About Vanissar Tarakali, Ph.D.
Dr. Tarakali is a somatic educator and intuitive who offers befriend-your-body coaching and training for people who are healing our world. She believes in collaborating with our wise bodies to transform extreme stress and sustain social change. Dr. Tarakali received her Ph.D. in East West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, researching the psychology of unlearning racism.
Dr. Tarakali has over twenty years of experience with anti-violence non-profits, social justice education, trauma healing and mindfulness practices. She is a seasoned and passionate practitioner of Generative Somatics, Intuitive Reading, Energy Bodywork, and Tibetan Buddhism.
About Vanissar Tarakali’s name:
Vanissar Tarakali is a white anglo saxon protestant woman who is committed to racial justice, and does her best to avoid cultural appropriation. If you would like to know the origin of Dr. Tarakali’s name, click here: http://www.vanissar.com/blog/honor-your-relationship-to-spirit/
Vanissar approaches her work on allyship with compassion and a deep understanding of the role of trauma in perpetuating oppression. Her focus on the body helps people move through the work in a way that goes beyond mere intellectual understanding.
~ Starhawk, MA, global justice activist and Reclaiming Co-Founder, San Francisco, CA
Dr. Tarakali’s work stands out because of her grounding in leading-edge multicultural theory, her blending of ancient wisdom and contemporary practices, and her insistence that transformative work be embodied into our lives in pervasive and lasting ways. I count myself fortunate to be able to work with Dr. Tarakali. If you have a chance to utilize her services, by all means do!”
~Lawrence T. Ellis, MA, Spiritual Teacher, Activist, Executive Director, Paths to Change Institute, Oakland, CA
You are an amazing and courageous teacher, Vanissar. Your embodied approach opens a way for deep shifts in the nervous system. Many of your lessons are deceptively simple: they offer so much depth, while being so accessible that the wisdom and the breakthroughs that result from your practical teachings often come as a surprise. This profound exchange is a joy to witness.
~ Victor Lee Lewis, MA, EFTCert-I, Diversity Coach, Oakland, CA
I have experienced Dr. Tarakali's abilities as a colleague and as a client. She is driven by an unparalleled commitment to strengthen change and healing communities. One of her highest priorities is teaching individuals to recognize and use their true center to overcome past and daily trauma caused by violence, oppression, and stress. Dr. Tarakali is an excellent coach, with a gift for asking illuminating questions that allow clients to see themselves with fresh eyes. Her approach is gentle, insightful and persistent.
~Jacqueline Elena Featherston, Lead Consultant, Featherston & Associates, San Francisco, CA
Vanissar’s greatest gift is her ability to be present with people who have experienced deep violence and trauma, to hold suffering, the effects of suffering, and the potential for healing and learning alternatives to the strategies developed through trauma. She has a unique ability to hold compassion for unskillful states in order to allow for more, skilled states to come into being. Her years of Buddhist practice and psychology background show up in her work as a healer, facilitator, teacher, and guide.
~Prajna Choudhury, LAc, Perfect Wisdom Acupuncture & Herbs, Oakland, CA
I want to share a wonderful Bay Area resource with you. Vanissar Tarakali is a somatic practitioner, coach, educator, facilitator and all around fabulous person who specializes in working with social justice issues. She works with individuals and groups, and is committed, as a White woman, to working with other White people who yearn to navigate the dynamics of race, culture, and diversity, and want more fulfilling relationships with the people of color in their lives. She is well-versed in working with trauma, and has a gentle and compassionate way of working with all people on their paths to liberation.
~Sonya Brewer, MA, MFT Intern, Somatic Psychotherapy for Body, Mind, Heart & Spirit