Welcome to Brave Embodiment Counseling

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My name is Kimberly Massale and I am honored to share my deepest thoughts, opinions, and work with you. My vision for this blog is to provide information on healing and life from a psychotherapist’s perspective. I hope to share much of my own journey along with the knowledge I have learned in training to become an therapist. My highest intention is to show up energetically as generously as possible, to provide the public with the insight of a psychotherapist that has done her own work and continues to evolve daily. My hope is that you may benefit from the information I share. 

I will tell you a little bit about what brought me here. I recently moved to the Denver, Colorado from the Washington, DC area. While we love the challenging intellect of the DC area, my partner and I needed a change of lifestyle after both living in the there for much of our adult lives. I grew up and lived in the area my entire life in fact. Though neither of us had jobs, we both knew we needed to heed the universe’s signs and take the risk to move. We drove cross country touring for about a 15 days and finally landed in Denver. 

I have felt the shift of energy in my body after finally landing in Denver. I know I made the right decision to nourish my soul. The snowfall and mountains are confirmation. Much of my younger adult years, I felt an internal conflict between being me and being what others wanted me to be. I am after all a therapist for a reason, I can chameleon to adapt to what people expect of me. Though conforming is energy sucking and overtime, I realized the need to stand fully in my being and let my true essence be seen. So I followed my heart, switching from an engineering major to art, trusting my path would unfold if I followed my passion and gut. And then I found Art Therapy as an option for graduate school. That is when my life truly began to feel mine, like I a found my calling and I could really start to engage with life. I started to soar. 

Meanwhile, I broached difficult topics as a client in many types of psychotherapy approaches. I worked hard to work through social anxiety, phobias, fears, and self-esteem issues. While I gained from these talk therapy approaches, I never really got traction. At times as a young adult, these issues were debilitating. I could not understand why I struggled so much, I had a very kind loving family that was always supportive. I had no trauma. There was literally no reason for me to have these issues. But I kept at it, continuing to walk my talk. If I was going to be a therapist, I had to do my own work to heal, no matter how long or difficult the process.

I met soul sisters in the Art Therapy world. One professor became a mentor. Post graduation, she suggested I work with Amy Tatsumi, a classmate of hers, for my post graduate supervision hours. My relationship with Amy would change my life. She gave me the permission to learn how to take space and heal. She put me in touch with her colleague to do long distance video coaching. This was the moment my life changed dramatically. I was going through a divorce at age 27 after an 8 year long relationship and had become very depressed. The coach was trained in a somatic approach (much like Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which I have since trained in) and “The Daring Way” which is the work of Brene Brown focused on shame resiliency. I started healing and changing. 

I began learning that these traditional diagnoses given by psychiatrists, that still rule our psychology world, do not account for developmental trauma or even trauma properly. The relationships are not a part of the diagnostic process either. That these components of psychology are perhaps more important than the cubby holes of diagnostics we use. People are constantly misdiagnosed as having ADHD, Bipolar, Borderline, Depression, and Anxiety and their real issues are based on their early childhood experiences and relational patterns as adults. I learned that healing comes from exploring your interrelational patterns, somatic patterns, energetics, and faith. 

And HEALING IS EXPERIENTIAL! You can’t heal without a reparative experience. You can talk till you are blue in the face about what you struggle with, what you want to change, and how you can’t change AND guess what, you won’t change by just talking about it. You have to experience something different. When I began to experience new ways of showing up in the world, that’s when my life changed for the better. I released depression, I released anxiety, and I could be fully seen as the true me. 

This was over 5 years ago now. And since I have continued to learn and grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I am living the life I want to live now and know how to reach goals I have for myself. My energy aligns with my core essence. And I share healing with those I work with now. 

Kimberly Ottinger