Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Markley.
Katie, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I guess the journey to being here really starts way back, with the heartbreak and tragedy of losing several members of my family. It was so painful and required that, at 17, I really form some beliefs about what life is about and how to work with suffering.
That experience let me to Buddhist philosophy and travel as a way to seek wisdom from other cultures. I also learned about pushing myself in wilderness settings, moving throughout the discomfort required to summit a mountain or the fear of backpacking solo. These experiences helped me to find confidence in the cyclical process of trudging through the darkness to get to the light. All of this helped me in feeling prepared to become a therapist. This path has allowed me some access to understand the texture of suffering and how to be with it.
I had initially been interested in art therapy but honestly only had a limited concept of what this meant. When I began my masters at Naropa University in Art Therapy and Transpersonal Psychology, I came to find that it required not just educational experience but all of my life experience to be with people in a healing capacity. I was able to continue my healing process as I was steeped in a community of fellow seekers committed to personal growth. Psychedelic therapy helped me immensely and I was amazed at how deep I could go; how much work could happen in just one experience.
As a new therapist, I refined my craft by continually asking myself, “What truly helps people?” I found somatic trauma therapy and altered states psychotherapy to be my main modalities. I’ve been in private practice since 2012 and, just last year, was trained by MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) in the MDMA protocol for treating PTSD. I’ve also been practicing ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for a little over a year with the Integrative Psychiatry Center here in Boulder.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t know if somewhere really worth getting is ever a smooth ride. But no, I can say there have been some genuine struggles related to smoothing out my rough edges and learning to trust my capacity. Being with people in a vulnerable and authentic way requires a lot of learning and practice. Through my own process I’ve been humbled in understanding there is always more to learn, I don’t think we ever just arrive.
In growing my business, I can recall feeling very nervous before each session, questioning if I had something to offer and fearing my clients might call me out for not being what they needed. I can see now it was the growing pains that any real guide has to go through to own their capacity as the healer. Thankfully I’ve come to learn that I don’t have to know it all or be everything for my clients. I just have to know how to relate in a real and heartfelt way to whatever emerges.
We’d love to hear more about your practice.
I have a beautiful private office in East Boulder, where I see adult clients who have trauma and want to thrive in their lives. My practice incorporates many tools including art therapy, psychedelic integration work, somatic trauma work, co-dependence work, EMDR and addictions counseling. I’m also at the Integrative Psychiatry Center 2 days/week offering Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. These clients typically coming to the clinic with trauma, suicidal ideation and chronic depression.
Sometimes people ask how I can hold space for such painful experiences every day at work. I like to share that it’s been a practice to cultivate energetic, emotional and spiritual boundaries while still allowing myself to be fully present. I have an amazing mentor who says, It’s ok to lead with your heart.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Haha, it’s a fun question, and I have to laugh because the first thing that comes to mind is sort of strange but that’s what I love about kids, they are so spontaneous and open. I have a toddler and teenage step-daughter and, besides being a therapist, being their mom is my main identity. I’m in love with watching them show me who they are.
So the memory I’m recalling is that for most of my childhood, I was an only child and I loved inventing elaborate settings where I could play by myself. I took all of my stuffies and dolls and set them around the house in little beds. Then I made a “file,” or page in my notebook all about them. I created an orphanage and would have my mom come to adopt them. I can remember her being surprised that this was my favorite play. When I was an adult she reminded me that my other favorite thing was to play homeless with my dolls under the kitchen table. The childhood of an empath, what can I say.
- Individual psychotherapy $120 for 50 minutes
- Address: 1650 38th St Suite 100 E
Boulder, CO. 80301
- Website: www.katiemarkley.com www.psychiatrycenters.com
- Phone: 541.513.7769
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/art.somatic.trauma/