Cher’s Favorite Instagrammers
August 20, 2020
Although I’ve taken a break from social media recently to better manage my mental health during this pandemic, I wanted to share some of my favorite Instragrammers who provide valuable content related to mental health and trauma, and those that provide content that is just fun or inspiring.
Jane Clapp is an amazing trauma informed somatic therapist who stays up to date on the latest trauma research and shares lessons she’s learned from her own experience and from the experiences with her clients. She was the first person I heard talking about being cautious with using breath work related to trauma because in certain instances it can actually do the opposite intent (causing more stress and arousal than decreasing it). I’ve also learned several mindfulness techniques from her to bring the brain back online after activation of the “Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn” response. She also offers really great webinar series such as “Embodied Boundaries for Empaths” and “Recover Your Warrior” that are typically less than a $100 a package and I can vouch that they’re worth every penny. During the pandemic she has offered zoom sessions to get us connected with our bodies and experiences, while encouraging us to continue finding ways to move and have fun during this difficult time.
Ericka Gail is a Black non-binary, queer, “invisbily” disabled and neurodivergent trauma therapist who focuses on anti-racism, LGBTQ+ and intersections of marginalization, and much more. In one of their most recent posts they shared a graphic about “glimmers,” which is the opposite of triggers (events that cause us to experience a fight/flight/freeze/fawn response). “If a trigger brings us into a survival state (cue of danger), glimmers are what bring us back into our window of tolerance & safety (cue of safety).” This is such a great idea to explore that I’m planning to bring it up in sessions with clients. They also have great posts about boundaries, abuse, and the language of gender, to name a few.
Dr. Nicole LePera is a psychologist whose posts focus on healing the inner child, learning to reparent yourself, and learning how to have healthy relationships when your family didn’t provide those examples. Her information is compassion focused and trauma informed and she does a beautiful job of sharing her story in ways that are helpful and inspiring to others. One of her recent posts focused on self-betrayal vs self-healing where she shared how her upbringing taught her to sacrifice herself and how that led to feelings of resentment. She discussed her process of learning her needs, making and keeping promises for self-care, and setting boundaries even when it’s uncomfortable.
Author of one of my favorite books, Pleasure Activism, adrienne maree brown encourages you to find pleasure, body positivity, and self-love. In one of her recent posts she shared a funny song about the pandemic not being over even if you’re over it. She also discussed working on finding pleasure in wearing masks “knowing the soft weight is a presence of self-care and species-care.” She admitted that was a practice she’s working on, but I still love the reframe.
Another one of her recent posts was a selfie where she shared a quote about not hating our bodies (whether we’ve gained or lost weight) because our bodies have been keeping us alive through a global pandemic! She also has a podcast, How to Survive the End of the World, and a blog, where she’s written some interesting pieces related to our culture, the pandemic, and racial justice.
I was grateful one of my clients told me about the instagram of somatic trauma therapist Andrea Glik, who is trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (I will be starting the SP training in October!). She posts really great LGBTQ+ and kink and poly affirming information about attachment, trauma, and the brain from a social justice lens. This post on reframing our negative thoughts around our brain and nervous system response was such a good reminder about the importance of developing self-compassion and mindfulness of our experiences (because that is what rewires our brain!) And that was also affirming to hear because a majority of the work I do with clients is centered around this. I also really appreciated this quote she posted recently, “And it really does feel like a full time job to take care of yourself. It’s hard to feed yourself and take care of your body because it is, it’s actually not meant to be one person. We’re meant to be living in community with people and sharing those responsibilities. And so it does feel like a lot because it is.” I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot since reading Pleasure Activism and as I’ve been exploring all the different ways white supremacy operates in our culture and our lives. I also know trauma can play a role in this if we became self-reliant and independent due to the lack of support we received from our caregivers growing up.
Casey Tanner is a local LGBTQ+ affirming Chicago therapist who I had the pleasure of working with directly during my post-graduate fellowship at Live Oak. She’s a certified sex therapist and unapologetically queer as fuck. Some of her post topics have included the possible impact of anti-depressants on your sex life, finding ethical and feminist porn, and why you may not be in the “mood” for sex. Her posts are informative, affirming, and genuine.
She’s most widely known as the author of Eat Pray Love. Although her instagram is not focused on mental health, she often shares deeply vulnerable posts about her experiences, which have included the loss of her partner, struggles with navigating health issues, and her experiences with being cared for in relationships. Her authenticity is something I greatly appreciate since you don’t often see that in social media.
Artist Elwing Suong Gonzalez posts positive affirmation messages like “You are enough” and “Don’t tell me what I am” related to healing, accepting your feelings, honoring your boundaries, and self-respect. She also posts messages expressing her thoughts on oppression, privilege, and social justice.
Cartoonist and author Nick Seluk shares funny, heartfelt comics about the differences between “heart” and “brain,” his experiences of anxiety and negative thoughts, and general relatable life experiences. I’m a pretty big fan of his work as I have heart and brain stuffed animals and a framed print of the Awkward Yeti telling his anxiety to stay put while he goes out in my office.
Cher Hamilton-TekautzCher Hamilton-Tekautz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with Master's in Social Work and a Graduate Certificate in Complementary Therapies and Healing Practices.
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