Naropa Magazine Spring 2014
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Lisa Dion

Living in Attunement

by Lisa Birman, MFA

Lisa DionLisa Dion (MA, 2003) is often asked how she juggles her roles as therapist, trainer, entrepreneur, business consultant, and mother. In fact, finding that alignment, and helping others find theirs, is at the core of her work.

After graduating from Naropa's Transpersonal Counseling Program, Lisa moved to Summit County hoping to find an agency job. When nothing was available, she realized she would have to launch her private practice. "That experience has fueled me," she says. "Rather than fitting into what is there, my energy has been in looking at what I want to do, then going out there and creating it." Having discovered a deep connection in working with children during her internship, Lisa's private practice served a broad spectrum of clientele, with a specialization in play therapy. When a 2006 community assessment showed a need for low-income and no-insurance family counseling, Lisa founded the non-profit Family Wellness Center.

That was also the year that Lisa gave birth to her first child. After a hit and run accident in her 29th week of pregnancy, Lisa started to understand the possibilities of co-regulating nervous systems. This new understanding helped her control and ultimately stop her contractions, allowing her daughter to be born at a safer time. That experience was the birthplace of Synergetic Play Therapy, "the first research-informed play therapy model to blend together neuroscience, attachment/attunement, therapist authenticity, physics, emotional congruence, nervous system regulation, and mindfulness/mindsight."

Another transformative meeting came in her discovery of John Demartini's work, in which human behavior is examined according to universal laws and quantum physics. Now a senior facilitator, Lisa brings the work into every facet of her life and businesses.

After moving back to Boulder in 2009, Lisa founded the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado, offering play therapy education and supervision. Now part of the collaborative Wilderness Early Learning Center, the Institute also offers direct services to the community. Through its international nonprofit arm, Play Therapy Institute of Colorado reaches far beyond our state's borders. A recent contract with the Red Cross will see trainees on the front lines of disaster relief, and a partnership with Lionhearted Kids (founded by Naropa alumna Lauren Pech) trains therapists to work in the children's hospital in Capetown.

Whether she's working with children, adults, or businesses, Lisa is committed to helping people "create their own vision, confront their fears, and figure out what it is they really want."

With Naropa students interning at Play Therapy Institute of Colorado, Lisa stays in touch with Naropa happenings. As we look beyond these first forty years and into the future, she's invested in the type of education Naropa can offer. "It's not just about whatever discipline or school of thought the students are immersed in, but who they are within that. I want them to ask what their version of that discipline will look like."

Find out more about Synergetic Play Therapy and Lisa's private practice and coaching services.