Hi there! My name is Shira Collings (she/they). I am a feminist, neurodiversity affirming, queer and trans affirming, fat affirming, and disability justice aligned therapist. I am passionate about supporting people in living a life that is aligned with their true values, and healing from both external and internalized oppression that may be impacting their well-being.
My therapeutic approach is primarily based in person-centered and feminist approaches. This means I strive to create a space in which clients can express their full, authentic selves and share their stories without shame or judgment. I also have training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Additionally, I regularly incorporate self-compassion, expressive arts, philosophy and pop culture, and self-advocacy skills into my approach.
Below are some areas of specialization:
Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating, & Body Image
As a diet culture dropout myself, I am passionate about supporting others in finding freedom with food and body acceptance. My therapeutic approach is aligned with Health At Every Size and fat liberation, and I am especially passionate about working with LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent folks in recovery from eating disorders and disordered eating. Because our culture idealizes the pursuit of thinness above health and well-being, it is incredibly difficult to move toward a relationship with food and body that is driven by our own needs and values rather than these oppressive messages. We should never have to be alone in this journey.
Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy
As a neurodivergent therapist, I love working with neurodivergent folks! To me, being a neurodiversity affirming therapist means rejecting the idea that there is any right way to have a brain and instead embracing cognitive, psychological, and neurological differences and disabilities as part of human diversity. As part of my approach, I collaborate with clients to explore ways they can unlearn internalized ableism and advocate for accommodations and supports that will help them live their best neurodivergent life. I currently facilitate a support group with Liberating Jasper for neurodivergent adults with eating disorders, and I will be starting another support group within this practice for neurodivergent adults navigating other types of concerns.
Queer & Trans Affirming Therapy
I am a queer, nonbinary therapist and enjoy supporting others with those identities! My intersectional feminist approach to therapy means that as part of our work together, we can explore and unpack internalized and externalized queer and trans antagonism. I can also provide support with coming out and steps toward socially and medically transitioning.
Trauma, Grief, & Loss
I believe that so many of the emotional distress and mental health concerns we experience are natural responses to trauma and loss. An important part of therapy is having a chance to acknowledge and honor these parts of our stories, and to work toward healing in a way that aligns with our values and goals. I have training in Narrative Exposure Therapy, an approach that uses storytelling and testimony to facilitate trauma recovery. I am also certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Additionally, I have completed training in grief and loss, with a particular focus on reproductive and perinatal loss.
Religious & Spiritual Identity Development
Religion and spirituality, including atheist and agnostic beliefs, can be an important part of our lives and of our healing from some of the above concerns. Unfortunately, they can also be sources of deep pain and trauma in our culture. One of my areas of focus clinically is supporting people in exploring the ways that religious trauma may have impacted them. I affirm and celebrate all pathways to healing, whether that is forming a new spiritual and religious identity, rejecting religion and theistic beliefs altogether, or somewhere in between.
In addition to having clinical training on this topic, I am currently in training to become ordained a Secular Humanistic Jewish Ceremonialist. Through this program, I am developing the expertise to design and officiate rituals that celebrate and honor parts of people’s lives in a way that is reflective of their values. While this is separate from my role as a therapist, I bring my passion for navigating spiritual identity in a way that is affirming of all belief systems and practices to the therapy space.
Some fun facts about me: I have two adorable cats of my own named Franklin and Mina, and I foster kittens, some of whom love to make an appearance in therapy sessions! I love theater and have written a few plays. I also love watching movies - some of my favorites are Thelma and Louise, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and But I'm a Cheerleader.
I would be honored to be part of your journey. Please feel free to fill out the contact form if you’d like to learn more about working together. I look forward to getting to know you and collaborating on the path toward healing and liberation!