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Somatic Expressive Arts for Moving through a Rite of Passage
w/Dr. Rhea Komarek, D.C., RSME (she/her)

Integrating Polyvagal Theory, Somatic Movement, and the Tamalpa Life/Art Process

 

Are you navigating a pivotal life transition? Be it the challenges of parenting, encountering major life changes,  experiencing perimenopause or menopause, transforming your career, caring for an ailing family member, or preparing for an empty nest - these are significant chapters in the story of your life. You don’t have to walk this path alone. This program offers one-on-one support, tailored to provide your experiences with the meaningful context they deserve. Together, we'll explore these transitions, offering you creative opportunities to befriend this chapter of your life as you skillfully navigate your way through it. 

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Working Together

Navigate Your Current Pathway with a Rite of Passage Journey

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Step 1:  Orient

We kick off with a series of 6 one hour sessions, scheduled weekly for the first month and then every other week in the second month. This phase is about setting the groundwork for further work while also helping you to connect to where you are in you life and where you want to go next.  In this phase we meet the three primary states of the nervous system as defined by polyvagal theory and listen to them as important inner characters that inform how we are responding to and feeling about our lived experience.  These layers of exploration are like map making in the midst of the liminal space that rites of passages bring. These 6 sessions can be taken as a stand alone experience, or as part of the full Rite of Passage journey.

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Step 2:  Change

In months 3-4 , we continue to meet every other week. This pace continues to support you in discovering the ways in which you want to move with your life as more layers of polyvagal theory are explored as they relate to what you are experiencing.  We see how some of our inner experience can transform when there is enough safety on board to support us.  We identify what is important to you now in your process of becoming.

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Step 3:  Build & Grow

Months 5-9 we meet once a month. These sessions are crafted to build on each other, offering you a structured yet flexible path to personal growth.  Each session offers space to explore layers of your life with a canvas of expressive arts there to support your inquiries.  Creativity is unlocked as an essential way in which to mark this time in your life.

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Step 4:  Beyond

After the initial phases, we move with your evolving vision, continuing our work together if you wish in a way that supports you best.

This program is not just a set of sessions; it's a journey designed with your specific needs in mind, offering flexibility to meet your evolving life material.

Benefits

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Connection to

Self-Expression 

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Exploration of Meaning and Purpose

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Cultivation of Creativity and Inspiration

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Access to Soothing Somatic Practices

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Deeper Relationship with The Nervous System States & Their Voices

Session Rates

The program sessions are $170/1 hour session.  The entire series is purchased one session at a time so that clients always retain the agency to continue or pause at their own pace. Sessions are offered in person or online.

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Methods 

01

Polyvagal Theory

Polyvagal Theory, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges in the 1990s, is a theory that integrates neuroscience with psychology, offering insights into human behavior, emotional regulation, and social connection. It posits that there are three distinct branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that govern our reactions to perceived threat and perceived safety: the dorsal vagal system (associated with a collapse response), the sympathetic nervous system (associated with fight or flight responses), and the newest branch in evolutionary terms, the ventral vagal complex (associated with social engagement, resourcefulness, and creativity).

 

In studio we use this as a framework to notice textures in our response to life as well as a way to use the wisdom of the nervous system as a support for how we play and move through in-studio experiences.

02

Somatic Movement

Somatic movement refers to a focus on the internal experience of movement rather than its external appearance or outcome. It's grounded in the awareness of the body's sensations and the connection between the mind and body. The term "somatic" derives from the Greek word "soma," meaning the living body in its wholeness.

Each session has some guided somatic awareness or movement  as a means of helping the client to connect to practices that can be used ongoing for self-soothing and landing into the present moment.  These are inspired by years of training and practice in methods such as Continuum, Yoga, Hanna Somatics, Chiropractic, and Laban Movement Analysis.


This method also helps to guide a client into the beginnings of movement explorations in an accessible way for people brand new to somatic and creative movement. 

03

Tamalpa Life/Art Process

The Tamalpa Life/Art Process is an innovative approach to wellness and creativity that integrates movement, visual arts, and expressive writing to facilitate personal growth, awareness, and transformation.

It combines elements of somatic awareness, psychological exploration, and artistic expression, aiming to bring artistic awareness into life, and to work with life material in an artistic way.

Participants in the Tamalpa Life/Art Process engage in a variety of activities, including guided movement, drawing, and writing prompts to explore their inner landscapes and express themselves creatively.  The process is designed to help individuals access and articulate deep truths, uncover and shift patterns, and foster a greater sense of embodiment and empowerment.

The process facilitates self-discovery by moving out of linear everyday thinking and into creative domains in order to re-enter the everyday with new insights and a more integrated sense of self.

Most clients are brand new to exploring movement, drawing, and creative writing in this way.  We introduce these methods step by step so that it is a comfortable and generative experience!

