Natalie Jovanic (they/them) specializes in working with diverse clients who have experienced trauma, loss or adverse childhood experiences as well as people with depression and anxiety. They are passionate about supporting their clients on regaining control in their lives. Natalie believes that healing is possible. The services are trauma-informed and based on anti-racist/ anti-oppressive practice. Natalie also integrates Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which is recognized as the leading trauma-resolution method.
Additionally, Natalie provides workshops, mentoring, and consultancy services around power, privilege and oppression.
Natalie shared their journey of recovery from childhood abuse in the memoir A Brave, True Story.
On a warm Tuesday morning in September, my mother died after a period of great suffering. I could not imagine my life without her, and I did not have any idea how my life was going to continue. Her doctor encouraged me to see my mother’s death as though it had brought her freedom. Freedom… I sensed by the energy of her words that being free must be wonderful. Freedom was a concept that I had never known before; sadness and pain were what I knew. I felt that maybe it was a wonderful choice for my mom. Would I have to die first to be able to be free from suffering? It was that day when I was 19 years old that I left home forever. I left behind darkness and violence, and began my search for freedom.
Years later while washing my hair, I caught myself watching the water disappear down the drain. A feeling emerged from within me that I could finally put words to; I felt as if it was my life that was running away. I had a good job and a relationship, but I was trapped in my own fears and with a deep feeling of worthlessness. I knew that I deserved something better. I needed to do something and I knew that only I could make the difference. So I started this process of change. I cut my hair, took drawing classes, started yoga and moved into an internationally based career. I could not wait to see if the personal changes I was making would make other areas of my life better. I was ready to take responsibility for my own happiness.
I was sitting in a little bar by the Bi Tan Lake in Taiwan sharing stories with some of my colleagues of our relationships. I could hear the love and respect they had in their voices when they spoke of their partners. I could not speak this way about my partner; I did not feel those things. I realized with clarity that my relationship was not the way I wanted it to be. Soon after, my attempt to make changes failed and I decided that it was better to stay alone. I knew I would find the relationship that was right for me one day. Once again, I took the right action and the right time through self-awareness and responsibility.
In the following years, I worked towards integrating my childhood trauma - whether it was connecting with my inner child, finding ways to navigate my trauma responses or releasing the trauma that was stored in my body.
Now – as a counsellor – I pass on what I believe in, but it isn’t just knowledge, theory, and professional experience. I teach what has helped me to experience inner changes that earlier I would not have believed possible.