“Elise Collier is a Marriage and Family Therapist whose main focus is in the treatment of trauma and addiction, in addition to family/couple issues, PTSD, depression and anxiety. Elise graduated from CSULB with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Elise has experience facilitating Psychodrama groups under the training of Gina Tabrizy, and she facilitates such a group for client’s suffering from early childhood trauma. Through assisting patients on a personal journey of healing Elise uses an experiential approach that gives clients the ability to access parts of themselves they can’t normally contact in other therapy methods. Techniques include conventional psychotherapy, psychodrama, body-mind therapies, inner child work and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).”
About Elise Collier
Elise Collier completed her pre-internship training at Health View Behavioral where she treated individuals suffering from severe mental illness combined with substance abuse and complex childhood trauma. Elise completed her internship at Harmony Heals where she received extensive experience and training in treating children and adults who were suffering from the effects of childhood trauma and addiction. Elise continues to provide therapy for clients in an addiction treatment inpatient facility setting in addition to her other work. In her practice, she works with the mind-body-spirit connection to help release unwanted patterns/beliefs and unresolved old feelings that are blocking, self-acceptance and satisfying relationships. Elise has experience and training in working with children through play and art therapy. She believes when clients are given a creative, unstructured environment for personal expression, they experience a freedom that allows them to uncover and express their inner feelings, which is an important part of the healing process. By using art and play to communicate, clients often better express their feelings than if they were to convey emotions verbally. She has training and is certified in Trauma Focused CBT. Elise has experience in facilitating a Christian based trauma group and is passionate about further aiding people in their journey to healing by integrating successful spiritual principles with their healing process.
My experience in working with survivors includes 4 years of psychodrama training in which I specialized in working with incest survivors. I also have training and certification in Trauma Focused CBT, and Play & Art therapy with a particular focus and experience in treating children who are survivors of sexual abuse. I am EMDR trained and focus that work on the treatment of early childhood sexual abuse survivors. My more current endeavors include educating and advocating for survivors within the Christian church community.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
Being a survivor myself, I began my journey to healing through a combination of mind, spirit and body therapies and my life has never been the same. I feel like my spiritual path has dictated the direction of my life and my career, and I feel it is my calling and passion to work with individuals who have been wounded through abuse. Through my training, life healing, and professional experience I feel very confident that I can aid my clients to move from surviving to thriving in their lives.
I utilize an experiential approach that gives clients the ability to access parts of themselves they can’t normally contact in other therapy methods. I work with the mind-body-spirit connection to help release unwanted patterns/beliefs and unresolved old feelings that are blocking their self-acceptance and ability to have satisfying relationships. Psychodrama is an experiential therapeutic tool that provides a method for group members to move quickly and effectively into the pain of their core issues while aiding them in redirecting their experiences towards healing. Psychodrama also offers a safe setting where members can reveal their memories in a dramatic form with or without words.
EMDR utilizes the natural healing ability of your body by integrating frozen traumatic material through the brain’s adaptive processing network. This process gives the experiences new meaning while decreasing the arousal associated with the memory, frees the body to experience a safe internal state, and increases your overall well-being. Inner child work aids in the connecting of the self that was lost during moments of abuse. This process facilitates self and other acceptance, love and creativity. Art and creative therapies allows the client to express and heal their wounds through any creative medium that speaks to them.
How EMDR and Psychodrama Holistically Address the Impacts of Sexual Violence
When clients are given a creative, unstructured environment for personal expression, whether through psychodrama, art therapy, or experiential therapy, they experience a freedom that allows them to uncover and express their inner feelings that were formerly bound by the shame of their trauma. By using art and play to communicate, clients often better express their feelings than if they were to convey emotions verbally because often times the experience is stored without words. One of the main goals of psychodrama is to create a cathartic effect to allow for emotional release. Psychodrama additionally assists in promoting creativity and insight into the relationship of how the past affects the present. Although our first instinct is to push the horrific experiences deep into our unconscious, psychodrama uses creative methods to depict how unless the trauma is processed, it can manifest in many ways. Those impacts wreak havoc in the lives and relationships of the survivors. In addition, this process facilitates the healing of the past, reality testing, and supports the creation of new ways of being.
EMDR directly targets the ways the trauma has impacted our self concepts in the form of negative cognitions about ourselves and the world. There is so much self-blame when sexual violence occurs. EMDR directly confronts these negative self-blame cognitions and then replaces them with the truth. Trauma is stored in the body and EMDR specifically targets the feelings within the body and facilitates their release through catharsis and letting go of the pain. Inner child work directly allows the survivor to get in touch with the vulnerable innocence of the self before the world was colored by the lens of trauma. It is a way to see the self apart from the violation and to look at oneself with compassion and love.
Modifications for Survivors
Safety is a number one priority in my practice. Providing the survivor with choice, equality, freedom and community recourses are an essential part of the therapeutic process. Additionally, I have a passion for providing therapy to clients with low income which allows for greater accessibility of services.
Additional Areas of Expertise
I have experience working with the Christian community (providing psycho-educational classes for survivors of trauma) and working with church leaders on how to facilitate providing safety for this population. I also have experience working with children and adolescent survivors of sexual violence.
I am able to offer sliding-scale services.