Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy Black.
Tammy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From a very early age, I have lived all over the place. Colorado is my seventh state of residence in the US. I have lived in two other countries: As a student in a German city bordering the Netherlands and as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in the Republic of Moldova. What these experiences, and the countless times traveling and backpacking, had taught me most of all was that the human experience is greatly defined by the way we respond and adapt to change.
When I arrived in Boulder to attend Naropa University for a Master of Arts in Contemplative Psychotherapy, I was ready to explore this theory by using present-moment awareness to help others reconnect with their innate basic goodness. This concept of basic goodness, that at our core we are naturally healthy, lays the ground for the resilience that is necessary for: recovering from trauma, expressing a balanced response to transitions, and welcoming endings with an honest heart. Currently, in my work in Boulder, as a psychotherapist, I utilize present-moment and relationship-based modalities to help my clients reconnect with self. I have found that healing, reparative relationship(s) in therapy have enduring effects.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. I began studying psychology right out of high school. However, due to complications brought on by my history of trauma, I suspended my studies. It was nearly ten years later that I was able to return to university. After finishing my Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Washington and beginning to work with the loved ones of murder victims, I began to see the impacts of devastating trauma in a day-to-day way on the clients I supported. Shortly thereafter, my educational plans did not pan out, so I joined the Peace Corps. While teaching community awareness practices, psychology and health education to students in Moldova, I once again began to have my own health issues. After returning to the US, I began an intense journey of healing: both mind and body. It was during this time that I discovered Naropa University. After many years of training, healing practices and continued self-exploration, I have found balance and resilience.
Balanced Transitions – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in grief and loss; however, it is vital to say that this does not only mean “loss” in the way that mainstream looks at grief. We all have experienced a loss. Maybe it was a relationship, a career, our own health due to illness, our own mobility due to injury, a loved one dying, or perhaps, our innocence and sense of safety after an assault. The human species is in constant change. Sometimes it’s subtle; sometimes, it is in an instance. I work with clients when they are ready to mourn their old self and connect with their new self. This self begins to emerge when life happens and they find themselves unsure, scared, or tired of old harmful views/behaviors.
Before anything, I focus on creating a space that is safe. This sets the ground for delving into the intense, challenging work that invariably arises. I come from a place of trusting my client’s inner wisdom and basic goodness. And we always do it together. I believe in collaborative/co-creative therapy work. We explore the modalities that work best for them.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is when a client begins to recognize their inner voice(s) and respond from a place of wisdom and compassion. Life will keep happening and I am a proponent of helping people remember their basic goodness and learn how to listen to their truest self so that the choices they make in this life moving forward are honest and from a place of empowerment.
- Address: 1800 30th Street Suite 207, Boulder CO 80301
- Website: balancedtransitions.com
- Phone: 303-946-6070
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All portraits of me by Emily Trevillian, June 2018