Are you experiencing trouble dealing with life’s transitions? Or perhaps it’s time to make a change but you can’t seem to get the ship moving in a new direction. If that’s case, come meet Transformation Coach and Life Transitions Counselor, Marie Laverriere, one of the expert members of The Mind Body Spirit Network and as we like to fondly call it “The High Vibe Tribe”.
Today we meet with Transformation Coach, Life Transitions Counselor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker—LCSW, Marie A. Laverriere, one of the newest experts in what we call our “High Vibe Tribe” here at TheMindBodySpiritNetwork.com. Marie is a highly experienced mental health professional with decades of distinctive experiences from being an Interfaith Chaplain at a County Jail in New Mexico, to serving as a member of the House of Representative in the State of Maine, to a Transformation Coach/Therapist who utilizes a variety of modalities including traditional as well as contemporary models.
Q: What inspired you to do this work?
A: My father’s experience as a soldier in WWII was a huge influence on me in becoming a clinical social worker.
After the war my father struggled with major depression because he had witnessed his company of fellow soldiers die as they were attacked while having their Thanksgiving meal. My father had heard the alarm and took cover and no one else took cover. He saw his company attacked and he was the sole survivor. My father did not tell me this, but his cousin did a few years after my father passed. My father had major depression, military PTSD and he developed Parkinson’s Disease and he died by suicide at 56 because he could not bare the pain of depression. The interventions were too late and not enough. I was 25 years old when he died and I developed a very tender space in my heart for veterans, especially those who have been in active duty and suffer from PTSD.
In my practice, I utilize EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to help people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It has been very effective in helping both military and civilian PTSD.
Ready for a healing tool you can use when needed? Get access to Licensed Clinical Social Worker Marie’s FREE EFT Tapping videos today! Click here now.
Q: What is the difference between a Social Worker and the work that you do as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?
A: Over the years Licensed Social Workers have been working as case managers usually in the Department of Child Protection and other similar positions. These case managers have Bachelors Degrees in a variety of majors and not necessarily in Social Work education. In Maine, a person with any Bachelors Degree can sit for the test for the Social Work License. The licensure that I have required me to have a Masters in Social Work and only a person with a Masters in Social Work can sit for the Clinical Social Work License. After I received my Masters in Social Work I then passed the test for my Conditional Clinical Licensure and had to work for two years supervised weekly by another LCSW to finally take the test for my License in Clinical Social Work.
Q: Now I see you are transitioning your work into that of a Transformational Coach. What can you tell me about that?
I have worked as an LCSW for several years and I have decided to extend the description of what I do with my clients to Transformational Coach. The Cambridge University Press defines “transformational” as “able to produce a big change or improvement in a situation”. The Business Dictionary defines it as: “a process of profound and radical change…” I believe these definitions truly describes what happens in counseling therefore, “Transformational Coaching” is the title I prefer to use to describe my work with my clients.
I met a famous psychiatrist when I attended a Spiritual Direction Program at the Shalem Institute in Maryland in the 1990s, his name was Jerry May. Jerry wrote several books but my favorite is “Simply Sane: Stop Fixing Yourself and Start Really Living” (1977). His conclusions, which were considered radical at the time, are that we over diagnose people, label them, make them fit into boxes and we (mental health professionals) don’t let them come out. He believed that we keep them sick by labeling them and defining their whole person around these labels.
I have a short story to tell about a person who called me to attend a class I was offering several years ago. Her first words to me on the phone were: “Hello, I’m Bipolar and I would like to register for your class, I saw your flyer at the natural food store”. I replied, “Hello, Bipolar, what is your last name?” She said, “that is not my name”. This experience caused me to become aware of how labeling people can cause them to get stuck in being identified with their diagnosis to a point that they feel that this is who they are.
Ready for a healing tool you can use when needed? Get access to Transformation Coach Marie’s FREE EFT Tapping videos today! Click here now.
Q: How do you incorporate spirituality in working with your clients?
A: When I work with a client my focus is to meet them where they are. Otherwise, I’m not helpful to them. When people sign up to work with me they usually know that I have a broad perspective for treatment that includes Mind, Body and Spirit. Usually the clients bring up spiritual issues that they are struggling with. They may feel disconnected from themselves and others or they may be trying to find meaning in their lives and somehow we discuss their approach to finding meaning in life and how they express their creativity. In most cases both finding meaning in life and expressing our creativity is connected to our spirituality. When I worked in New Mexico as an Interfaith Chaplain I approached people’s spiritual experiences with respect and with a broad view, again meeting people where they are on their journey.
Q: I see you have a Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College. What is Pastoral Ministry?
A: The Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry at Boston College had a major in Spirituality and this is why I chose this degree. Throughout my Social Work education I always incorporated spirituality in my papers and projects. Again, I approach emotional healing and transformational coaching from a holistic perspective which includes the Mind, Body and Spirit.
Q: What do you mean when you say you approach your work from a holistic perspective that includes the Mind, Body and Spirit?
A: I help people with issues from the mind, body and spirit perspective: I am trained to work with people who experience emotional pain such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and the many other mental health diagnoses. I utilize different modalities for treatment (both traditional and contemporary modalities) for these conditions. The traditional approaches are Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing—both of these are “talk therapies”. I also help people who experience physical pain because of emotional trauma by treating the emotional issue.
The contemporary modalities of healing that I am trained in are Energy Psychology Techniques (EFT and TAT). These techniques at times remove thinking blocks and limiting beliefs which can relieve physical pain if this is how the emotional issue was manifesting itself in the client. Mindfulness (guided imageries and simple meditation) can help people relax and remove tension in the muscles and help the body to heal. I am trained as a Master Aromatherapist (essential oils), aromatherapy is helpful for relaxation, essential oils can help the brain feel happy or peaceful when a person smells certain oils. The chemicals in the essential oils cause a reaction in the brain. At times, I teach people how to do Reiki (hands on energy healing that clients do on themselves) so they can experience relaxation and healing touch.
Ready for a healing tool you can use when needed? Get access to Marie’s FREE EFT Tapping videos today! Click here now.
Traditionally mental health professionals have dealt with clients from the mind perspective. Talk therapy, helping them change their thinking to a more solution focussed perspective. In the recent years many mental health professionals believe that it’s important to treat the entire person which includes the mind, body and spirit.
When people have difficulty in feeling connected to themselves and others and when they have a difficulty to find meaning in their lives I usually invite the client to explore their spiritual perspective. I believe that human beings have a need to be creative. We are all artists, we just don’t always know our medium. There are many ways to be creative and I believe that the art of expressing our creativity is how we connect to our spirituality.