Karla Herbert

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Karla Helbert is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a Compassionate Bereavement Care® provider certified through the MISS Foundation and the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Family Trust, and a certified yoga instructor.

Karla’s psychotherapy practice has a focus on loss, grief and bereavement, working in particular with those affected by trauma and traumatic death.

Karla’s therapeutic approach is eclectic, drawing on existential, experiential and person-centered approaches. She uses non-traditional therapeutic modalities including trauma focused psychoeducation, mindfulness, meditation and yoga based therapy, breath work, expressive arts, ritual and logotherapy. Karla is a certified yoga instructor with Integral Yoga® and has training in Integrated Movement Therapy ™ a holistic therapy approach using yoga’s philosophical, spiritual and physical framework to address the needs of a whole person. She is also a reiki practitioner and aromatherapist, and uses these modalities in individual ways with clients as well in her own personal practices to support and address spiritual and emotional needs.

Karla is the award-winning author of Finding Your Own Way to Grieve: A Creative Activity Workbook for Kids & Teens on the Autism Spectrum, the 2013 recipient of the Living Now Gold Medal for books in the category of Grief/Death & Dying from Independent Publishers.

Her newest book Yoga for Grief and Loss, available October 21, addresses each of the branches of yoga and explores how these ancient paths can particularly and specifically support those in traumatic grief.

Through meditation, ritual, service, devotion, movement, awareness, and breath, grieving people can find ways to connect with ourselves, with others, with our beloved dead and also come to re-member our true state of wholeness.

Karla, also a bereaved mother, relies on these teachings, on ritual, meditation, and creative expression personally as well as professionally to honor the pain and the joy which coexist in all of life. Seeking to remain as aware and present as possible to all of life, she sees grief, her own as well as that of others, as both a learning and a growth process. Karla loves to read, write, make art, practice yoga and to be outdoors. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their daughter.

The Quote

Karla shares a Sanskrit chant, titled The Purnamidah and which translates as:

This is whole, that is whole, when a portion of wholeness is removed, what remains is whole

What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?

Karla shares how her background in working with kids on the Autism spectrum together with the tragic story of how her young son’s passing ten years ago inspired her to move into the field of traumatic grief.

An Early Mistake

Karla shares an early experience of working with a client who had lost a child and how the pain of the loss impelled Karla into pushing her client to feel a certain way.

Karla’s Why

I realize that I have a choice in what I do, but I feel like this is what I have to do.

Karla’s advice

  • Find a way to become fully present with your clients.
  • Get good training in traumatic grief
  • We have to be able to strengthen our own container to hold your client’s pain

Karla’s go-to books

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Interview Links


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