Michelle Byrd, M.Ed., LPC, EMDR Trained


Denver Alternative Therapy
Holistic Trauma Healing


Learn The Language Of Your Soul

Are you ready to reclaim your wholeness?

Welcome! My name is Michelle Byrd. 

My passion is to help you stop running from your pain so you can 
overcome your past and discover your full potential. 

Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, 
misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering.
- Dr. Peter Levine

  Learn About My Specialties:

Trauma

Believe it or not, everyone experiences trauma on some level whether that was a large shocking event (PTSD) or smaller trickles of pain throughout your life. Trauma touches us all and it's important to understand that trauma responses are not always obvious. Are you struggling with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, etc.? This is often a manifestation of trauma, meaning it is the symptom and not the problem in itself. Below are signs that you may be suffering from unhealed traumatic experiences:  
  • Chronic over or under arousal of the nervous system - (i.e. depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, hyper-vigilance etc.)
  • ​Difficulty creating or maintaining healthy relationships, fear of connection, or fear of rejection and abandonment. 
  • ​Feeling unable to manage conflict, excessive fear or avoidance of conflict.
  • ​Sensitivity to criticism, taking things "too" personally. 
  • ​Difficulty focusing on your own needs - being overly attuned to others needs and feelings, poor boundaries. 
  • ​Recurring cycles of self-sabotage that keep you stuck from moving forward in life - i.e. low self-esteem, addiction, perfectionism, codependency, social isolation, not trusting others or expecting the worst from them.
  • ​Difficulty understanding your purpose or the meaning of life; feeling lost and alone, hopeless, or even suicidal. 
  • ​Chronic and unexplained body aches and pains not connected to a medical ailment. 
  • ​Social isolation; lack of interest in developing relationships, pervasive negative outlook on yourself, others or the world.

Complex Trauma

Complex PTSD is a more severe form of Post-Traumatic Stress that is a learned environmental response to prolonged, severe, and inescapable abuse or neglect in development or adulthood. CPTSD is most commonly characterized by:
  • Disturbing Emotional flashbacks 
  • ​Patterns of self-abandonment or self-rejection; frequent experiences of feeling and fearing loneliness and abandonment  
  • ​Toxic shame cycles which are influenced by a deeply disturbed sense of self-esteem, feelings of self-loathing, and being defective or flawed in some way that aligns their identity with inadequacy. 
  • ​A paralyzing inner-critic voice
  • ​Social anxiety 
  • ​Relationship impairments (i.e. inability to develop or keep healthy relationships, trouble trusting others, avoidance of connection etc.)
  • ​Dissociative symptoms and behaviors that serve as distractions or forms of numbing 
  • ​Easily overstimulated into fight or flight responses (reactivity to fear)
  • ​Hyper-sensitivity to stress
  • ​Suicidal ideation
  • ​Mood and emotional instability 

Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP)

 20% of the population is considered "highly sensitive" and this number increases drastically in those who seek therapy.
Being highly sensitive is not a disorder. In the field of neuroscience, this is known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity which is simply a difference in how the brain processes data. Being highly sensitive is a gift that is often misperceived as a flaw or nuisance.
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life? 
  • ​Are you a spiritual person? Do you seek understanding of or have firm beliefs about a higher power, the universe or existence? 
  • ​Are you often impacted or burdened by emotions and energies around you? 
  • ​Are you easily overwhelmed by sensory input? 
  • ​Is it a priority to arrange your life in a way that avoids upsetting or overwhelming situations? 
  • ​Do you need extensive downtime/alone time to recharge? 
  • ​Do you become uncomfortable around loud noises or people? 
  • ​Do you think and feel emotions deeply?
  • ​Do you feel "different" like the outsider looking in?  
  • ​Do you become easily frazzled when you have too much to do?
  • ​ Are you attracted to depth and the arts/creativity? 
  • ​Do you tend to be more sensitive than most to pain (emotional or physical)? 

 Relationship Difficulties

  • Did you grow up in a family system of chaos, instability, or invalidation? 
  • ​Did you learn to "walk on eggshells" around others to avoid upsetting or disappointing them? 
  • ​Do you rely on others for approval, purpose or self-worth? 
  • ​Do you have difficulty saying "no" to others or setting boundaries in general? 
  • ​Are you a people pleaser? 
  • ​Do you judge yourself and others intensely? Do you struggle with self-esteem, guilt and shame as a result? 
  • ​Do you fear abandonment and rejection in relationships? 
  • ​Do you fear authority, angry people and criticism? 
  • ​Do you hide your authentic self or make yourself "smaller" around others? 

 Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD is an often stigmatized diagnosis that is most commonly the result of both biological and environmental influences including a genetic predisposition + chronically invalidating environments in one's development. Below are a few common symptoms and struggles associated with BPD but does not serve as a diagnostic tool. 
  • ​Chronically unstable interpersonal relationships
  • ​Poor emotional regulation and distress tolerance abilities 
  • ​Extreme sense of "emptiness" and cyclical episodes of depression
  • ​Debilitating fears of abandonment
  • ​Low self-worth or sense of identity 
  • ​History of abuse or neglect in childhood/development
  • Suicidal ideation or attempts
  • ​Self-harming or self-sabotaging behaviors
About Me

Who I work best with.

The most important part of any therapy journey is the relationship you have with your therapist. I'm a firm believer that when a person feels deeply seen and unconditionally accepted, this level of connection propels our healing process. Being able to show up as you are, in your most authentic form, immediately begins repairing the parts of you that have been wounded.

  • ​​Those with a history of childhood or developmental trauma, as well as trauma followed into adulthood. 
  • ​Highly motivated, tired of being in emotional pain, ready and wanting to heal traumatic wounds.
  • ​Struggle with poor sense of self, low self-esteem, self-sabotaging patterns, or relationship issues.  
  • ​Curiosity about existence, purpose, or meaning in your life.
  • ​Emotionally sensitive, deep thinkers and feelers, or those who want to improve their emotional intelligence. 
  • ​Deep desire for connection and intimacy in relationships with themself and others.
Michelle Byrd, M.ED, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado 
Trauma Specialist

My Story.

There is healing and beauty on the other end of pain and suffering. 

Let me tell you a bit about my journey and how it influenced me to become the person and therapist I am today...

I became a therapist because I'm passionate about helping others heal from trauma in order to awaken to their authentic, whole, divine nature. A groundbreaking discovery in my healing journey was finding Dr. Brené Brown's work on courage, authenticity, and vulnerability. As she masterfully teaches, I now whole-heartedly believe that healing and helping others heal requires fearlessly owning our story. We all experience shame, pain and suffering because it's a part of being human. Realizing that I was not alone in this, and discovering that there was another way to approach my life fundamentally changed me. 

I lived a large majority of my life consumed by pain and frozen in time. Some of my early experiences left life feeling like a never-ending uphill battle. I felt completely removed from any source of connection, didn't know how to love myself, and couldn't shake the feeling of emptiness in my life. I did not trust people and never felt like I fit in anywhere. Feeling different, inadequate and unworthy subsequently caused years of struggle with my mental health that lead me here today. 

My own spiritual awakening made me begin questioning everything about the way I was showing up in the world, so I decided to get help. This lead me down a path of seeking - seeking understanding of myself, my mind and my spirit, which lead me to a life enriched by whole-hearted recovery and a passion for helping others seek healing through faith. I completely dismantled my worldview and met my true self underneath all of the ego-defense mechanisms I developed to survive. 

I believe that my suffering was my teacher and my pain had purpose. It pushed me to become uncomfortable in life and it forced me to grow in ways I never would have otherwise. I now understand that healing does not have a final destination but is a constant unfolding in our lives. 

Naturally, I decided I wanted to study the brain and help people for a living with the wisdom and knowledge I gained from my own journey. In this process, I learned about the impacts of trauma in human development and how it can plague our mental health when untreated. I now deeply understand the complications that come along with childhood adversities and the spiritual burden that this has on your soul. This is where I decided my calling was to work with trauma survivors. 

If you are struggling with any of the things mentioned above, I want you to hear that you are not broken. The identity of pain is who people tend to think they are, but I'm here to tell you that it is a false version of reality. You are a powerful force of nature who is wired for healing. You have all of your own answers locked away in the depths of who you actually are, beneath the pain that keeps you stuck. 

"What we call the personality is often a jumble of genuine 
traits and adopted coping styles that do not reflect our 
true self at all but the loss of it."
Dr. Gabor Maté

What is it like to work with me?
I am gentle yet challenging, compassionate, creative, playful, and open. Creating comfort, safety and depth of connection are my priorities because we heal when we feel safe to be unapologetically ourselves. I value genuineness, authenticity and vulnerability; therefore, I will always be my true self with you and welcome you to do the same. I practice through the lenses of both Eastern and Western psychology for a holistic experience that does not pathologize your issues and addresses the entirety of your consciousness. I am not a passive therapist that just sits back and listens. I'm in this work with you, I will challenge you to grow, I will teach you about your mind and nervous system, and I will help you to believe in yourself. We will work together to help you consciously align with the best version of you + remove the blocks in your life that keep you from your truest, most divine nature.

What would make therapy with me stand apart from traditional approaches?
I remember completing my master's program in traditional Western psychology and thinking "that's it??"...I intuitively knew that there was more to healing than the standard cognitive-behavioral, talk therapy approach. This sent me on quest to understand healing on a deeper level. I went on to be trained in therapeutic modalities that do not focus solely on talking, but instead treats root cause of the problem which lies at the core of your subconscious mind. 

