced presenter, frequently giving talks at private practices, workshops, and conferences. Brian has taught for both ISEE and ISTI sex therapist certifications, has presented at the Psychotherapy Networker, and was a featured presenter at the 2019 AASECT Fall Institute, Bridges to Body Work.
April 17th, 2020
Mindfulness and Self-Care in Therapy
Presenter: Jeremy Mohler
As mindfulness increasingly captures headlines, psychotherapists are raising alarms about the false promises of meditation practice for healing emotional wounds. As healing professionals, we must be aware of the dangers of spiritual bypassing, defined by psychologist John Welwood as the “use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs.”
In this session, we’ll practice and define mindfulness meditation and talk about the differences between mindfulness, psychotherapy, spirituality, and social change. Participants are encouraged to bring their thoughts and tactics for how they differentiate between psychotherapy and healing modalities like meditation and yoga in their work.
About the presenter: Jeremy Mohler is a writer and meditation teacher who is currently pursuing a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at Adams State University. He is the host of the Meditation for the 99% podcast and a former resident of Lamont Dharma House in Washington, DC.
Presenter: Anne Eckman, Phd, LICSW
In our healing work, we often venture into spaces and places where “words alone” are not enough. Art-making can offer our clients and ourselves another modality to help be with, and work through, experiences.
Join us as we explore several practical art-making approaches, materials, and resources that can be integrated into our work as therapists and healers.
In this experiential workshop, we will use art-making prompts that can help deepen awareness of sensations, breath, and emotions. We will consider our clients’ and our own varying delight or blocks in approaching art-making. We will also touch on ethical considerations when integrating art into our practice as therapists and healers without formal training in art therapy.
Exploring Walking Therapy
Presenter: Jennifer Udler, LCSW-C
Jennifer Udler, LCSW-C, will discuss the components of walking during therapy sessions, including the use of the natural environment and the use of movement. She will explain how the therapeutic process can be applied in the great outdoors and the best ways to utilize the change of environment. Participants will be asked to participate in a visualization of having a session outdoors, and will be able to discuss the advantages and challenges they may face. Short case vignettes will be presented to exemplify the power that nature and movement can have during a therapy session. Keep an open mind, and prepare to think outside the box, couch, or office!
About the presenter: Jennifer Udler, LCSW-C is the founder and owner of a therapy practice that incorporates walking with traditional cognitive behavioral therapy. Jennifer has been practicing individual therapy for over 18 years. After sitting in an office for 13 of those years, she decided to move her practice outdoors. She has since found her interactions with clients to be deeper, more uplifting, and therapeutic in both mind and body. She has had the honor of working with a variety of clients including those with anxiety, depression, ADHD, self-harm, transgender, trauma, divorce, adolescents, suicidality, grief/loss, developmental disabilities and children on the autism spectrum. When she is not working, she enjoys her family, exercising, and reading.
When Helping Is Not Helping: Professional Blinds Spots When Working With Clients of Color
Presenter: Zeshan Mustafa, JD, CCEP
How do we have courageous conversations that heal? Join us in an exploration combining somatic therapy and cultural humility to examine our blind spots when working with clients of color.
We will discuss how to create a safe container for ourselves and for our clients in order to explore issues around race and other sensitive topics. We’ll reflect on our own biases, blind spots, and systemic realities and how they may show up in the treatment room.
Participants will be encouraged to share their own challenges in working with clients of differing racial backgrounds, questions they are reluctant to ask, and reflections on opportunities for growth in this work.
This workshop welcomes and encourages persons of all backgrounds and professions to attend.
About the presenter: Zeshan Mustafa is a Certified Core Energetics Practitioner, which is a powerful body-oriented healing modality. She helps clients heal various life issues related to self and interpersonal relationships at the cellular level. She has worked specifically with teens and adults in recovery from substance abuse and clients navigating issues related to cultural differences and racial and religious marginalization.
