Featured Contributor - Poetry

Valerie Creane

About Valerie

I have been interested in healing for as long as I can remember. As a college student at Brown University, I took courses in psychology, spirituality and neuroscience as I explored my interest in consciousness. I also studied yoga and massage therapy, obtained a certification in Shiatsu, and began working as a massage therapist.

After undertaking my own psychotherapy in my early twenties, I realized that I was drawn to clinical psychology as a way to facilitate healing. I studied clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, focusing on depth psychotherapy, and graduated in 2003. My training included long and short-term psychotherapy with adults, children, and youth, as well as significant experience conducting collaborative psychological evaluations. Over the next two decades in private practice, I studied and trained in multiple healing modalities, including attachment and relationally oriented therapies, somatic approaches, hypnotherapy, and mindfulness.

During the course of my early psychological training, I became fascinated with personal coaching. Coaching’s collaborative orientation felt right to me, and I also liked the idea of supporting people in taking concrete actions that changed their lives. While completing my doctorate in psychology I studied coaching at the Coaches Training Institute, and became certified as a coach in 2001. I practiced as both a personal and corporate coach during the last several years of my psychology degree.

After becoming licensed as a psychologist in 2006, my ongoing interest in consciousness and spirituality deepened, and I explored Judaism and Buddhism. The fear that I felt after moving through a personal health crisis let me know that I still had work to do in relation to fear and healing. I began attending ceremonies regularly with a local medicine person and studied indigenous healing modalities for about 8 years (with teachers versed in Lakota, Cherokee, and Toltec practices). These studies were followed by a deep dive into Tibetan Buddhism and exploration of healing practices associated with the divine feminine, which I consider to be the path of the Great Mother. These studies and my evolving spiritual practice transformed my life. My relationship to fear changed and I felt the emergence of my warrior spirit.

These three streams of experience – depth psychology, coaching, and spirituality – profoundly affect the way I work as a psychospiritual counselor. Psychology taught me to work deeply with people, respecting the influence of our early experiences and relationships; coaching taught me to value action and real life change, and to work to counter stagnation and bring momentum into the counseling relationship; and my spiritual practice and connection with the divine taught me how to support shifts in the energetic realm (that which often keeps us stuck), as well as the value of surrendering to Spirit in any healing endeavor.

These streams of experience have also influenced my relationship to creativity and self-expression. Our creative process taps into and brings forth our deepest gifts. When we surrender to this process, and meet it with heart, our creative offerings can be healing and meaningful both for us and for others. There’s something so liberating and joyful in breaking free of our human constructs – the “shoulds” and expectations – and allowing our inner world to manifest through playful exploration. To me, a creative offering is a prayer, a delight, and an invitation for connection.

I am truly grateful for the presence of the sacred in my life, for my teachers and mentors, and for the way that I have journeyed through these streams of experience to the place I am in today. My prayer is that you will find exactly what you need on your journey, and that you will connect with and trust the wisdom that lies within you.