Raina LaGrand

LMSW • MPH • CYT

From a young age, I have always been intensely curious about my own body and my place in the world. Exploring various movement practices, starting with dance as a kiddo, and studying health and wellness in both academic and community-based settings helped me manage navigating the world in a body with my own special constellation of identities and concerns.

Now my greatest pleasure is helping folks feel present in their bodies, relationships, and communities, and to be able to tap into our aliveness and agency. Because if there’s one thing my experience has made clear to me it's the transformative influence of radical self- and community-care.

 

While the impacts of trauma and oppression are often present and persistent in our lives, so can be our drive to heal and feel free. Contrary to what we may believe, we do not have to heal alone. True healing, I believe, takes place with support and in relationship. I would be honored to witness at least a portion of your journey. 

My Approach​

Somatics is an umbrella term. It refers to a collection of human-centered practices which invite us into embodiment by creating opportunities to be aware and curious about the layers of our body mind experience, as well as the interconnectedness between our bodies, our environments, other people, and more.

 

With somatics we can expand our capacity to notice, rather than be drowned by, our experience as it’s happening. We can grieve what’s been lost or missing from our lives. We can process trauma retained in our body sensations, reflexes, and more. We can determine the limitations of embodiment and liberation in the present day context of systemic oppression. We can identify resources for feeling safe and secure and at home in your body. We can learn to accurately assess our level of provided agency in a situation and discern our level of interest in demanding more. We can also hopefully feel more confident in how we will rest in or respond to our context. We can identify the possibilities for resisting oppression, centering wellness as a human right, and cultivating relationships that support and empower.
 

 

A photo of therapist Raina LaGrand wearing a mint green sweater and is sitting in front of a tree.

My Background at a Glance

Licensed Masters in Social Work (Clinical) & Masters in Public Health, University of Michigan

Trained in Gottman Method for couples therapy

Extensive training in trauma treatment, including Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level 1 & Jane Clapp's Movement for Trauma

Certified Yoga Teacher, A2 Yoga

Background in health education & health coaching​, including sexual health, consent, sexual assault prevention, and more

Lineages

I'm an eclectic practitioner. While belief and purpose are important, I believe dogma can ultimately harm us or hold us back. Somatics has shown me time and again the importance of staying open. This is why lifelong curiosity and creativity are such important values in my work. 

 

The approaches I most heavily draw from are:

  • First and foremost, lived experience and practice-based evidence

  • Yoga, in particular the influence of Shiva Rae, developer of Prana Vinyasa, through the teachings of my teacher, Ana Hough. Additional self-study in Iyengar and Mysore method Ashtanga.

  • Buddhism & Mindfulness Meditation

  • Trauma treatment modalities and educators including Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Peter Levine, Dan Siegal, and more

  • Couples and Relationship Therapy models including Gottman Method and Emotion-Focused Therapy

  • Internal Family Systems Therapy a non-pathologizing approach to the internal fragmentation many trauma survivors experience. In particular, the Parts Work approach adapted by Tom Holmes, as well as the structural dissociation model as further developed by Janina Fisher and Strengths of All Parts.

  • Dance in the styles of Cecchetti Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, and West and Southern African

  • Butyeko Breathing Method

  • Indigenous wisdom about the bodymind, colonization, and more from Native American teachings via scholars including Renee Linklater, Joseph Gone, Eduardo Duran and Cheryl Metoyer-Duran, and Maria Yellow Horse Braveheart.

  • African and Disaporic practices as I navigate my own journey of reconnecting with my ancestors

  • Critical philosophies as Critical Race Theory, Black Queer Feminist Thought, Intersectional Feminism, Relationship Anarchy, Consensual Non-Monogamy, and scholars/writers including bell hooks, Paolo Freire, Audre Lorde, adrienne maree brown, and more.

  • Contemporary somatics practitioners and thinkers, such as Jane Clapp, Amber McZeal, Resmaa Menekam, Beck Beverage of the Trans Embodiment Project, Marika Heinrichs of Wild Body Somatics (who encouraged me to write a lineage statement in the first place), Prentis Hemphill, and more.

I include the more intellectual influences in my work because our minds are in and of our bodies. There's a tendency in somatics and the health field in general to separate the mind and body. Which is also a colonial impulse as well, I think. But all the parts of us truly operate in relation and, hopefully, usually, in alignment with one another.