Zeshan is a South Asian-American, Muslim woman and was trained and worked as a civil rights lawyer before transitioning to the healing profession. In addition to working with clients one-on-one and in process groups, she creates and leads embodied workshops and trainings around racial and cultural diversity for educational institutions and those in the helping professions to address blind spots.
Tending to Loss in the Helping Professions
Presenters: Regina Tosca, LICSW, Jazmín González Moya, Rev. Louise Green
As healers, caring for others is at the heart of our work. The relationships with our clients involve trust and intimacy, both of which are vital to the therapeutic process.
What happens for us when those relationships end, due to relocation, termination of therapy, or death? How do we honor and tend to our emotional needs as humans, in the context of our professional identities?
Please join me as we explore how these losses affect us, the importance of acknowledging them, and how giving space to those feelings can deepen our work as clinicians.
About the presenters:
Regina Tosca is a psychotherapist at The Viva Center. Her client focus includes grief and loss, including disenfranchised grief, coping with serious illness, and medical and other trauma. She also works as a program therapist for the psychiatric consult service at Washington Hospital Center (WHC), where she conducts psychiatric assessments and provides supportive counseling to psychiatric patients.
She received her Master’s in Social Work from Catholic University, with a specialization in health care. She has co-authored and presented research on palliative care practice, and co-wrote a palliative care textbook for medical social workers.
Jazmín González Moya is a yoga teacher, former ballet dancer and manager of Lighthouse Yoga DC. She teaches both group and private classes, which combine poses with breath work and meditation to help guide students in exploration of the whole self. Through a focus on self-awareness, Jazmín gently encourages inquiry into beliefs that may limit growth and new possibilities.
Rev. Louise Green (RYT-450) is a yoga educator, Unitarian Universalist minister, and community organizer. She currently works with Metro IAF on interfaith multi-issue community building in Maryland. As a former dancer, Louise continues to value work with movement to navigate mind/body/spirit health and life.
November 15, 2019
Creating Meaningful Rituals
Presenter: Candida DeLuise, LICSW and Vincenza Kamwendo
This experiential workshop will explore the power of creating rituals in our professional and personal lives. Rituals marking significant events provide us with meaning and serve as touchstones for healing, deeper awareness, and celebration. Drawing on traditional practices and artistic processes, we will collaborate in designing rituals for use in clinical settings and/or in our families and personal relationships.
Join mother-daughter team Candida DeLuise and Vincenza Kamwendo, who have been creating rituals together for 30 years. They bring a shared sense of spirituality, love of family, and community and intentional creation of holiday and life traditions that offer an alternative to the consumerist appropriation of both religious and secular holidays.
About the Presenters:
Candida DeLuise is a licensed psychotherapist who has been in private practice for many years. She integrates mind-body awareness and psycho-spiritual approaches into the therapy process. Her training includes psychosynthesis, Buddhist psychology, trauma informed work, and mindfulness-based psychotherapy. Candida teaches meditation and is also a Reiki master and wedding officiant.
Vincenza Kamwendo has worked as both an entrepreneur and a non-profit leader in the US and South Africa. Her background is in arts education and non-violent conflict resolution. She worked in South Africa for several years, using the arts to bring together diverse youth and artists to learn cross-cultural communication skills. In her work as an entrepreneur, Vincenza collaborated with other “mom-preneurs” to explore the role of women running businesses while parenting and creating support networks for mothers and caregivers who also manage professional pursuits.
October 18, 2019
Healing Trauma You Cannot See: Rewiring the Brain’s Hidden Control Panel
Presenter: Dr. Julie Lopez, LICSW
Our brain and bodies hold powerful resources for healing in our implicit memory (past experiences we can’t recall but which remain stored in our subconscious).
Come hear Viva’s founder and author of Live Empowered!, Dr. Julie Lopez, as she shares personal and professional stories highlighting the power of working with implicit memory.
A former university professor and licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Julie Lopez is the founder of Viva Partnership, a mental health collaborative specializing in non-verbal treatment approaches. Dr. Lopez specializes in working with trauma and compulsive/addictive behaviors. She has dedicated her life to empowering clients and clinicians alike to attain their full potential.
