Learn about Somatic Coach, Rowen Svoboda, at Connected Brain Counseling.
Rowen Svoboda is the newest addition to the Connected Brain Counseling team. However, she is far from new to the field. Rowen has worked doing everything from building horse corrals to holding grief ceremonies under the sky. She boasts nearly a decade working in mental health under her own practice where she offered Neurofeedback and Counseling as a Registered Psychotherapist.
Her style is warm, welcoming and professional. You know when you speak to Rowen that she is a gentle soul who is highly competent in her niche. Our team is grateful to have her work with us as a Somatic Coach, guiding women with PTSD and other mental health goals to reconnect with their bodies.
Tell us about what drew you to working in mental health
I had wanted a career that would directly impact others, and while my entry into the field was totally serendipitous - originally, I was training to be an anthropologist and study large scale humanitarian issues.
I had a remarkable experience in college, researching systemic issues of war and cultural conflict. Through experience in advocacy and non-profit work, I really “got” that culture changes from within and began to feel more aligned with the positive impact of psychology for systemic change.
After college, my own healing journey led me to study all forms of healing, especially neurofeedback, coaching and counseling. Then, I had a series of serendipitous moments that led me to open up my own neurofeedback clinic and worked as a registered psychotherapist for almost a decade. Then and now, I feel so blessed - I have discovered my calling.
What is your favorite part about working in mental health?
The sacredness of witnessing the human experience is truly awe inspiring. My favorite part of working in the field is that I get to hold space equally for challenge and suffering alongside truly beautiful moments of revelation and joy.
It is such a privilege to bear witness to the human experience in this way. I am so inspired by both my clients’ and my own inner process of transformation. I deeply value the trust placed in me by clients. I am always striving to learn and embody the work - but ultimately, my favorite part of mental health is the unfolding grace of healing that takes places through this unique container of witness and listening.
What do you struggle with the most with working in mental health?
Working in this field, especially in 1:1 work, requires me to continuously work on myself. Rather than a struggle, it is a necessary and worthy challenge to continue to show up and grow myself. I am human too, so I don’t always meet my own mark. However, I am continually learning to be more transparent in myself and with clients, which requires me to practice a lot of self-reflection, self-awareness and mostly, self-compassion. I am practicing giving myself the same advice I give to my clients, which means I can spend a lot of my time when I am not working studying and taking care of myself.
This is the invisible part of the job - continuous self-care and practice. It isn’t always easy to stay on top of life’s demands, but I find that when I can spend at least 1-2 hours a day learning, making art or resting, I feel spacious and have an immense capacity to hold space for others.
What drew you to getting trained in neurofeedback?
Many members of my family received Neurofeedback and raved about the results. Initially skeptical, my own positive experience led to an immense passion to understand how it works. I studied and became certified in one form of Neurofeedback, and then had remarkable experiences working across Colorado in addictions centers and doing family visits witnessing first-hand profound results in otherwise treatment-resistant conditions like fetal alcohol poisoning, severe addiction, even autism and cerebral palsy.
What type of client do you work best with?
I work especially well with women and LGBTQIA+ who are navigating burnout, health issues or are deeply questioning who they are and what they are doing in their lives.
So often, women and marginalized people can be ignored when requesting treatment. This is compounded by a high degree of systemic trauma, being highly sensitive or in some cases, early childhood neglect, which leads to taking care of and managing everyone else’s needs but unable to identify their own.
Still today, women and marginalized folks tend to be stigmatized for unexplainable symptoms. Not only is there a severe dearth of research and understanding of the connection between psyche, body and spirit, but there is a lot of gaslighting that can take place when attempting to get treatment.
I’ve had great results working with these complex issues, even when clients have tried everything. Unless we work somatically with nervous system regulation, persistent emotional and physical symptoms are really hard to shift.
I am a seasoned guide for Complex PTSD, autoimmune or other illness, navigating high anxiety, low confidence and the tendency toward high burnout or depression.
My approach is simple: release survivalism, establish safety and begin to remember and embody the “lost self.” Working somatically, or with the body, is a profound way to fundamentally change previously “hard-wired” patterns and begin to feel good again.
Tell us a fun fact or two about you!
Originally I am a farm girl - I grew up digging out cow troughs and building corrals ;) No wonder I am happiest outside! During covid, I took a few years to switch things up and my cowgirl roots brought me into a fun job wrangling jeeps and working as a nature guide - guiding hikes and helping hundreds of people from all over the world re-connect to nature and experience healing in the desert. I created healing ceremonies, guiding memorials, weddings, engagements and offered a lot of grief ceremonies under the open sky — which has filled me with a sense of immense gratitude.
In 5-10 years, I will continue training in somatic therapies including utilizing mind-body centering and the expressive arts in therapy. I hope to have my clinical license in the somatic and expressive arts and to also begin offering larger retreats - mostly as immersive healing experiences with art and nature. At heart, I am a practitioner, a nature guide and an artist. I dream of crafting programs that truly integrate the healing power of all three: therapy, nature immersion and art.