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Meet Kate Schroeder, M.Ed, LPC, NCC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Schroeder, M.Ed, LPC, NCC.

Hi Kate, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a psychotherapist and have a private practice in Saint Louis, MO. I also am Adjunct Faculty at Webster University in the graduate counseling program. I have been in private practice for eight years now and before that worked as a school counselor and a family therapist. Prior to all of that, I was a physical education teacher and taught kids how to play and be strong and move their bodies. It was probably one of my most favorite jobs. I still imagine one day combining my counseling background and physical education background to run programs combining both. For a period of time, I entertained being a wilderness therapist but that just did not pan out. Yet.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always knew that I wanted to be a therapist since I was a little girl. So, I followed that dream. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology, along with a minor in Women’s Studies from Saint Louis University, and then eventually received my Master’s of Education in Counseling from the University of Missouri- Saint Louis. I have always been an avid learner and also went back to school in there to get my teaching degree, a certification in Massage Therapy, and a certification in Physical Training. There have been a variety of other learning programs in there too, but these are the main ones.

I have often said that my biggest obstacle in life has not been anything outside of myself. It’s what happens inside of me that can either propel me into my next chapter or trip me up. That’s why it is so essential to do this deep inner healing work so that we can get out of the way of ourselves. Rarely have my failures or hesitations in life been because of an “outside job”- rather the places where I have held back on my life energy are because of the “inside job”. Every time. There are very few things in the outside world that I cannot overcome or work around.

I have always been enthralled about how our unconscious, which cannot be measured or quantified, is as powerful as an actual visible pair of handcuffs. How this invisible force can keep people stuck in their own version of a “prison” in their lives. We so often try to change the things outside of us in the hopes that this will free up our energy or turn our life around when in reality, if we were to begin working on the inside job happening deep below the surface of our awareness, we would find how much more freedom we really do have in our lives.

One of my favorite quotes is by St. Augustine and he says: “People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”

He was a wise man. How true this is. WE are out only obstacle.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. From very small, if I was interested in something or wanted to pursue something, I was kind of on my own to make that happen. Growing up in a small town in rural Illinois, there was very little opportunity to be exposed to a variety of diverse and enriching experiences. So, it took great effort to expand my horizons and when I had the opportunity to move away for college, I did so.

I have always found that I am my biggest resource. There were so many children in my family, and my parents were overwhelmed with the day to day of running a large family that I was left to fend for myself. If I wanted to join a sports team, it was going to be up to me to figure out the logistics and how to get to and from practice. If I wanted to learn a new hobby or had a new interest, it was up to me to figure out how to immerse myself in that. Remember, these were the days before internet, so other than a set of Encyclopedias at the library, there were very few resources at my disposal for broadening my experiences.

I started working very young, had my first paying job at 13 years old, babysitting. Once I started to get the taste of what it was like to earn my own money, I realized that this was one path to having more freedom: being able to tap into that with more resources. I’ve worked since. Whether it was working fast food, lifeguarding, working in customer service or substitute teaching, I have always worked in order to be able to support myself financially.

I can remember many days in which I absolutely did not want to get up and go to work, I hated my job or just was really depressed, and yet I had a long term vision about where I wanted to go in life and I knew that it existed far beyond the boundaries of the world I knew. I was fortunate in this way, I was intrinsically motivated to grow from a very small age.

So many of my accomplishments throughout my life have been because of my own inner resources as well as wonderful teachers, guides and mentors that I’ve met along the way. I did not feel very supported in my own family for pursuing my interests. I had to learn quickly that if I was going to have the life that I always dreamed about having, I would have to get there on my own.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in working with adult survivors of childhood trauma. Which basically means I work with many, many different kinds of people and different kinds of issues. The technical medical term for understanding what I do is that I specialize in working C-PTSD (complex trauma disorder/complex post-traumatic stress disorder). This is a psychological condition that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. So, basically, little children who did not get their emotional needs met in childhood, while living in the context of emotionally traumatic environments and grow up to become adults who try their very best to emotionally cope with their feelings but have very little intrinsic knowledge about how to do this in a satisfying kind of way. So, they tend to end up with things like addictions, depression, anxiety, body pain, difficult or ruptured relationships and so on. I work with the kinds of folks who are interested in transforming their lives, healing their relationship to their self and to their soul, spirit, essence so that they can find deep and lasting satisfaction in their life.

