Healing Hearts in Body and Spirit: A Conversation with Liz Driscoll Jorgensen
Aug 01, 2018 04:44AM
Liz Driscoll Jorgensen
Liz Driscoll Jorgensen, owner of Insight Counseling in Ridgefield and a nationally known speaker and teacher, is leading a healing retreat on September 15 at The Mercy Center in Madison. Natural Awakenings asked her to share some insights from her journey into her own healing and preview the workshop, which includes many of the learnings and techniques she has gained over the years.
What led you from the Western “physical only” approach to a mind-body-spirit view of healing?
As a true believer in Eastern and spiritual modalities of healing, I also admit to previously being a skeptic about the effectiveness of some of the ancient practices I now embrace. Reiki, yoga and sound healing all seemed like fun and interesting ways to relax; but could they really help me heal? Could they be employed as part of treatment for my clients who experienced grave traumas and suffer with emotional and physical disorders? I have worked as a therapist for over 30 years with predominantly “Western”, evidence-based therapies and medical interventions. In doing so, I achieved very good results for many clients, but I also believed that all lasting change involves the heart and the Spirit.
Several years ago, I followed the advice of dear friends and colleagues and tried body centered healing methods and practices. Awkward and bumbling at first in yoga, and distracted in mindfulness, I stayed with it and quickly became a believer. In the years since my own “conversion” from skeptic to believer, I have integrated the healing modalities we are teaching in this retreat into Insight Counseling with tremendous positive effect.
Now my colleagues and friends and I have created a day-long retreat where others can taste some of these powerful healing practices that truly affect body, heart and soul. This day of healing was created to give spiritual seekers, people in recovery and those who have suffered loss a sampling of six healing modalities in a safe, beautiful setting on the Long Island Sound.
What types of experiences will participants have?
We will be presenting well-known modalities, such as yoga and walking meditation, as well as Biodanza and sound healing. Biodanza is an immersive movement therapy developed by Chilean anthropologist and psychologist Rolando Toro in the 1960s. It literally means, “The Dance of Life,” and participants need no level of dance skills to benefit from this heart-opening and unique healing experience. Toro used this expressive movement to help people with profound mental illness. It is practiced in 54 countries and used for healing and stress reduction. It allows participants to connect deeply with others in a fully human way.
I first tried Biodanza four years ago with Michelle Dubreuil Maeck, our teacher for the retreat. My experience was profound. Maeck trained with the Toro, and is an East Coast leader in this healing practice. Her positive and passionate energy are infectious.
You mentioned sound healing. Will that be a part of the workshop?
Jen Ripa Edson, owner of Thrivologie in Ridgefield, will lead the retreat group in a gong bath, a form of sound healing that is over 3,000 years old. Participants lie in a relaxed position and mindfully experience the deep resonating tones of live gong playing. My own experience with this practice was profound; I was “visited” by my grandmother and a minor physical ailment was healed.
What type of yoga will be included in the experience?
We will offer yoga for every body, including a healing Yoga Nidra practice focused on the heart and spirit. This will be led by Rosa Esposito Fiore and Jean Daniello, the yoga teachers at Insight Counseling.
Fiore also owns Coppergrace Yoga and is a Reiki master. She will lead the vision board part of the retreat, assisted by other healers. Daniello is a Reiki expert and yoga teacher with a profound interest in helping people who suffer with addictions. She is also dedicated to working with teenagers.
What part of the event will you lead?
With me, participants will experience a small taste of the Western tradition of narrative healing from the fifth-century saint, St. Benedict to the modern wisdom of the 12 Step Traditions. My healing practice is particularly focused on people who suffer with addictions, including those with food and codependency.
For more information or to register, visit HOHBS.eventbright.com or call Insight Counseling at 203-943-6786. See ad, page 5.