Dr. Amber Elizabeth Gray — Movement–Based Therapies, Restoration and Healing, Ceremonies for Healing, Somatic Psychology, Journaling for Processing Trauma, and More (#173)

The Nishant Garg Show

“THE MOST POTENT SKILL FOR A THERAPIST IS THE ABILITY TO STEP WILLINGLY INTO THE FULL HUMANITY OF OUR PERSONHOOD” You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

Henry Drummond

Dr. Amber Elizabeth Gray is a licensed human rights psychotherapist, innovative movement artist, board-certified dance/movement therapist, master trainer and educator, Continuum teacher, and public health professional. She is a frequent invited and keynote speaker known for her engaging, participatory style and bold, speak truth to power voice and spirit. 

In her father’s words, Amber was born “dancing, fighting, and has never stopped”. Her life-long commitment to social justice and planetary, animal, and human rights; her passion for the natural world and everything wild; and her commitment to service have all inspired and shaped her work. An innovator in the use of somatic psychology, eco-somatics, and movement-based therapies (Dance/Movement Therapy, Yoga, Continuum) with survivors of trauma, torture, war, and human rights abuses, Amber has spent the last 23 years in service of her belief that “Every human being has the right to inhabit their body in the way they choose”. In support of TRI’s mission, Amber believes that every sentient being has the right to freedom, safety, and well-being.

Amber’s expertise is represented in many published articles and chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations, and presentations around the world. Amber has provided clinical training on the integration of refugee mental health and torture treatment with the creative arts, mindfulness, and body-based therapies. Her work has traveled to more than 30 programs for survivors worldwide since the late 1990s. She has held a leadership role on staff support programs in numerous disaster and complex humanitarian emergencies (Haiti, Indonesia, Darfur, Jordan/Syria/Lebanon, amongst many others), and trained thousands of local health care & mental health professionals and paraprofessionals to support their communities with embodied, creative approaches to Psychological First Aid, Mental Health and Psychosocial Services, and crisis counseling. She brings every ounce of her passion and commitment to social justice; social change and planetary rights to the projects TRI and partner organizations co-create.

TRI is a pathway to action. It offers partner organizations and partner colleagues opportunities to collaborate on meaningful, local & Indigenous-inspired projects that directly benefit those local communities. TRI expresses its founder’s heart and spirit.

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Connect with Amber:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Show Notes:

  • Your father used to say Amber was born dancing, fighting, and she has never stopped. Can you elaborate on your dancing as a teenager or as an young adult?
  • Why do you call your spiritual home as Haiti? What do you mean by spiritual home and why Haiti?
  • What is the purpose of these ceremonies?
  • What is the outcome of these ceremonies? You mentioned “Initiation” in healing. Can you describe what is “initiation: and what kind of healing we can achieve through all the ceremonies?
  • Can you share a personal story from your life where you conducted any kind of ceremony to provide healing or initiation?
  • You are an innovator in the use of somatic psychology and movement-based therapies. So what is somatic psychology?
  • What are the different practices in somatic psychology to provide healing for any sort of trauma?
  • How do you define trauma?
  • How do you feel about getting to a place where we are at peace and we have acceptance about whatever happened in the past?
  • Under the umbrella of movement-based therapies, you have other subcategories, such as polyvagal informed therapy, the untamed body moving therapy. Can you describe these ? What is polyvagal theory and what is untamed body moving therapy?
  • What is the benefit of movement therapy as compared to other modalities?
  • What is narrative exposure therapy?
  • Would you consider journaling as a way to process trauma?
  • What are the different ways of journaling according to you?
  • What challenges do you face while working with refugees and our other clients?
  • Can you describe in brief what is therapy?
  • You are a champion for self care and self compassion practices. So I would love to know what are your practices on a day-to-day basis?
  • And, much more

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