"Valerie is a force of love"
I am what's called a somatic coach. Most people I come across have never heard of such a person, so if you're in this boat, you're completely normal.
I specialize in helping people learn how to understand and regulate their nervous system, excavate deeply buried trauma that may be a source of suffering and dis-ease, forge new healthy neurological and physical pathways to break out of old patterns, connect profoundly to the physical body, and utilize a greater capacity of the body-mind to tap into expanded resources of intelligence. I have specialized training in helping people recover from sexually related trauma and the physical challenges that may present as a result. I am trained in a wide variety of holistic modalities including many different styles of yoga and movement therapies that I incorporate into my coaching as needed.
My focus is on assisting men, women, couples, and groups with overcoming trauma, but my essential purpose is to help people develop a deep level of self-love and fulfillment. I help individuals from all backgrounds recover their self-worth and reconnect with their bodies so that they might create their purpose, and live a life filled with intellectual, emotional, and physical satisfaction. I believe that the body, like the deep ocean, is a source of untapped potential and that we just need the tools to navigate and find our way there.
I am based out of the San Francisco Bay Area but I serve clients globally, so whether you're in Alabama, Shanghai, or anywhere in between, just send me a message through the contact page and I'll be in touch to set up a time to talk and explore an appropriate course of action to assist you.
For my full Bio read below
The Full Story
Valerie holds an undergraduate degree from UCSD with a double major in Biology and Anthropology. In 2003, while attending college, she co-founding the Arusha Project, a bi-national organization supporting NGOs in Arusha, Tanzania doing HIV/AIDS and gender equality work. Upon graduation, she spent 5 years in Tanzania serving as the Country Director developing and running strategic volunteer placement programs (with affiliations to Stanford Med, UCSD, USC, UCSF, and Berkeley) to support organizations serving over 150,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the area. In 2008 she was recruited to support a village in Malawi of 1500 people that had been overlooked by the government, with no access to education, medical services, and aid relief. In her 3 years serving this community and through mobilizing volunteers from around the world (Stanford Med, UCSD, Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and Oxford), she was able to bring running water to the village, re-open the school, HIV test the entire village, establish medical care through the government to the village, re-open the community center, start a bio-intensive garden, and initiate a scholarship program. Valerie was and still is beloved in the communities she served for her ability to traverse cross-cultural boundaries, bring people together around a vision, and create impactful and transformative programs and relationships.
Following an illness in her family, Valerie made her way back to California in 2011. Personally touched by their mission, she began working for the American Heart & Stroke Association creating strategic impact programs and growing and engaging their volunteer network. She helped establish the Research Roundtable, gathering together the brightest young researchers in the field to showcase their findings and inspire collaboration. She empowered survivors to tell their stories at events, in front of the media, and on camera. She activated thousands of volunteers in Northern California and helped bring in key stakeholders to the organization such as the late Clay Christensen- godfather of disruptive innovation. During this time she also got involved with the TED franchise, organizing local TEDx events, and serving as a speaker coach, helping speakers synthesize their topics and bring their truest message and intention into their 15 minutes on stage.
In 2012, after a lot of personal development and seeing into her own core wounds, she recognized there was another calling to support healing of trauma in our society, and that in helping people rewire their trauma in a healthful way, that she could help open up pathways to joy, connection, and altruism. She believed that so much of the world's pain comes from unprocessed trauma, and that if she was able to help people break the trauma cycle and grow self-love and inner connection, that she could help catalyze planetary healing. She decided to go back to school to complete a certification from The Institute of Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality, in Somatic Experiencing/Coaching with an emphasis on sexual trauma. At the time this was one of the only places in the world that offered a certification of this kind (she was 1 of about 300 people certified in the world upon graduation). She began focusing on trauma around sex, sexuality, sexual disfunction, gender identity, fertility, relationships, and connection/attachment on the belief that some of the most unprocessed wounds are those around areas people find shameful and hard to discuss (sex and sexually related topics being at the top of the list), and that sexual related trauma causes significant dis-ease and disconnection to whole system wellness. She opened her private practice in 2013, and quickly through word of mouth grew a diverse client portfolio that included leaders from Google, Apple, Salesforce, Tesla, TED, Facebook, Twitter, BlackRock, and many more.
She has continued her education by studying with some of the masters in psychiatry, mindfulness, and yoga therapy, names like Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, Gabor Mate, and Tara Brach just to name a few. She completed her 250 hour yoga certification in 2016, trauma informed yoga certification with James Fox of the Prison Yoga Project in 2017, pre-post natal yoga certification with Jane Austin in 2018, and a doula certification with Connie Sultana in 2021. She has developed her own unique brand of somatic coaching which combines many modalities to help people move through all forms of trauma, connect to their bodies, and learn how to regulate their nervous systems.
Since 2017, she’s been supporting corporations and government institutions (military, police, parole), by leading yoga and mindfulness programs and training groups (virtually, in classroom settings, and on retreats) on how to transform stress and cultivate resilience. She’s also collaborated with the President of the Psychological Association of Santa Clara, CA on events to support veterans with PTSD. All in all, she has been leading transformative individual and group experiences for 19 years.