We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Patterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a very curious thing. I have mostly thought of myself as risk averse but when I look at the decisions and actions of my life and career I see that I have a pretty high risk tolerance. Some of the most risky things I’ve done in life and business have been the most fruitful , including moving across the country for graduate school, deciding to stay in the place I moved to (Colorado) to build my career, starting my own business immediately after school instead of getting married to a job, adding modalities and evolving my practice many times over the years, adding a “taboo” modality to my work and getting some flack from my professional field as I did that but continuing to move forward, investing in different business supports like building an online course and much more. I believe that to be any type of business owner it takes a certain level of risk tolerance, even if simply from the ups and downs of business and how world events can impact that (my business took a big hit in the beginning of the covid crisis and then a huge boom later on). Learning how to become more risk tolerant over the years has definitely given me a kind of “grit” that I don’t think I would have developed had I landed myself in a corporate or mental health agency type job where I didn’t handle any of the behind the scenes business practices.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a somatic counselor who blends my counseling training / trauma informed care / holistic views of the body and how it works with the psyche with pelvic floor therapy and women’s health work. My combination of trainings is very specialized / unique / specific. I don’t know anyone who holds the combination of trainings that I do or works the way I do. This has created an incredible specialty and practice for me and at times can also be isolating which is why I am moving into training other professionals into this work. The world so badly longs for holistic, caring, trauma-informed, integrity-full approaches to pelvic healing. My path was definitely not easy but it was intuitive and flowed very well. I believe my strong sense of intuition led me to somatic work and there are only a few programs for somatic counseling in the country. I zeroed in on the field quickly and dove in fast. The process was illuminating and also very painful as I had little exposure to the spiritual or holistic side of life from my upbringing. It was shocking in many ways and I held a lot in my body that needed to be addressed and worked with before I could consider working with others. This reality brought me to the pelvic health field right alongside my graduate work. It felt like my experience in the somatic counseling field was missing something and I found it in the bodywork field. Fairly soon after finishing graduate school and beginning to build my practice I returned to heavy duty training in bodywork and pelvic floor therapy. Fusing my modalities and trainings has been an incredible learning curve, one that I have carved out for myself. I received pushback many times and I kept moving forward despite the level of questioning and doubt I faced. I also received such needed encouragement and validation from the right type of people that I did want to listen to and this helped me persevere. Many standard practices in pelvic healing work function on extremes. On one end, many practitioners in the medical field are left without training on consent, change without pain, trauma or emotional / psychological stress. Others who are passionate about the profound nature of this work from an explorative place often need more training in anatomy & science, how to create safety, clarity, balancing boundaries & attunement with personal autonomy in a healing space. I had a hard time finding the right place for me amidst these extremes because I do not resonate with either side of the spectrum. I feel that this polarity and shadow highlights a deep and ancient need in humans. My desire is to give women the safe, empowered, clear path to finding their center, ground, and truth. With clarity, boundaries, safety building, self-regulation, and the training to back it up, people have an incredible experience of transformation through this work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For me, food and culture and music are the top pieces about this. I know Denver is known for it’s outdoor opportunities so I think I would blend an experience of the city with the access to outdoor beauty. I’d take them to Sushi Den for dinner , Lucille’s for breakfast, Milk Bar for dancing, a Red Rocks concert if the season was there, and to Chatfield reservoir weather permitting. For hot springs, I’d take them to Strawberry and tour around the Steamboat Springs area. For beauty and peace in nature in the winter months I’d refer them to my partner’s adventure business as he guides ice fishing and it is epic (and warm with a heated hut!). I am self admittedly not the most skilled outdoors person so I usually leave the adventures to him. I’d take them to Boulder for bicycling around town and a walk around my favorite lakes or trails.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely, so so many people! Can I list multiple…. Tami Kent, my trainer / teacher into pelvic floor therapy. Mayan Uterine massage therapy, my training into abdominal massage and uterine massage therapy. Naropa University faculty for an incredibly unique education. Duey Freeman and Leah D’Abate, two of my most long-term and influencing relationships in my experience in the counseling world. Melissa Walker and Jen Ross, close colleagues and supporters of my evolution. Jen Ross, a very close colleague and supporter of my evolution. Elizabeth Corrigan, a very influential relationship that shepherded me into the pelvic health field with integrity and mentorship. Melissa Michaels, an influential teacher in the field of somatic work / movement as therapy. Zoe Avstreih, Ryan Kennedy and Christine Caldwell, some of my most influential teachers and mentors in the field of dance movement therapy Ryan Kennedy, one of my most influential teachers and mentors in the field of dance movement therapy & somatic work (delete the extra repeat description and add Ryan Kennedy to Zoe Avstreih). My partner Adam Pudik for being a constant source of encouragement and help. My parents, David & Teresa who at first raised eyebrows at what I wanted to create and and now are in full support and encouragement. My dear friends for the laughter, support, questions, hugs, and high fives along the way.
Rick Cummings Micah McKenzie