What Others Are Saying

For the first time in over a decade since identifying my own seasonal depression episodes I can actually listen to my nervous system. I don't say this lightly, but this program taught me how to listen, and changed my life!" -Layla S, LMFT

 

"Working with Dr. Rhea and learning about polyvagal theory has allowed me to better manage my anxiety symptoms. I can now better maneuver those symptoms, and day-to-day the tools Dr. Rhea has provided me help me and my body better navigate life's ups and downs. Dr. Rhea is patient and kind, she provides an environment that is both safe and nurturing and I am grateful for her guidance." -Meg R., EMT-P

"Working with Rhea has opened my eyes to the incredible mind/body connection. It’s been unbelievably helpful to learn how to move and breathe through all the different stresses of life. Rhea is so nurturing and kind-hearted and each session is tailored to you. Highly recommend!"-Lindsey P.

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Book a Free
Exploratory Session

Meet with Dr. Rhea over video chat for a free 20 minute session where you can explore the Rite of Passage Program together and see if it is a good next step for you to take.  If you don't see a time and date that works for you, please text the studio at 707-257-1011 and we will find another time to connect.

Dr. Rhea's Training & Experience

Chiropractic:

I am no longer accepting new chiropractic clients, however, a decade and a half of working hands on with the spine and focusing on nervous system tone informs my somatic movement work.  

Zone Healing Chiropractic, 13 years of experience. 

Bio Geometric Integration, 12 years of experience with my own approach to this chiropractic philosophy and practice.  This creates an in-depth way in which I can feel and help to release patterns of held tensions and traumas throughout the system, in a way that is the most gentle and respectful of the person and tissues at hand.

Polyvagal Informed light touch of areas of the head and neck associated with cranial nerves and the vagal nerve that make up the "polyvagal" neurological system.

Activator and Drop Table

Webster Certified for Prenatal Care with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association

Tamalpa Life/Art Process (Somatic Expressive Art):

Tamalpa Level 2 Training Current Class: September 2023-October 2024

 

Tamalpa Level 1 Training Graduate April 2022-Spring 2023

Retreats and ongoing participation with Tamalpa Institute and the work of Anna Halprin (2010-Present) with Anna Halprin, Rosario Summartino, Dohee Lee, and Daria Halprin.

Somatic Movement:​

Individual Mentoring with Amber Gray, PHD, MPH, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC, Summer 2021-Winter 2023, Ongoing as needed.

B.A. in Dance from University of Washington with focus on Dance Therapy and Improvisation​​

Vinyasa Yoga Teacher, trained at Om Yoga in NYC in 2001.  

Countless hours in studios in San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Boston, and Burlington with Haitian, Cuban, West African, and Modern Dance instructors and choreographers across numerous dance and dance theater specializations.

Conference Participant:  Engaging Embodiment; Somatic Applications for Health, Education, & Social Justice, Feb-Dec 2021 through ISMETA

Continuum Student & Personal Daily Practice Fall 2019 to Present (Teachers I have experienced include Beth Riley, Marcella Bottero, Marilyn Montgomery, Amber Grey, and Bonnie Gintis)

Hannah Somatics Personal Daily Practice learned from senior teacher Phil Shenk also informs my somatic awareness.

Polyvagal Theory:

Individual Mentoring with Amber Gray, PHD, MPH, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC, Summer 2021-Winter 2023, Ongoing as needed.​​

Polyvagal Institute Summit Oct. 2022

The Rhythm of Regulation formal Training Level 1 with Deb Dana and Trainers.  Offered through the Polyvagal Institute.  April -Aug 2021

Safe and Sound Protocol Certified for In Person and Virtual Delivery (SSP) (Not currently delivering SSP)

Professional Training with Jeff Rockwell​​, DC, DOMP 2020

Personal Development courses (Ground in the Swirl) with Amber Gray 2020

Books:  Polyvagal Theory for Safety and Connection, The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy, Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory, Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve, Polyvagal Theory and the Developing Child

Mind/Body:

Training in Relaxation Response instruction as researched by Dr. Herbert Benson

Ad Hart Facilitator, for teaching the Hart Math method of establishing coherence

Self-Compassion technique as taught by Dr. Kristin Neff

Conferences with The Greater Good Institute on Gratitude and Awe

Institute of Noetic Sciences Conference with a full day of study with Rupert Sheldrake

Former Concept Therapy instructor.  Through deep participation with this work I have found ways to help clients both through the use of “mind/body” awareness for one’s benefit, as well as a deep understanding of the potential pit-falls of using “mind/body” techniques and metaphysical approaches that begin to actually dysregulate the nervous system through denial of one’s whole experience.  Deep understanding of the pitfalls of focusing only on "the good" while ignoring the body's need to be listened to when signaling "the bad", aka spiritual bypassing.

Currently an “Insight Timer” meditation instructor with free guided visualizations available.

Professional Development Through Experience:

​​​

Documentary Filmmaking of the film “Love Bomb” (2015)

Development of the “My Love Bomb Program” (2015-2018)

Leading and developing women’s “You Matter” groups throughout the U.S. (2016-2018)

Professional Cycling Team Chiropractor for Bontrager Livestrong, 2012 & 2013 seasons

Volunteer Chiropractor for Pathway Home Program, 2011 -2013

International Chiropractic Service work in El Salvador, India, and Peru

Being a Parent, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend and Human in the ever unfolding process of life.​​

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