Kelly Haynes, MA, EMDR
When I first began working in mental health over 15 years ago, I was the epitome of a wounded healer. As I became more educated and specialized in my profession, I learned how to *fix* everyone else who walked into my office. I could help people with issues ranging from anxiety, depression and trauma to traumatic brain injury and developmental issues.
I could help all of these people, yet I was an absolute mess.
My master’s degree in counseling taught me how to help others, but it did not teach me to fill the deep wounds that led me into the psychological field in the first place. In seeking deeper healing for my clients (and myself), I participated in an incredible amount of specialized continuing education including EEG-Neurofeedback and Biofeedback Training techniques, health and nutritional modalities, attachment and somatic therapies, and specialized trauma therapy techniques. As I began to specialize in helping people with increasingly more acute symptoms like dissociation and severe developmental trauma, I kept thinking that there had to be a better way to help people, a way to help them heal faster.
In reality, I was really looking for a better way to help *MYSELF* heal.
Despite having it together enough to be a good therapist, I was still carrying around trauma like it was my identity.
I could help other people transform their lives, yet I could not follow my own heart to healing.
My sense of intuition was so warped that I could barely figure out what I wanted to wear in the morning, nevermind find how I needed to heal in order to experience joy in life again. I had taken on a caretaking role in my family and was living out a very codependent existence, depleting my own sense of self more with every day that I *stuck it out*.
I was everything for everyone else, and I was nothing for myself.
One day, I realized that the life I had been living was unacceptable. I was experiencing chronic pain, discovering new food intolerances monthly, and could only use one detergent and one body wash. My body was literally showing me how destroyed I had become, how sick I had made myself over years of neglect and self-loathing.
Emotionally, I felt broken.
The landscape inside of myself was a scarred and barren wasteland.
Nothing good could survive.
I had experienced abuse for so long that I didn't know any other way to live.
I didn't know any other way to treat myself.
I oscillated between feeling emotionally dead inside and being so overwhelmed with emotions that I felt like I was drowning. The only reason I was still alive was because of my children.
I was not willing to continue living this life that I felt had been thrust upon me.
I didn’t want to take care of anyone anymore.
I was tired and needed to be taken care of.
I needed healing in a way that I wasn’t sure existed.
Typical weekly therapeutic work and medication was not going to be enough this time. That was when I signed up for shadow work with an attachment and trauma therapist. This therapeutic work eventually led to the therapeutic use of plant medicine.
My life completely changed in one weekend!
I realized that the reason why all the therapeutic work I had done in the past had not been effective for me long-term was because my life was not conducive to healing. The shadow work and plant medicine helped produce such a foundational shift that I was able to implement boundaries that I had never had the capacity or courage to before.
Plant medicine taught me to become the healer of my own life.
With every new therapeutic experience, I heal more and more. Just like every other human on this planet, I am in a constant state of healing. I heal alongside my participants. As I grow as a person and heal myself, I develop an even more powerful template for healing others. As I journey deeper into the depths of my soul, I learn to help others heal more completely, with and without plant medicine.
Stripped down underneath all that I thought protected me (but didn't) is the *me* I was born to be!
The secret is that I don’t heal people. I TEACH people to heal themselves.
The body is self-healing. When you get a cut on your skin, your body will heal itself without you having to think about it. The brain and nervous system, as a part of the body, is also self-healing. Distressing emotions, flashbacks, and other mental health issues are the way in which our unconscious mind is trying to help our conscious mind *fix* itself. We are supposed to follow the mind to the inner child and the original wound, to MEET THE NEEDS of the inner child, to BECOME our own inner parent, to meet the perfect divine mother and father template inside each and every one of us that allows true and lasting healing of mind, body, and soul.
WE ARE WHO WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR OUR WHOLE LIVES!
It was only in truly understanding that concept that I began the healing process. The ways in which I have healed are profound.I have seen others heal and change, getting new bodies and minds in a similar way throughout my experience.
I am no longer sensitive to gluten and soy foods. Although I still experience pain sometimes, that pain has decreased by 80%. I am able to use the pain as information and a barometer to tell me how I need to support myself. I can breathe more normally and my diaphragm is able to expand more appropriately which has led to the return of my singing voice and being able to exercise without becoming exhausted. I am a dancer, something I have always wanted to do and never found the courage to try. I am embracing my skills as an empath and am learning to feel others emotionally, physically, and spiritually in a way I never thought possible.
As a teacher of healing, I identify and teach others with special gifts to find their own way.
I teach people to love their shadow selves, their own inner child, and to meet the needs of their own system.
I teach people to stand in their power to light up the world in a way that is unique to them.
I teach people to stop finding their identity in the pain and trauma of their lives and to put away their trauma backpack.
I teach people to find joy in the present moment, in the little things, independently of what is going on around them.
I teach people to find their observer self that is able to experience a sense of objectivity to the pain of life.
I teach people to experience life with a sense of curiosity and anticipation, with a sense knowing that suffering is optional.
Attachment and trauma work is my great love. Helping people to find fun while they heal is my greatest desire in my client work.
There is a sense of realness, genuineness, and authenticity that is present in the healing work that I do that is typically missing in other types of therapeutic and healing work. This work is not clinical. It is raw and real, and that is exactly why it works.
These days, I work through my problems quickly and do not allow them to ruin the parts of my life that I value most. I rise rather than become buried by the waves. I find peace where there would otherwise be suffering. I know that we do not have to suffer to heal and even pain can be a part of what invites and opens us into a deeper sense of connection with love. I know that the more I love the parts of me that are most unlovable, my shadows, the more deeply I can accept and love others.
It was in my darkest moments during my shadow work when I was prepared to lose everything: my job, my family, my lover... my life... that I found the parts of me that I needed to love in order to truly heal. All the therapeutic work I had done that never quite stuck came together into a single sense of self, someone who loved herself more than anyone else in the world. Someone with the capacity to love others just as boldly and fiercely.
Healing does not have to be linear. It does not have to take a long time. I am living proof of that.
If you are tired of living the same life, if you're ready for an incredible shift, if you're open to meeting your own shadows, I can help. My greatest desire is for all to find the healer that has been inside them all along.
Live in Joy,