I am now in my third year as a graduate student at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. These past several years have been a season of deep work. In addition to becoming a healer, as someone who reckons with C-PTSD (complex trauma), depression, and anxiety, I have needed much of my own healing. My therapeutic journey has been a bit of a mashup between Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Tolkien’s description of the Mines of Moria—in deep dark places, I have encountered so much unexpected, wild life and beauty; and also some Balrogs.
What has saved me, honestly, is the presence of Jesus; some wild, strange artists who have become dear friends; and the parts of myself that have the capacity to create and speak in places where, because of trauma, I have no words. It’s become necessary for me to slow down my academic learning, and intentionally give space for embodied forms of expression, namely visual art and poetry, and lots of long walks in the woods and along Seattle’s many beaches.
I have come to realize that my vocational training as a therapist is integrally woven with my identity as an artist. Writing in particular is developing as a form of beauty-creating, truth-telling, and warfare. Creative modalities are essential to my philosophy of therapy and healing. Creativity is a marker of psychological health, and the mediums of art and writing allow people access and integrate parts of their emotional experience that they may not yet be able to consciously experience or symbolize in plain language. The nature of trauma is to divide the self and keep stories hidden in the dark, laden with shame. Art (writing, dance, music) allows stories to be brought into the light, grieved, and redemptively reclaimed for the beauty and glory of God.
As an emerging writer, I use the Patreon platform to invite others to support my work and development. This allows me to share my work with those who journey with me, and also helps pragmatically to defray the costs of grad school, rent in Seattle, and my own therapy.
As people who have known me and supported me in the past, I would love to invite you to continue support of the work I do. My Patreon site is set up in tiers, which allows folks giving options. Patrons also receive access to my written work, which ranges from poetry to short prose pieces.
You can access my Patreon page at this link: http://www.patreon.com/genlev
Feel free to share that link with friends who are also lovers of poetry and champions of beauty against the forces of darkness.