It never ceases to amaze me how much our life experiences help us to become who we are. My name is Stepheny. I founded Brain Body Nourishment Therapies because of my own experience in therapy when I needed help as a survivor of military sexual trauma. I learned that a truly good therapist understands a lot more about life and how to help people than what they were taught in school. Brain Body Nourishment is the accumulation of my life. In the United States Navy, I served as a hospital corpsman who learned how to support patients in the emergency room through life and death moments. I worked with pregnant mothers and their nutrition. I even had the fear and joy of delivering a baby when Mamma could not make it to the hospital. It was the unwavering support for each one of my patients that made their moments bearable, peaceful and sometimes joyful. For me, it brought me gratitude and joy to be there with them.
I went on to earn my undergraduate education in contemplative psychology with minors in science and art. I learned much about the multiple ways mindfulness increases well-being. During this time I began my journey into human development and the psychology of eating. I served on the Wellness sub-committee at my children’s charter school and began to see the ways I could serve children and families. My graduate work in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy, opened my mind to a world of healing, of presence and moved even deeper into my soul the reality of the sacredness inherent in each person.
With great joy, I went on to work with children and adolescents with their families at National Jewish Hospital. Here I Provided milieu, group and individual Art therapy for patients, parents and their siblings. These patients struggled with asthma and various allergies/sensitivities to things that were altering their ability to breath or influenced their quality of life in such a way that they sought real answers to their dilemmas. As part of an integrative team that looked at multiple aspects of a person’s health in order to help them achieve their goals to play a wind instrument, play in sports or just have what they consider a normal life, I found myself at home.
I spent a year doing Art therapy with elders who could not be home alone, so they came to our facility. I learned so much from them, even when we did not speak the same language. Here and in my years spent in Japan I learned that the heart can cross barriers and speak in ways that languages never can. Working with them inspired me to become certified to work with LGBTQ+ elders and their unique needs. From there I grew to work more with the LGBTQ+ populations and went on to understand the world of hormone replacement therapy. With multiple family members who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, I was moved to find ways to support those who have no support. So, after starting my private practice I began to also work with a non-profit that serves the mental health needs of Christians who struggle with all forms of addiction. In recognizing the marginalization of those with addictions and mental illness I could not help but also see the silent LGBTQ+ community in our midst. My heart’s desire was to give them a safe space to explore what it means to be LGBTQ+ and what it means to be a Christian who is made in the image of God. This can be a very painful and vulnerable path that they often walk alone in silence, in the midst of a spiritual community they fear. It is my prayer that this will no longer be the case and that they would increasingly find friendship and support as they walk in the way toward Christ. This is why today I serve LGBTQ+ populations across the lifespan in both my private practice and through the non-profit center I now also work with.
While in school and after graduation I have also earned multiple other certifications and trainings in areas such as:
The Dr. Amen Method
Recovery Nutrition, Bio/Chemical Nutrition
Clinical Trauma Professional
At Risk Populations
Bilateral Stimulation Techniques
Nutrition for Mental Health Disorders
Cognitive Decline, Dementia and Alzheimer’s
And of course, there is always more training to come since I fundamentally believe in a proverb that says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fail; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” That safety is for you. For you to have a place you can rest and know that when we work together, you are working with a professional who not only seeks your highest good but who has the tools and resources to support you as we work together to toward your goals.