CREDENTIALS – Chelsea Wakefield, PhD, LCSW, CST (AASECT Certified Sex Therapist)
In deciding to attend a program or do some therapy or process work with someone, you need to know what their qualifications are. The purpose of this page is to outline my credentials, education and professional experience that undergird all that I do. There are many “self-proclaimed experts” out there who have figured out how to market themselves cleverly and while some of them deliver quality content… others offer “thin soup” and some offer some ideas that will only deepen suffering. The work I do and the programs and workshops I have created change lives, and are backed by a Masters Degree and a PhD, years of experience offering therapy to individuals and couples and organizations. I’ve published three books, done lots of teaching, and offered many workshops to clinicians, spiritual care professionals, and regular folks who want to learn, grow, and live more deeply. I’m a devoted life-long learner, and I enjoy “cross-pollinating” ideas from multiple fields of inquiry. I continue to deepen my knowledge and enrich what I offer with many hours of continuing education, and a voracious amount of reading. My husband will tell you that I can “eat” a book before breakfast. If you are interested in specifics, I will happily send you my official Curriculum Vitea (CV) – just ask.
I also believe that it is important to know if the person you are working with has done their own personal work. Has the therapist been in therapy so that they don’t get triggered by your particular issue? Has the workshop leader gotten some good training in process design and group dynamics? You can tell the people who have done their personal work because they don’t get thrown off their center if the group goes a bit off-tilt. There are clear ground rules, and a depth of experiencing in dealing with problems and personalities. I’ve never seen so many workshop promoters claim that their program will be “transformational.” I almost hate to use the word these days – it has become so diluted – but I want you to know that you can trust the quality and impact of the programs I offer. They are based on years of education and professional experience and have been delivered in a variety of settings to all sorts of people. The kind of work I have developed over the years produces profound internal shifts as light bulbs go on for people and they start to find language for things that were utterly confusing, and connect the dots of their lives in new ways, and rewrite their life stories. My work produces deep change and is profoundly transformational.
My work produces profound internal shifts for you to rewrite your story!
~ Chelsea Wakefield
CLINICAL TRAINING, LICENSURE, AND TEACHING
My license is as a clinical social worker, and I’ve been a therapist since 1999. I figure I’ve done over 20,000 hours of therapy with individuals, couples, and families. I’ve also done thousands of hours of teaching and workshop leading.
In 2004, I completed an International Coaching Federation Accredited training program for life coaching. This expanded my scope of practice and I understand the similarities and differences between coaching and therapy.
I have a lot of training in Jungian psychology and dream work, much of it thru the Haden Institute, coupled with lots of reading, and about 120 hours of Jungian analysis. A Jungian perspective undergirds everything I do. In 2001, I became a teacher at the Haden Institute in their Dream Work and Spiritual Direction programs. Over the years I have also worked with organizations wanting to build stronger teams. My work at the Haden Institute inspired me to write my first book Negotiating the Inner Peace Treaty – Becoming the Person You Were Born to Be.
When my son was in high school, I went back to school to get a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology – because I saw how much my couples were struggling with sexual issues. My dissertation focused on women’s sexual desire and became my second book – In Search of Aphrodite – Women, Archetypes, and Sex Therapy. It may be the first sex therapy book that looks at women’s sexuality thru the lens of an archetypal typology and an individuation perspective.
I have multiple certifications in post-graduate clinical programs. My grounding orientation draws from Psychodynamic theory, Jungian analytic work, Transactional Analysis, Parts Psychology, Narrative Therapy, and Attachment Theory. I am also trained to work with trauma, attachment profiles, and I understand interpersonal neurobiology. I have either trained in or studied every significant system of couples therapy and have certifications in three of them (specifics are in my CV). Teaching people how to have a meaningful relationships and providing couples therapy is a key specialization of my life work.
I am currently an Associate Professor in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where I am the Director of the Couples Center where I spend half of my time doing couples therapy and the rest of my time teaching clinicians and offering a variety of workshops to help people gain insight into more purposeful living and meaningful loving.
My education, experience and training help teach you how to have a meaningful relationship!
~ Chelsea Wakefield
I have been blessed to study with some of the great therapists of our time and learned a great deal watching amazing workshop leaders. I began leading workshops about twenty years ago and have learned a lot about what it takes to create and hold what we call a “safe container,” and how to create a transformative experience that actually holds when people return to their regular lives.
If I look back at the teachers I have valued greatly – here is partial list - Pam White and Van Joines of the Southeast Institute for modern Transactional Analysis, Bob and Mary Goulding (Redecision Therapy), Hal and Sidra Stone’s (Creators of Voice Dialogue), Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson (International teachers of the Developmental Model of couples therapy), Gina Ogden (Revered teacher, sex therapy practitioner and researcher), Al Pesso (Somatic Psychotherapist), Polly-Young Eisendrath (Jungian analyst and creator of Dialogue Therapy Couples Work), Dan Siegel (Interpersonal Neurobiology), Stan Tatkin (founder of PACT Couples Work) and Travis Atkinson (Schema Couples Therapy). I have also studied directly with teachers from an amazing era of psychotherapy – the 1960 and70’s – Virginia Satir, Eric Berne, Fritz Perls, and Carl Jung and Roberto Assagioli.
For those who are curious about what backs what I do, I hope this helps.