“Courtney Cobbs is a sensitive, professional Reiki practitioner in the Chicago area. Courtney is an Arkansas native who came to Chicago to become more involved in social justice activism. She sees her Reiki practice as a way to live her social justice values. Courtney believes in the power of Reiki to heal trauma, provide relaxation in our hectic culture, and allow us to feel the love of the universe/spirit/God/The Divine, etc.”
About Courtney Cobbs
As a queer and Black Reiki practitioner, Courtney is aware of the unique needs of queer and Black and Brown individuals who may seek out bodywork. She meets everyone where they are at and is welcoming to all clients. Courtney earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and uses her clinical work experience to inform her Reiki practice.
When talking to a client for the first time and going over the intake paperwork, I do not ask clients if they’ve experienced trauma. Typically clients will bring up their trauma on their own without much probing. I work under the assumption that everyone is healing from something and trauma is disempowering. I try to empower clients by letting them know they can control the session in a myriad of ways – the music that is played, temperature, aromatherapy oils that are used, how many breaks they’d like to have during the session, if they prefer hands-on or hands off Reiki, and so on. I have had a few clients disclose their trauma and we worked through how this experience might play into the Reiki session and how they’d like the session to be modified in a way that is mindful of their trauma. Through my work as a mental health professional I have attended trainings on trauma and often read about trauma to keep myself informed of the latest developments in the field.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
I honestly believe I was born to be a healer. From a young age, I’ve been a “helper” and knew I wanted to work with people to help them be their best selves. Rumi states, “The wound is where the light enters you.” I remember the dark days after my trauma and I believe the places in which we were broken can be the same places we can help others heal. I was initially drawn to the mental health field because I knew I wanted to work with survivors – wanted to help other people who experienced the same type of trauma I had experienced.
My Approach to Trauma-Informed Care
I think trauma-informed care is all about providing feelings of safety and support. I work with my clients to provide Reiki sessions and self-care consultations that are empowering as well as healing. Trauma-informed care also means continuing to educate myself on how to help clients holistically heal from trauma.
I am a Reiki practitioner. Reiki is an energy healing modality that was developed in Japan out of the desire to help people heal on every level – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. During a Reiki session I am a channel for universal life energy/God energy/chi or however you want to term it, which flows through me to the client. Reiki energy always works for our highest and greatest good and flows wherever the client needs healing. Before and after sessions I provide a listening ear to clients and can offer outside resources to aid in their journey. I’m a voracious reader so I tend to recommend books. I also refer my clients to other professionals who can help them along their path.
How My Practice Holistically Addresses the Impacts of Sexual Violence
Reiki works on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Trauma impacts individuals on every level and Reiki can help with the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds that trauma can bring. For example, survivors may have difficulty sleeping or may feel anxious throughout the day. Reiki is very relaxing and can bring the body into a relaxed state which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and aid in sleep. It’s not uncommon for clients to email me and tell me they had the best sleep they’ve had in a while right after our sessions together.
Reiki enters the mind into a meditative state which I think can be helpful for survivors of trauma. It allows them to observe their thoughts which can be helpful in knowing what thoughts are helpful or unhelpful to them on their path of healing. Meditation can also provide a reprieve from the depression and anxiety which can follow a traumatic event. Our session together can be one of the few moments in their whole day in which their mind isn’t constantly replaying the trauma or feeling the shame that may accompany trauma. To me, it’s such a sacred time and I feel honored to be a part of people’s journey to heal themselves.
Additional Areas of Expertise
I am acutely aware of the impact race, social status, sexual orientation, gender identity (or lack thereof), educational attainment, immigration status, body weight and size, ability and disability, culture, etc. can have on an individual’s experience with sexual violence and trauma. As a queer, Black, feminine-presenting person, I try to center my work around supporting Black and Brown folks as well as queer people of color. It’s very important for my healing services to be accessible to oppressed populations and to hold space for those involved in social justice work.
I am able to provide a sliding-scale to clients.