My Background

Rabbis are spiritual teachers, and I worked in the fields of mindfulness, education,

counseling, and conflict resolution for over a decade before earning my doctorate in Clinical

Psychology and moving primarily into therapeutic work, with expertise in integrative, somatic

approaches to the healing of personal and inherited trauma.

My rabbinical studies were originally motivated by a thirst for the deep waters of healing wisdom

which course through Jewish tradition.  I had earned degrees in Physical and Social sciences, as

well as Philosophy prior to my ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.  So I brought a

multidisciplinary outlook to my deep study of trauma and research in psychotherapy.  I found

Somatic Experiencing, an integrative technique developed by Peter Levine which has integrated

psychology, neuroscientific theory, and body-centered therapies, in 2010.  And I studied the

technique and its derivatives with both Dr. Levine and a number of his protégées from around the world.  Soon I was discovering how valuable the technique was in my work with individuals, families, and communities.

Deepening my study of personal and collective healing with doctoral research at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, I began consulting internationally about how to apply contemporary understandings of trauma and recovery that can be discerned in ancient spiritual traditions, in integrative ways.  Since becoming certified as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in 2014, I have helped to teach that technique as well as derivative ones, including Integrative Somatic Psychology developed by Raja Selvam, EmotionAid developed by Gina Ross, and Full Embodiment developed by Ariel Giaretto. These share a common thread, which is to help us emerge from the shadow of trauma and reconnect us to our innate capacity for a life of vitality, deep emotion, meaning, relationship, and dignity, by supporting the integration of our body, mind, and spirit. 

An award-winning writer, educator, and researcher, I have worked since 2011 with the International Trauma-Healing Institute to deepen understanding of contemporary research in trauma healing among religious leaders around the world and to create new resources in English and in Hebrew.  I began working in integrative trauma treatment centers in Los Angeles in 2017 and completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2018. 

My community work has been supported by the Ariane de Rothschild Foundation and my creative work has been featured by ELI Talks and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Ethics and on podcasts produced by the Sinai and Synapses Fellowship, a national cohort of scientists and religious leaders who see Science and Religion as integral aspects of how we understand the world.  I brings these tools to individual and organizational clients--from non-profit boards to community-wide collaborations--in an effort to sharing healing far and wide.

My Practice

My practice includes private individual, couples, and family counseling as well as group counseling and facilitation.  I assist in trainings and provide supervision in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing® technique, in Raja Selvam’s Integral Somatic Psychology, and in Emotional First Aid for Stress and Trauma (EFAST®) to therapists, spiritual teachers, and others.

There can be many kinds goals for the counseling relationship.  Some are long-term goals such as improving the quality of your life, learning to live with mindfulness, or self-actualization.  Other goals may be more immediate such as decreasing symptoms of anxiety or depression,  changing behavior, developing healthy relationships, or decreasing/ending cravings or drug use.  

My focus is on supporting my clients’ self-attunement and self-regulation, for my overarching goal is to empower my clients with tools they can bring into their lives.  Whatever your goals for counseling, these define the course of our work together.  While I may make suggestions on how to reach that goal based on my expertise, you will decide where you want to go.

Couples and families can grow together in the counseling experience, and it is often helpful for parents to share in their children’s healing journey in sessions together or in parallel.  I am happy to help you consider what opportunities for unique family learning experiences could work well for you, as well as to make referrals for other family members, as appropriate.

Founding Director of The Source: Gathering Waters, which brings Jewish wisdom, ritual, and spiritual practice to support integrative, embodied healing, I am also a fellow of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL) in their Sinai and Synapses and Rabbis Without Borders fellowships and a Research Scholar at the Pardes Center for Judaism & Conflict Resolution in Jerusalem, and a member of Neshama: the National Association of Jewish Chaplains.  My ongoing doctoral research at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary explores resources within Jewish tradition for individual and collective healing, resilience, and conflict resolution.

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Copyright Rabbi Arielle Hanien. All rights reserved.