About

Hello! I go by Victoria, or Victoria Maria

Please scroll down if you want to skip to the less-narrative “resume” format with specific trainings and lineages

Arts & therapy

I worked for some years as an arts educator and built a solid foundation of providing space for young people as well as adults to explore collaborative creativity, movement, language, performance, and wellness.

Through more explicitly utilizing drama therapy and social justice theater in my work, I found a deep satisfaction and natural skill for facilitating healing experiences that transcend the usual limits of the logical mind. In 2014 I incorporated Butoh dance into my professional theater work and ongoing training. Amongst many other learnings, Butoh provided insight into the mind-body connection and the role of the subconscious. Following this thread, I became certified as a hypnotherapist in 2015. I learned that, essentially, the body IS the subconscious. While I worked therapeutically with the mind and continued my dance-theater career, I recognized that somatic awareness was a catalyzing component of the healing process. I began to emphasize the body as the center of knowing and change. At the same time, I am rooted in the relational focus and ritual aspects of my community-oriented theater experiences. Somatic therapy is my foundation for supporting the whole body-mind-spirit/body-metta-spore relational ecosystem. Scroll down to the “resume” portion to see the lineages and trainings that ground my practices, and read more details about my approach here.

ARTS & ECOLOGY

I have found the common healing model of “Body-Mind-Spirit” to be a little too individualistic to reflect reality, so I was excited when the “Body-Metta-Spore” concept began to replace it. In 2017, I experienced a significant Crisis, which ended up calling me to deepen relationships with plants, fungi, animals, and the bigger-picture view of ecology. I was pushed to deepen my ongoing creative and healing work with “earth work.” Since then, I’ve dedicated much of my time to learning in the fields of horticulture, mycology, herbalism, permaculture, food, foraging, and am excited to hopefully include more study on geology and zoology. More than simply understanding the dynamic elemental rhythms and various personages of Earth’s Biosphere and Beyond, I wish to actively co-regulate with them and create communities that are symbiotic with them. Check out my post “What is Ecosomatics?” for some related thoughts. There is much healing to be had in broadening the human point of view into deeper respect and care for the more-than-human entities and ecosystems from whom we have so much to learn. Psychology and wellness are multi-species and -spirits affairs, to say the least.

As an artist, I have created or taken part in a variety of projects that span dance (especially butoh-inspired practices), place-specific work, improvisation, theater, music, writing, and more. Recently, I have been focusing almost exclusively on media and modes that explore the aforementioned multi-species and -spirits relationships.


Abbreviated Resume

TRAINING, CERTIFICATIONS, WORKSHOPS, and Important Inspirations

  • Bucknell University, B.A. (English/Writing & Theatre/Directing)
  • Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy, Experiential Introduction with Melissa Grace
  • Using Somatic Interventions with Depression, workshop with Maureen Gallagher 
  • Eastwest Somatics Institute: Shin Somatics and Land to Water Yoga Certification, in progress towards becoming a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist
  • Butoh Dance @ Vangeline Theatre (Vangeline, Katsura Kan, Mari Osanai, Vanessa Skantze, Natalie Cuellar, Moeno Wakamatsu, Eri Chian);  @Ume Group (Jordan Rosin and Yokko); @Subbody Resonance School, Dharamsala India; short workshop with Yuko Kaseki in Philadelphia; workshop with Maureen Momo Freehill (Butoh Landscape: Dancing on the Edge); Others: Sondra Fraleigh, Margherita Tisato  
  • Hypnotherapy, Certification through IACT, mentored by Kristin Prevallet;  Precision Hypnosis course by Mark Tyrell 
  • Somatic Therapy — Transformative Touch, L1 partial training 
  • Attended 2020 Embodied Trauma Conference, 2021 Embodied Social Justice Summit, 2022 Bodyfulness Summit
  • Training provided by NFI Vermont: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills, Trauma Academy
  • Integrating Art Therapy and Psychodrama, Hudson Valley Psychodrama
  • Essential Elements of Continuum Movement with Donnalea Goelz
  • Physical Theatre, Dell’Arte International 
  • Drama Therapy, workshop in Amman, Jordan with w/ Dr. Fadi Skeiker
  • Foundations for Trauma-Informed Art-Making, BuildaBridge
  • Trauma-informed Yoga training with Margherita Tisato
  • Contemplative Dance Practice, Asimina Chremos and others
  • Various courses in BodyMind Dancing (Martha Eddy) and Qi Gong, led by various teachers but especially Laurel Atwell (in the Mantak Chia lineage)
  • Non-Violent Communication skills, Ahimsa House in Philly
  • International Society of Arboriculture Tree Worker Safety Course
  • Wild Wisdom course for wild food, medicine, and fiber, hosted through Awbury Arboretum — partial completion
  • Intro to Nature Connection Mentoring, Vermont Wilderness School
  • Various and ongoing “Earth Skills”/”Ancestral Skills” learning courses/experiences
  • CPR Certified   
  • Spiral Q’s School Residency Training (Parade and Puppetry in Philadelphia)

EMPLOYMENT” EXPERIENCES

(various other workshops and work engagements can be found elsewhere on the site)

Care Manager @ Inner Fire (a proactive healing community in Southern Vermont)

Supportive Skills Counselor (Rooted in Dialectical Behavior Therapy approach), NFI Vermont Residential Home for Teens

Gardener @ self-employed, PA and VT

Eco-Landscaper, Apprentice Tree Worker, Newsletter Editor, Admin. Asst/Operations @Eating for the Ecosystem, Philadelphia PA 

Gardener @ Garden InSites, Philadelphia PA and surrounding areas 

Teaching Staff @ Spiral Q, Philadelphia PA

Movies4MentalHealth Facilitator @Art With Impact, Mid-Atlantic Region 

Kids and Teens Coordinator @Philly Improv Theater, Philadelphia PA 

Guest Theatre Artist @Wild Goose Farm, Lewisburg PA 

Theatre Faculty @King’s Academy, Madaba, Jordan

Drama Teacher/Production Director @Manhattan Country School, NYC

Drama Specialist @Hartley House, NYC 

Apprentice Theatre Teacher @The Putney School, VT

AWARDS

ScreenCraft 2018 Stage Play Competition, Finalist

The Cadigan Prizes for Emerging Writers, 1st Place Recipient

Glimmer Train June ’14 Fiction Open, Honorable Mention 

The C. Willard Smith Award for creative imagination in Theatre, Bucknell University