Sept. 20, 2019
Making Peace with Food and Body
Most of us have struggled with food and their weight at some point in their lives. We often feel guilt or shame after eating; we resent our body shape and size when we look in the mirror. We’re caught up in a tiring cycle of dieting or eating “clean”, followed by periods of losing control around food.
Some tolerate having a complicated relationship with food and their weight. Others take action because they are tired of how food and body dissatisfaction consume their lives, affecting their relationships, career, physical and emotional health.
Join Lina Salazar, Founder of Live Well, for a session where she explains her eclectic approach to coaching through the process of making peace with food and their bodies, and finding freedom and joy in eating.
About the Presenter
As the founder of Live Well and the Food Sanity program Lina coaches women and companies to harness internal tools to experience a mindset shift in how they think about their bodies and well-being. Drawing on personal life events associated with bulimia and binge eating, Lina empowers individuals to live a life led by self-awareness and freedom of choice. Previous to becoming a certified Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, Lina worked in international development. Lina has a JD and holds two MPAs (Master of Public Administration), from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York.
June 21st, 2019
Qoya: Therapeutic Movement
As psychotherapists and healers, we’re trained to focus on the power and the pain of the mind. The problem is, when we try to think our way through everything, we can’t access the wisdom of the body, which is crucial to healing.
In this session you’ll have a chance to experience Qoya, a movement-based wellness modality. We’ll also talk about the importance of integrating movement into the healing we do for people from all walks of life, inclusive to all body types and all physical abilities. You will leave with playful and deeply healing tools to easily incorporate into your work with clients and in your own personal healing journey.
About the Presenter
Erin Nes, a DC area Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, believes that every person has the inherent capacity to heal, grow, and thrive — and she’s spent her career developing the skills to meet people where they are. Trained in experiential modalities including Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, Jungian Sandplay, expressive trauma modalities, play therapy, mindfulness based meditation, and currently Gestalt Relational Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, Erin offers a holistic, right-brained, relational approach to transformation.
Because Erin is fiercely dedicated to the mind-body-soul connection as a means to heal trauma and engender lasting personal growth, she has expanded beyond her clinical training to become a certified Qoya teacher. This form of communal dance is designed to help people connect with their bodies while they discover healing and integration through movement.
May 17th, 2019
Spiritual Hypnosis and Didgeridoo “Hypnosis as an Undervalued Spiritual Modality”
Presenter: Matthew McKinzie/Fairfax Hypnosis
This workshop combines two powerful healing modalities–hypnosis and the didgeridoo.
Hypnosis is not only effective for stopping smoking and losing weight; it is also a powerful tool for allowing the mind to push past artificial limitations into higher levels of spiritual awareness and compassion.
Individuals with any and all levels of meditative experience are welcome to join. For those who don’t meditate often, this hypnosis can make it easier for you to achieve a deeper meditative state.
Throughout this session, you will be guided both verbally and through the didgeridoo. The deep, mellow vibrations of the didgeradoo resonate at a very deep level with the mind and body. The didgeridoo is an instrument with origins in the deep spirituality of the Australian aborigines and their connection to the land and the universe.
Combining spiritual hypnosis and the didgeridoo creates a nexus of verbal and nonverbal cues to allow the mind to let go of what it doesn’t need; it allows the chakras to open up and energy to align. Throughout the process, you will feel a very pleasant sense of deep relaxation as your mind and body open up and let go—like you are diving into a pool of happiness, letting go of your cares.
April 19th, 2019
Connecting the Dots: The 5 Key Factors Impacting Women’s Hormones
Presenter: Meg Richichi, M.S., L.A.c
Modern-day stress has become an unintentional form of birth control and a powerful endocrine disruptor. Many women travel at a velocity that is out of rhythm with who they are—endless multitasking, long work hours, forgotten meals, and too little time for themselves.
These stressors can set the stage for PMS, PCOS, infertility, and hormone imbalances. During this workshop, Meg Richichi will deconstruct these concerns and how they affect us.
