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Meet Erika... 

Erika M. Cherry is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, founder of Awaken Wellness, PLLC, and Life Strategist/Coach. Using strategic storytelling techniques, She is committed to guiding her clients on a journey to untangle their identity from subconscious narratives of social conditioning so they can start taking intentional steps toward living the life they dream of living.

 

Erika is no stranger to reclaiming narratives in her own life. Her determination to “show my boys how to get up from the rubble of your own mess” pushed her to defy statistics and stereotypes associated with single parenting. As a 32 year old single mom of 3 boys, she became a “non-traditional” student to complete her undergraduate education and then went on to obtain a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas.

 

Erika relocated to Seattle, Washington from Little Rock, Arkansas in 2014 to start a life with her new husband and to once again, “show the boys something different… ultimately, I wanted them to see themselves as more than what their environment dictated…”. 

 

The transition to Washington was not easy. Even with all the skills and training as a therapist, Erika still came face to face with several conscious and subconscious thoughts, beliefs and narratives that left her feeling powerless, unheard, helpless, and unsure about her identity in her new environment. Although the transition (or mid-life redesign) was destabilizing on every level, It left Erika believing 4 things very intimately: 

  • Life is a journey.

  • One can't get to the next part of the journey without transition.

  • Those transitions often bring about chaos that can lead to opportunities of understanding, creativity, and growth.

  • One can choose to dwell in the rubble of the chaos, OR they can choose to see an opportunity to create something new for themselves.

 

Erika’s appreciation for the “journey” of life fuels her commitment to help others, especially women, navigate and explore the “stuck-points” that impact their ability to be fully present ​ and open to the possibility of creating their own story of identity, personal power, and wellness. 

 

When Erika is not guiding others through their life journey, she spends time creating intentional space to open her heart, mind, and body to Divine Energy by building memories with those she loves;  aligning her thoughts through journal writing; fueling with primarily plant based foods; embracing the countless opportunities to see creation through a different lens; and leaning into small ways to plant seeds of peace, love, hope, balance, and wellness in those around her.

Therapeutic Approach

Therapy is a process that involves

  • remembering unpleasant events and emotions;

  • bringing awareness to destructive and self-sabotaging behavior or communication patterns; and

  • discovering more deeply who you are at your core.  

 

Being on this path of remembering, awareness, and discovery can ignite overwhelming intellectual, emotional, physical, or spiritual responses.

My goal is to create a space for clients to explore those responses without limiting themselves with labels and expectations that do not promote forward movement.

I infuse trauma-informed mindful awareness with an intersectional approach to treatment that highlights the complex, and often overlapping, cultural, spiritual, familial, societal and historical factors that contribute to a person’s identity and perspective.

Emotional work is hard, and it can often leave you with feelings of discomfort. This is to be expected. I encourage you to go through the therapeutic process with a mindset of curious self-discovery. 

 

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At Awaken Wellness, We Believe... 

  • Awareness is a first line of defense when dismantling limiting thoughts and beliefs.

  • Ignorance is not bliss; it is dangerous.

  • Understanding yields perspective... perspective yields understanding.

  • History can be guidance and wisdom for the present.

  • We often learn of ourselves through adversity.

  • Each role and intersection of a person's life can consist of competing expectations that can cause internal conflicts and emotional imbalance. 

  • Consequences are not "good" or "bad". They are just changes in an environment (internal or external) that follows a behavior.

  • The power to create personal change lies within oneself... not somebody else.

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