Odessa Avianna Perez, MA, AMFT, is a trauma-informed somatic psychotherapist, embodiment and social justice educator who helps healers and change-makers integrate challenging life experiences and find belonging with themselves, loved-ones, and the world at large. She provides embodied guidance for the journey back to ourselves through writing, group workshops, trainings, retreats, and individual sessions. She is part of the facilitator team for HoneyRoot Embodiment Retreats, and co-leads the Inclusion and Belonging directives for SoulPlay festivals.
- MA in Counseling Psychology, Somatics from CIIS (2019).
- Certified Massage Practitioner from CAMTC (2013)
- ThetaHealing practitioner (2011) and instructor (2016) from THInK.
- BA degrees in Dance, Sociology, and Theater Arts from Rutgers University (2007).
She has additional training in Spiritual Communication and Coaching, Polarity Therapy, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Infinity Healing, Aromatherapy and Psychic Development.
As a dancer with over 10 years of professional experience, including training in Modern/Release, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Contact Improv, Odessa’s own inquiry of embodiment has been ongoing, and has leaned towards somatic inquiries of the relationship between the body’s felt experience and the psyche’s belief and meaning making.
Odessa has been making dances since 2005, most recently using video, text, and dance performance to explore healing from trauma in a solo work entitled Coming Home (2017).
Odessa is a devoted practitioner and teacher of Contact Improvisation, viewing this form as simultaneously an embodiment and spiritual practice. She teaches classes that welcome the physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual aspects of being in a body: the limitations, the metaphors, and all the rest of our human experience.
Raised within a western Sufi community called the Sufi Way, Odessa has been immersed in energy healing modalities, self-empowered health, and spirit-consciousness all her life. These early and ongoing mystical inspirations have created an experiential and compassionate framework for her approach to transformation and healing: she believes that our experiences can be our greatest teachers, and that when we empower ourselves to be active participants in our lives, engage the great mystery, and the adventure of storytelling our lives towards meaning-making, the greatest transformations can take root.