Thanks for checking out my site, I hope you find something that resonates within you and encourages you to take the next steps forward, in whatever way that calls to you.
I have been interested in understanding human behavior and the inner workings of the brain for as long as I can remember. I traveled as much as I could in my early twenties, and then established myself as a small practice owner and licensed massage therapist.
I continued to travel with this portable career, living in beautiful parts of the world, and studying anything I could get my hands on.
Around the time I turned 30 I was ready for more formal education and began the long climb to my doctorate degree. Community college, four year University, Scholarships, grants, and loan applications. Deciding if I was better suited for a D.O, a PhD in neuroscience or PT. Physical Therapy made the most sense to me, I could combine my love of movement with my manual skills, and spend more time with patients than a Primary Care doc would get to.
So off I went for another three years of intense schooling. We had an advanced neuroscience curriculum, and somewhere in my first year we had the opportunity to look at cross sections of real human brains in the cadaver lab. I remember being struck by the beauty of the intricacies, and so in awe. My love of neuroscience continued to grow.
PT school was tough for me, I was a decade older than most of my classmates, and had trouble focusing. I was also well on my way to becoming a heavy drinker, and often turned to nightly wine or beer to soothe my nerves and put me to sleep. This became problematic, as you might imagine. In my final clinical rotation I was barely sleeping and had night sweats, brutal insomnia, and soul crushing anxiety. I walked to the hospital every day and some mornings I would pray to get hit by an ambulance. Just enough so that I could lie down and rest for awhile. My mental health was terrible, I was doing a poor job at the hospital, and my pending graduation was at risk.
I was miserable, and had no real tools to handle it, besides continuing to push forward and hope there was an end in sight. I continued to drink, bottles of wine each day after work, just to get a sense of relief. I saw my doctor and he put me on an SSRI but offered no other tools. I had no real strategies for dealing with this high stress environment and the mal-adaptive effects that self medicating with alcohol caused.
After several close calls, I made it through, and was able to move forward in my career. I continued to drink heavily for several years until my partner couldn't take it anymore and decided to leave. I had ruined multiple friendships, and while I always had a job and a place to live, I never felt whole inside. I was obsessed with alcohol, maybe you can relate. I never felt like I could relax. When my partner had finally had enough, it put me in enough pain that I knew it was time for a change.
Around this time, I started working with a therapist and a Somatic Experiencing (SE) Practitioner along with taking part in twelve step recovery. My clarity and peace of mind began returning with sobriety. I had never heard of SE, but I began to notice that after my sessions with the therapist, I felt better. I felt physically better. The calm that had eluded me for so long was resting there waiting for me, when I was able to simply bring my attention to what was happening in my body.
It felt like coming home. It still does. I began the training to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner the following year, and am now in my intermediate year of training. Understanding the nervous system from an SE perspective has put multiple pieces into place for me. It has allowed me to marry my early years of education with my formalized medical training. I have a body of knowledge and experience that allows me to work within each individuals system and teach methods for lasting change.
If you are someone who has a story you long to share, or someone who is tired of hiding, or tired of anxiety creeping up on you, I encourage you to try something different.
I know my life has never been the same, and it has truly never been better.
Dr Alice Kerby is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Health Consultant, Holistic Health Practitioner, and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in training. She uses her decades of experience and training to focus on the stress response from an autonomic nervous system and physiological perspective.
She helps her clients to identify areas where they feel stuck, and provides a well regulated and supportive environment for them to begin gently touching past trauma or overwhelm, and heal these states through presence and awareness of the body in the present moment.
She specializes in working with sober and sober curious women who are seeking additional tools to manage stress, increase a sense of calm, and move forward in creating their lives.