Meg Richichi is an Integrative Women’s Health Practitioner and Board Certified Acupuncturist. Having practiced in New York for two decades, she currently sees clients in Charleston, SC, and Washington, DC, while working with women around the country remotely. Meg’s unique “East meets West” approach has helped thousands of women overcome stress-related hormonal imbalances including infertility, weight issues, autoimmune disorders, digestive struggles and an array of pain syndromes.
Meg’s extensive studies and experience include training with preeminent experts in the fields of western functional medicine, acupuncture, and nutrition, including healing practices in the Brazilian rain forest and Vietnam – in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s leading hospitals.
A lecturer and radio host, Meg has spoken to a wide range of groups including “Food For Thought” – a women’s health & wellness series on VoiceAmerica Radio, NYU Nursing Program, New York Hospital for Special Surgery, NYU Medical Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, Resolve, and Equinox. Her expertise in women’s healthcare has been the subject of several interviews in publications including Vogue, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Real Simple, NPR and Refinery29.
Meg is committed to assisting women of all ages in creating wellness through her work as a health practitioner, lecturer and workshop facilitator. She feels deeply honored to walk this path with all the sweet lovelies in today’s world.
March 15, 2019
Presenter: Lenna Jawdat, LICSW, Yoga Instructor
Come learn about the core principles of Trauma Sensitive Yoga, how it differs from other styles of yoga, how it can counteract the impact of trauma and alleviate its symptoms. Lenna Jawdat will provide some background information on TSY and lead the group in an accessible experiential exercise. Lenna is trained and licensed as a clinical social worker (LICSW) and yoga teacher (RYT200). Lenna specializes in working with survivors of interpersonal and relational trauma and neglect using psychodynamic therapy, EMDR therapy, yoga and mindfulness, and neurofeedback. She practices at the Viva Center in Dupont Circle in DC.
Feb. 15, 2019
Our Body Speaks: Introduction to Body Psychotherapy (Core Energetics)
Presenter: Zeshan Mustafa, Wellness Practitioner
In this workshop, we will explore how our body communicates with us, and how we relate to others, using Core Energetics. Core Energetics is a powerful evolutionary form of personal growth developed in the early 1970s by Dr. John Pierrakos. It brings together body-oriented psychotherapy with spiritual development.
Core Energetics is rooted in the belief that energy gets held and trapped within places in our physical bodies as a result of negative experiences and beliefs formed in childhood. We use expressive and physical exercises to uncover stuck emotions and patterns so they can finally be felt, explored, and released in a safe environment. As a result, we begin feel more alive. Our life energy is freed up to flow once more. We begin to enjoy more freedom, joy, and fulfillment in all areas of our lives.
Zeshan Mustafa is a wellness practitioner. In 2009, Zeshan found the power of bodywork in helping relieve stress and has been a believer ever since. Zeshan is a yoga teacher (RYT 200) and a Reiki Practitioner. Her work in yoga and Reiki led her to further explore the power of the body in releasing stuck emotions and deeply ingrained patterns. She now works with clients to shed false beliefs and identities so that they can feel the freedom to be their true selves and lead more joyful and fulfilling lives.
Check out her website: CoreZenetics.com.
Jan. 18, 2019
The Seven Ways We Communicate
Presenter: Gina Brezini, Soul Evolution Coach Gina Brezini introduces the seven distinct ways we communicate. This brand new material offers insight into how we use communication to connect, how we get stuck, and how our awareness affects the depth and quality of our relationships. Gina works with individuals, couples, and groups to enhance their experience of personal presence, confidence and connection. Assisting them to hear, understand and honor each other, so they can create supportive and fulfilling relationships. She introduces new approaches to listening, mindful interactions and leading with transparency.
Gina holds masters’ degrees in Spiritual Psychology and Fine Arts. Her coaching style is influenced by additional training in Circling, Strategic Intervention, NLP, Core Energetics, masculine & feminine dynamics and non-violent communication.