I believe that very often the source of distress in people’s lives comes from having been disconnected from your spirit. When this happens, you get off track very quickly in terms of what makes you happy, what “lights” you up, and your passion for life. Naturally so, when you’ve lost your connection to this deepest place of wisdom inside, you’re going to be unhappy. Distress and disease show up for a reason: they are messengers about how far you’ve strayed from what you really need to be happy, satisfied, healthy and whole. What’s unfortunate is that we live in a society that primarily prizes logic, success, pushing through and has a heavy focus on “the outside world”. This is problematic because what makes you feel a zest for life is not an “outside world” kind of problem; it cannot be discovered through “outside world” kind of solutions. As such, many people stay unhappy throughout much of their life because they’ve never learned that in order to be deeply satisfied (which is far more fulfilling and sustainable), they have to be able to deeply understand their inner world, connect to their feelings, learn how to tap into their unconsciousness and learn about what it is that they emotionally need to be secure, safe and satisfied. Only from this place can someone find great happiness and satisfaction in their “outside world”. Sadly, our world has this process reversed and the emphasis backwards.

So this is what I do: I help people rewrite their emotional DNA. I guide folks in the process of learning how to heal their disconnection to their spirit, reconnect with their soul wisdom, clear out energetic blocks they carry in their bodies and tend to the unfinished places deep inside that keep them stuck in their lives.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri, a certified administrator/interpreter of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI ®), and have extensive training in the Enneagram system of personality typing. I am also a certified facilitator of the 3 Keys to Self- Understanding, a groundbreaking approach to deep emotional healing focused on restoring the mind-body-spirit connection, and has worked with this integrative and experiential healing approach for over eighteen years. I am certified in Body Centered Gestalt Therapy from the Integrative Psychotherapy Training Program of Kansas City and work with clients both in the United States and internationally as well in my private practice.

In addition to my private counseling practice, I also teach as graduate faculty in the Counseling Department at Webster University and facilitate group therapy for those interested in healing childhood and relationship trauma. I facilitate self-exploration groups, classes and workshops using right-brain techniques such as visual journaling, guided imagery, art, music, movement and creativity to get deeper than word and cognition into feelings. I have presented locally and nationally on these topics and consults with community organizations, businesses, ministry groups and educational staff.

One of my latest passions though is that I am deeply interested in and currently working on innovative ways to blend technology and deep experiential healing practices as additional forms of support for clients, to be used as supplements to therapeutic work. I have authored a therapeutic guided imagery program, called Soul Meditations: Building A Relationship That Lasts (A Guided Meditation Program), that incorporates experiential therapeutic exercises in digital audio format.

I have a non-traditional approach to mental health and body, mind, healing is my focus. I use experiential and effective approaches to help people dive deeply into their feelings and heal their spirits. This is not your typical approach to healing mental health issues. Someone once called me a soul farmer. I guess that kind of fits!

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Alice Miller is someone that inspires me greatly. Although I never met her, I have found each one of her writings and work to have had a profound impact on my life. As I have read each of her books, it was like she was having an incredibly relevant conversation with me. It was like having a good mother sit next to you and explain life to you so that it finally made sense in a very safe and centering kind of way. She had the courage to describe life, trauma and healing with authenticity and simplicity, talking about difficult dynamics that many others often glossed over or tidied up for the world.

Madeline L’Engle is another person that truly inspired me as a child. I was captivated by her books and stories and loved how she created a world in which time was not linear or tidy. She was definitely an “out of the box” kind of author that whet my appetite for creativity and divergent thinking. I believe that, as a child, I got a lot of validation from her books because they were so different like I felt in the world. I could really relate to her character of Meg.

Naomi & Stuart Alpert are two people that I admire greatly. They are two of my trainers that I have found later in my professional career and are very inspirational. They founded the Hartford Family Institute in Hartford, CT and in addition to their own therapy practices, they have run workshops and trainings for individuals interested in deepening their aliveness. Their courage, integrity and commitment to aliveness that they infuse into their lives and their work are deeply motivating. They embody what it means to be alive and committed to deep awareness and healing, no matter the cost or discomfort involved. I feel fortunate to have found them when I did in order to be able to work with them, learn from them and heal with them.

My training group and trainers in Kansas City are also inspirational. This community is also deeply committed to not only their own growth and healing but mine as well. It is a safe space in which I can bring all of myself and feel deep love and acceptance. It’s priceless and not something found often in this lifetime.

I also feel inspired by my clients and fellow travelers on their own paths towards reclaiming more of their aliveness. This is the most difficult and painful work that we will undertake in this lifetime and absolutely essential if we are to get more of our aliveness back. And yet, they keep taking another step, deepening into more of what lies beneath the surface. And trusting me to guide them along the way. Truly inspirational.

I also feel deeply inspired by my nieces and nephews. Knowing a few more things about life than I did when I was their age, I feel incredibly committed to their life energy and working to heal my own transgenerational wounding so that they may feel more safety, support and emotional protection when we spend time together. I really believe in being the change I want to see.

TOP 5 BOOKS:
Siddartha
The Feminine Face of God
An Unknown Woman
The Road Less Traveled
Running From Safety

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Image Credits
Kate Schroeder, M.Ed, LPC, NCC Ben Gracey

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