Denver community resources to support your therapy journey

Self-Care Resources

One of the most important aspects of overcoming challenging life events is the ability to cultivate a strong self care practice. Self-care is a highly individual and dynamic process, and no two paths look the same. Sometimes we can try something that doesn’t resonate or feel supportive, and it is critical to listen to that and continue experimenting with what your mind-body-heart most needs in a given moment, season, year, or life stage.

Engaging in your own self-care while in therapy can enhance the therapeutic process, and increase access to important inner resources necessary for healing. This self-guided process may include some combination of mental, emotional, somatic, creative, spiritual, and nature-based resources. For example, if in therapy you are working through past trauma, it can be critical to have tools to help you regulate and integrate between sessions. This could include drumming, mindful movement, martial arts, grounding in nature, etc. From a neuroscience perspective, “neurons that fire together, wire together”, so the more we engage in our self-care practice, the more available these resources will be during both moments of rest and distress.

Below, I’ve provided a list of local, external resources in the greater Denver area which I often recommend or refer clients to. A good rule of thumb for navigating this process is to take a moment, sense what’s happening in your body, and take several deep breaths to ground yourself. You might then ask yourself “what is it my body/heart/mind really needing right now? You may notice images, thoughts, emotions, movement impulses and body sensations.. Give yourself a moment to observe, recognize and allow what is here, and then allow your body to respond in a way that feels right or good. At this point, you may sense inspiration to take action of some kind, be it walking in nature, taking a restorative or more active yoga class, creating art, drumming, being in community, or deep rest. If you feel like you are needing some additional support, the below list may be a good place to cultivate self-care in community. As you experiment with various practices, it’s important to listen deeply to what you want to take in, and what you want to leave at the door. It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong here, and to trust the wisdom of your body and intuition.

Visual Arts

Explore a variety of adult classes including watercolor, drawing, fiber arts, printmaking, mixed media, etc.-Art Student’s League of Denver

Art Journaling classes offered in person and online-Judith Cassel-Mamet and Craftsy


Music Classes, Concerts, Community Events- Swallow Hill Music

African Drumming- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Dance and Movement

Monthly movement therapy groups, goddess workshops, women’s self-defense, community grief rituals-Communitas

World Dance Studio for adults including Bellydance, AfroCaribe, Bollywood, Hula, and more- Bella Diva Dance

Drop in dance classes including hip hop, african, zumba, modern, and ballet- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

Trauma Informed Yoga classes- Arielle Schwartz, Center for Trauma and Resiliency

Nature Resources

Goat Yoga and Puppy Yoga classes- Yoga Pergegrina at Barnyard Buddies

Sloth Meet and Greet at the Denver Aquarium- Denver Aquarium

Grounding in Nature- Hudson Gardens, Bear Creek Lake Park, Denver Botanic Gardens, Wild Animal Sanctuary

Wellness Resources

Watsu- Bodywork in warm water using rhythmic floating and stretching- Celestial Seahorse

Therapeutic Massage- Asiana Harper, Allison Benner

Community (lower cost) Acupuncture- Acupuncture Lounge

Salt Cave Therapy including classes held in a beautiful salt cave including qigong, yoga nidra, and singing bowl meditations- 5 Star Salt Caves

Meditation Resources

Free meditations and talks online by buddhist-based psychologist Tara Brach- Tara Brach

Neurosculpting Meditation- Neurosculpting Institute

Community Meditation Classes- Mayu Sanctuary

Support Groups

Dance/Movement Therapy and Awakening Artemis groups- Communitas

WINGS support groups for survivors of childhood sexual abuse- WINGS Foundation

12 Step Groups- Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA), Al Anon, Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Codependents Anonymous, 12-Step Yoga and more- ACA , CoDA , Al Anon , OA , 12 Step Yoga

Buddhist Informed Addiction Recovery- Refuge Recovery

The Phoenix-Sober Active Community- The Phoenix

Meditation-based addiction recovery at Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver- Heart of Recovery

Healing Trauma

Understanding Trauma

When you hear the word trauma, many things may come to mind. Of course there are the big contenders, including school shootings, natural disasters, and child abuse. Traumatic stress can also include things that didn't happen such as lack of emotional support and lack of protection.

By definition, traumatic stress is an overwhelming experience which cannot be integrated into the larger sense of Self. This can range from a one time event with a clear beginning and end, to ongoing, chronic exposure within the family environment. When the impact of a traumatic experience outweighs one’s inner and outer resources available at the time, symptoms of PTSD can develop, among other common mental health diagnoses including depression, anxiety, panic disorder, eating disorders, addiction, and so forth.

On a neurobiological level, the unprocessed body sensations, movement impulses, images, emotions, and negative beliefs are stored in an undigested, implicit form, and devoid of a sense of “it’s over”. The hippocampus is a very important part of our brain whose job is to act as a time stamp so that we know “something from the past is being activated right now” and "I'm safe now".  When experiences overwhelm a person's resources the processing remains stuck, much like a record player looping. It's important to keep in mind some factors which increase the likelihood of this looping, including developmental age, length of time exposed, and degree of support available.

Turning Toward Healing

There are many helpful teachings that help me stay hopeful and passionate amidst the difficulty of this work. Bonnie Badenoch suggests using the terms “touched” and “awakened” rather than the more familiar language “triggered”, when implicit memory comes to the surface. In her newly released book The Heart of Trauma, she writes “it may sound strange…but the shift in language seems to put us in a different relationship with the memories, and they begin to respond by arriving more gently” and goes on to say “perhaps it also better honors that the implicit is awakening in search of healing rather than to harm us”. 

Approaches to Healing Trauma

 Effective trauma treatment requires that we attend to all levels of our being-mind, body, emotions, and spirit. One of the most effective forms of psychotherapy available to us is EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy). EMDR therapy pairs bilateral stimulation eye (alternating taps, or tones) with traumatic memories and healing resources, to support our whole system in riding the waves of the past while held in the safety and compassion of the present moment. Negative beliefs about oneself can transform from “I’m bad” or "I'm not good enough" to “I am okay as I am”, as an example. Other effective treatment approaches include somatic therapy (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing), Parts Work (ego-state therapy, Internal Family Systems, gestalt), and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy. 

Energy therapies such as Healing Touch and Reiki describe how our energy field diseases from the outside in, and heals from the inside out. From a mindfulness perspective, the principle of Organicity (Kurtz) helps us remember that our bodies/hearts/minds/spirits are a wellspring of resources for self-healing. Exploring your own personal needs and preferences is essential, and may include complimentary healing approaches such as qigong, nature bodywork, energy healing, nutritional care, yoga, acupuncture, and creative expression (journaling, dance, art, music), letting your intuition be your guide. For me, the combination of weekly personal therapy, nutrition, and a daily yoga practice helps me maintain a grounded, compassionate space to attune to inner experiences and nurture myself.

While this looks different for everyone, the act of curiosity into our deepest selves can be a transformative and satisfying experience as we allow our innate healing to unfold, like a lotus in muddy water. 

For more information on this topic, please refer to