Human & Healer: Tara Elliot
(Guest Blog Contributor: Maryrose Yerger)
The thing I love most about hOMe is the true community atmosphere cultivated here. When you come to heal you are welcomed with open arms and it feels like family. Though I knew the "healers of hOMe" through my own healing work before I joined the team I wanted to create this series of interviews so you can also get to know the warm souls who bring hOMe to life. In this segment I sat down with hOMe's Tara Elliot, a Licensed Professional Counselor to learn more about who she is, both as a healer and a human!
Where did you get your training? Both formal and “life training”.
I studied at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and completed the 3-year Master of Arts program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I continue my trainings to stay up to date with current research and approaches. I am in the process of completing a 2-year training in Applied Meditation from the Institute of Applied Meditation which is focused on Heart Rhythm Meditation and Spirituality. I have also done my own extensive healing work which I feel helps me help my clients more effectively. I have been where they are and understand how scary of a place that can be.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
The most rewarding aspect of doing this work is seeing my clients grow and observing the process of transformation that occurs with this type of deep healing work. When clients recognize their growth and say they never thought that getting to a particular point in their healing journey was ever possible, but yet here they are. It is quite an empowering moment for them and to be able to witness that, to be a part of their journey is such an honor. I really feel blessed to do this work.
What are you curious about and exploring in life right now?
Right now, I feel an incredible pull towards my spiritual growth and the exploration of my inner self. I am fascinated by the interconnectedness of everything, of unity consciousness.
What modalities do you like to use and why?
I use a trauma-informed integrated approach to psychotherapy which incorporates many different modalities such as psychodynamic, person centered, existential, narrative, CBT, DBT, body-oriented somatic approaches. It is a highly individualized approach developed to meet the needs of each client. I am not a cookie cutter type of therapist. We are all unique individuals and what may work for one individual, does not always work for another. Whichever modality I use, I incorporate a mind, body, and, when appropriate or desired, spirit approach.
How have you seen them work with clients?
I get positive feedback from clients in the way we approach their healing process. It is important for me to let them know that they are the ones in charge of their process and if a particular approach does not resonate, I have the ability to be flexible and incorporate other modalities. They are the best experts on themselves and I seek feedback on their therapeutic process on a consistent basis. Studies have shown that one particular modality isn’t better than another; however, it is the therapeutic relationship that directs the most positive outcomes in therapy.
What is your relationship to God and spirituality?
Wow, this is a really tough question and I could write a book on this particular journey for me. My relationship with God has been a tenuous one. I was raised Christian, but had a crisis of faith in my 20’s. I spent the next 15-20 years seeking, trying to find that connection to the Divine. This is when I moved away from the Dogma of organized religion and embraced my spirituality. Today, I have a strong connection to the Divine Feminine and consider myself a Mystic. The definition of the word mystic is “a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the <Divine> or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect”; and that defines me to a T. I believe that the Divine is not a separate being from us, but instead, resides within each and every one of us.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
At this moment, my grandchildren are my passion. I absolutely love being their YaYa! It is so remarkable watching them grow and develop as these tiny human beings. They are amazing!
If you were stranded on a desert island, what food, movie, book, and album would you bring?
This is another tough question, for food, there is part of me that says fresh fruits and vegetables, but there is another part screaming out cheese and ice cream!
My favorite movie is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (it’s really all one story right?)
As for my book, right now I am in love with the mystic poets, and this one book Love Letters to God is a compilation of all the great mystic poets.
Album, anything Yo-Yo Ma. His music and playing brings absolute joy to my heart.
What is the coolest thing you tried or discovered this week?
I did my first Facebook video and posted it online, that’s cool, right? ;)
Ever have a rock bottom? What did it teach you?
Yes, I think as we move forward on our path, we all have our dark night of the soul. It taught me about resiliency, strength, and courage that is always within me; although, sometime elusive, it is never gone.
What do you like most about being a part of the hOMe team?
What I enjoy most about working at hOMe is that it is a tremendously healing and unique environment, especially here in Berks. I believe in the mind, body, spirit connection that is firmly rooted in hOMe's approach to healing. I love that we have the space that if I need to incorporate movement, yoga, or other somatic approaches with a client, I have the freedom to do that.
Tara is currently accepting new clients! If you're interested in setting up a consultation you can email her at email@example.com or call and leave a confidential voicemail at (610)-780-5877.