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. 

I merge the worlds of Eastern Psychology, Neurobiology, and Spirituality.
My passion is to help you stop running from your pain so you can discover 
and align with your full potential. I deeply believe that the journey of 
healing gives you the gift of your true nature - your spirit.

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)? 

 Codependency & Relationship Troubles

Codependency is not a diagnosis but a common difficulty in interpersonal relationships. It is a maladaptive relationship dynamic characterized by people pleasing; and encourages a loss of identity, worth and boundaries in relationships. 
  • 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? 
About Me

My ideal client.

I am most passionate about working with anyone who is on a quest for healing and aligning with their authentic, whole self. 
  • Spiritually inclined - interested in spiritual work, or might be experiencing a spiritual awakening as a result of their suffering. Faith and truth-seeking souls, no matter your religious orientation. 
  • ​​Highly motivated, tired of being in emotional pain, ready and wanting to heal traumatic wounds.
  • ​History of trauma whether in childhood or adulthood.
  • ​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.
  • ​Open to alternative approaches to therapy including utilizing a strong emphasis of your faith and belief system in this journey.

I'm a firm believer that when a person feels deeply seen and understood, this level of connection propels our healing process. 

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, spiritual 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. 

"The energy of trauma can be 
transformed into the energy of life."  

- Dr. Gabor Mate

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 see the wholeness of who you are through mind, body and spirit and help you discover how to achieve healing on each one of these levels. 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, spirit 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 now practice holistically, meaning that I address healing on the levels of mind, body, and spirit. 

My foundation of therapy is rooted in the understanding that healing is a spiritual path. I work best with those who are spiritual seekers and wanting to use their belief system as a major tool in their treatment. 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 nature of the soul, 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 healer 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 healing, ego-state work, connection and vulnerability, self discovery, trauma reprocessing, neurobiological reprogramming, and learning to align spiritually with the life you want and deserve. Read more in the section below.

My approach works best for clients of spiritual or religious backgrounds. However, I am always sensitive to your values, culture, and belief system. 

"You are a spirit in a body, not a body with a spirit. So while making the body beautiful is fun, making the spirit beautiful is the main goal of this life."

- Unknown


How I can help you.
Your unique psyche requires a unique, life-enriching approach.

I believe that you are powerful beyond measure and that you hold your own answers to transformation. My formula for therapy includes addressing the entirety of your consciousness through Mind, Body, and Soul. While there are many approaches to therapy, my focus includes healing traumatic wounds (we all have them) with an emphasis on spirituality, body and energy work. 

While traditional therapy supports talking endlessly about the pain, it is not enough to foster true healing and neurobiological changes. There are more important factors to consider which is why we will work directly with your physiology to 1. regulate your nervous system, 2. reprogram your brain, and 3. balance your bio-energy field. 

Advancing scientific fields including Behavioral Epigenetics, Quantum Physics, Neurogenesis, and Neuroplasticity largely inform my practice. We have extensive evidence that trauma impacts the body and spirit just as much, if not more so than the brain. I additionally practice Eastern Psychology, also known as Contemplative or Buddhist Psychology, as well as Energy Psychology. 
Visit https://www.energypsych.org/ for more info.

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 and toxic stress (energy) trapped in the body. 

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 & CPTSD
  • ​Spirituality
  • ​​HSP (highly sensitive people)
  • Codependency
  • ​Christian Counseling
  • ​Depression & Anxiety
  • ​Existential Crises
  • ​Self-Esteem
  • ​Identity concerns
  • ​Perfectionism
  • ​Addiction recovery
  • ​Addiction treatment evals
  • ​Attachment disruptions
  • ​Relationship issues

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 
Energy Psychology
Neuroscience applications 
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Ego-State and Shadow Work
Inner Child Work
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Contemplative Psychology
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-Female, age 25
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-Female, age 25
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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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