As a therapist and a fellow seeker, I've immersed myself in learning about what it means to be human, how trauma impairs our overall functioning, the importance of healthy attachments in relationships, and the role neuroscience plays in healing the nervous system and rewiring the brain. 

I'm a huge advocate of teaching you how to access the natural healing capabilities within yourself. The human body is an infinitely intelligent system that knows how to repair itself if we understand how to get out of the way. Unresolved pain creates energetic blocks in our physiology that manifest in a multitude of ways and make us ill. My holistic approach focuses on surrendering to a challenging but liberating process of healing through self-awareness, nervous system regulation, ego-state work, connection and vulnerability, self discovery, trauma reprocessing, neurobiological reprogramming. 


How I can help you.
I believe that you are powerful beyond measure and innately wired for healing. While there are many approaches to therapy, my focus includes reprocessing traumatic wounds and reprogramming the conditioning you've been entrapped by. In order to discover your authentic wholeness beneath this pain, you must deal with the parts of you that have been repressed.

Traditional therapy often supports talking endlessly about our pain which can keep us looping in our emotions, and is ultimately not enough to foster true healing and change. There are more important factors to consider which is why we will work directly with your physiology to regulate your nervous system, create safety within yourself, and reprogram your subconscious mind.

Healing requires growing beyond what you think you're capable of because true change happens in our discomfort zone. The secret is that you already have the tools within you which have been suppressed by deeply engrained core beliefs, disturbing experiences, and toxic stress trapped in the physical body. 

"The moment you change your perception is the moment 
you rewrite the chemistry of your body."
- Dr. Bruce Lipton

Common things I address in therapy with trauma survivors:

  • ​Stabilization of overwhelming symptoms (i.e. depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, or dissociation).
  • ​Nervous system regulation techniques
  • ​Learn new coping skills for tolerating distress and regulating emotions; develop self-care + self-love practices. 
  • ​​Reprogram limiting thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and beliefs.
  • ​​Overcome "self-sabotage" behaviors.
  • ​Resolve the blocks that keep you stuck in old patterns.
  • ​Increase emotional intelligence.
  • ​Improving relationship with yourself and others.
  • ​Understand and detach from cycles of unconscious, self-induced suffering; develop deeper self awareness and take ownership of your recovery.
  • ​​Discover a meaningful life of purpose and connection.
  • ​Connect with the truest, most authentic version of yourself - your spirit. 
  • ​Create balance in all areas of your life.

"We're all just walking each other home."
- Ram Dass


My areas of focus:

  • Trauma & Complex PTSD
  • ​Christian Counseling
  • ​​HSP (highly sensitive people)
  • ​Depression & Anxiety
  • ​Self-Esteem
  • ​Perfectionism
  • ​Relationship Issues
  • ​Borderline Personality Disorder 
  • ​Attachment disruptions
  • ​Addiction & Treatment Evals

My Experience and Training.

Education

Master's (M.Ed) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Texas Tech University Graduate School
Bachelor's in Community, Family and Addiction Sciences, focus in Addictive Disorders and Recovery, Texas Tech University

Advanced Training and Continued Education

Somatic and Attachment-Focused EMDR (Eye-Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing) Basic Training
Advanced EMDR Training for Complex Trauma and Dissociative Personality Structures
Energy Psychology Training in Emotional Freedom Technique + Thought Field Therapy
Somatic Psychology Training with Dr. Albert Wong
Complex Trauma Training with Dr. Janina Fisher
Internal Family Systems (IFS) Intensive Training for Trauma, Anxiety, Depression and Addiction with Dr. Richard Schwartz & Dr. Frank Anderson

Experience

Private Practice Therapist and business owner.
Addiction Recovery Therapist: levels of care including Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Residential, and Sober Living.
Psychiatric Social Work for Inpatient Mental Health Hospitalization.
Volunteer Therapist for Public School System (high school age). 
Community Mental Health Services, Clinical Coordinator for Adult Behavioral Health Department.
Crisis Intervention for a Residential Domestic Violence Shelter serving Women and Children.
Clinical Internships (2013 - 2016): Community Mental Health Agency providing in-home therapy, coping skills training & crisis stabilization, Adoption Agency Intern, and worked in the school system with children suffering from learning disabilities and behavioral issues.

Therapy Approaches

Depending on your specific needs we can utilize a variation of healing tools including: 

EMDR
Somatic Experiencing 
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Ego-State and "Shadow" Work
Inner Child Work
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Transpersonal Counseling 
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-Female, age 25
 Are you ready to break free of your chains? 
If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency and need immediate assistance 
please contact 911 or the Colorado Crisis Line: 1-844-493-8255
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