How it all began (well, at Emerge therapy at least)

May 7, 2018 | groups and classes, therapeutic yoga, yoga

Emerge Mind Body Therapy began over a dinner conversation between two friends and colleagues. We (Jamie and Liz, the co-owners of Emerge) are actively involved in the psychoanalytic community, and are currently candidates in training at the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. As conversations between therapists often go, we began discussing theory and articles we were reading for classes. This dinner conversation revealed that we shared an affinity and understanding of working with the body in therapy in a way we felt that the psychoanalytic tradition often leaves out of the conversation. This led to many more chats over coffees, walks around the lake, and eventually business planning dinners. We thought that the Minneapolis therapy community was missing a critical resource; a place where patients could come to explore not only what was happening in their minds and discuss the struggles in their lives, but a place to understand how these struggles were showing up in their bodies. Our bodies often hold the stories that our minds do not yet know. Bessel van der Kolk (and many others) talk about this, and say that the body often holds the key to the reason of suffering, and to many unexplained mental and physical illnesses. During the shifting political climate of 2017, the conversations between us deepened as the #metoo movement emerged. We realized that not only does the body need to be more part of the “conversation” in therapy, but there are often thoughts, motivations, and actions of which we are unconscious. The psychoanalytic tradition speaks volumes about this, from Freud to more contemporary theorists. What was unfolding in our country and society, however was a movement that was outing the unconscious thoughts, motivations, and actions of people who were unaware of their power, control, and ability to dominate others. But what was grossly misunderstood, was how these actions and/or experiences were stored in the bodies of people on both sides of the table. Awareness of sensation and bodily experience needed to enter consciousness, and thus enter the therapy room.

So before we drift too far into political discourse or attempt to solve a complex social-political issue that has been present for centuries, let us tell you more about Emerge. Emerge is a collective of therapists who all see the body as playing an integral role in how we as humans move through the world, and thus has an integral role in the therapy room. Each therapist at Emerge works in different ways with the body, however we all share a common vision to help people reconnect with their bodies, and thus their minds, and ultimately gain a greater knowledge of themselves. Self knowledge is what can lead to change in patterns that have persisted over time. Think about it: before you can make a change, you have to not only realize what the problem is, but what might be causing that problem. If the body is storing memories that the mind does not consciously know, the acting out and repeating of what is unknown persists. Bringing the awareness of the body and sensation into the therapy room allows for exploration, and ultimately understanding of what has occurred, and what is trying to be communicated. As we said, it this understanding and awareness that can lead to lasting change. 

Emerge offers various types of psychotherapy including: psychoanalytic psychotherapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy, emotion focused therapy, play therapy, executive coaching, as well as therapeutic trauma informed yoga groups and classes. If you are wondering more about each of these offerings check out website or reach out to us, as we love to talk about what we do. We treat children to adults and couples and families and welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Currently we are gearing up for our fall group and yoga series. We have groups on yoga for anxiety and yoga for kids, and also an on-going trauma sensitive yoga class. As we move forward, we plan to add more trauma sensitive yoga classes, groups for various diagnostic struggles (e.g. groups for people struggling with eating disorders, shame, depression, etc), as well as classes and groups for children and parents. Emerge offers a safe and inviting place to explore what gives you trouble, and also those experiences, thoughts, or memories that are stored in your body or parts of your mind, of which you may be unaware. We would be glad to see you and help you begin to understand yourself, begin to wonder about why your body feels a particular way in certain situations or with certain people, why you can’t seem to get a particular thought out of your head, why you keep doing the things you do even though they cause difficulty, and why these patterns are so difficult to change. 

We would love to chat with you more about who we are and what we do. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or visit us online at

– Jamie Larson Jones, MS, RD, LPCC

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