Danya River, SEP
Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner
I have an extensive background in and passion for personal growth and development. Raised by two therapists/coachs/relationship and leadership workshop facilitators, I subsequently spent my entire adult life in the personal growth field, becoming a life coach and a practitioner of various healing modalities. Through my own health crisis and my professional education and practice, it has became clear to me that physiological wellbeing—or lack thereof—can have a profound influence on all of our perceptions as human beings.
Chronic anxiety, overwhelm, depression, pain, irritability, hypersensitivity, problems connecting with others are sometimes not "fixed" by trying to think about things differently. These states of being take root in our physiology, and I have found they can sometimes be stubborn and persistent when addressed exclusively from a cognitive perspective.
That said, our bodies are incredibly adaptable and resilient. I help clients rework their body's ability to easily navigate both challenging and pleasurable states of being, supporting them in gaining greater range of expression and tolerance for the felt experience. Persistent mental and emotional distress are then eased as a result of the nervous system/physiology developing greater strength and capacity.
My Personal Story
Through my personal journey with Somatic Experiencing, I have established a sense of inner peace, resilience to stress and sensory stimulation, inner safety, expansiveness, wellbeing, aliveness and confidence that I never thought possible.
Prior to discovering SE, I had chronic anxiety and hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation.
For many years I had to wear ear plugs every time I left the house because I was so easily overstimulated by simple activities such as going to the grocery store, walking on a busy street, or going to a restaurant. Such expeditions would leave me shaky and exhausted. My blood sugar was easily destabilized, where I would become groggy and irritable minutes after eating something sweet. When people around me had strong emotions, I would indiscriminately feel their emotions as if they were my own. My immune system was constantly compromised.
The overall experience was one of walking around in the world with very "thin skin" and of it taking a huge amount of effort to manage everyday life.
Some of my nervous system sensitivity may have been hereditary, some due to young trauma. Then it all intensified in my mid-20s after a music touring career drained me to the core and left me feeling like I was crawling out of a pit for 6 years.
Since healing through SE, I can more or less eat whatever I want, and I actually enjoy going out of the house...dancing, dining out, house parties...all without my ear plugs. I bounce back quickly from events that challenge me emotionally. I almost never get sick. I am better able to sense and tend to the emotions of others without taking them on. I no longer feel overwhelmed by the world on a daily level.
On top of that, all of the communication and other personal growth tools I learned along the way are now far more effective, I have more personal resources to bring to my relationships, and making important life changes is more natural and enjoyable.
It is because SE has been so revolutionary in my own life that I can provide it to others with such confidence. I know that it works. I know what is like to suffer, and I know that healing is possible.
I truly love being an SE Practitioner, and I look forward to helping you along your journey to unforeseen levels of wellbeing, peace, resilience, and joy in your life.
- Touch Skills Training for Trauma Therapists: Module I & II (with Kathy Kain, 2016)
- Attachment Mastery (with Diane Poole Heller, 2016)
- SE Master Class: Advanced Work with Complex Syndromes (with Peter Levine, 2014)
- Musing from the Womb (Pre- and Perinatal Trauma Workshop with Ariel Giarretto, 2013)
- Somatic Experiencing® Professional Training (SE Trauma Institute, 2011-2013)
- Reiki Practitioner Training: Levels I and II (2012)
- Psychic Intuitive Training (with Simple Spirit, 2011)
- Psychic training (with Psychic Horizons, 2009)
- Life Coach training (with Judith Ansara, 2008)
- Watsu I training (2008)
- Barbara Brennan Hands of Light Introductory Training (with Carolyn Eberle, 2007)
- Landmark Education: Curriculum for Living, Introduction Leaders Program, and the 3-year Wisdom course series (2001-2010)
- Wesleyan University (CT) - Pre-Med, Music (1998-2000)
Contact me for a Free 20-Minute Phone Consultation
+1 (720) 309 5904 or email
My legal name is Danya Epstein Gass. I am trained as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Somatic Coach, Personal Growth and Life Coach, Energy/Hands-on Healer and Intuitive with education in clinical applications of Attachment Theory. I am not a licensed mental health professional. As required by law for non-traditionally trained practitioners helping with issues related to mental health, I am registered with the state of Colorado as a "registered psychotherapist," a designation that does not have any specific educational requirements (Registration Number: NLC.0109055). Please see footnote below for definitions of each type of mental health professional.* The work I offer may complement and enhance other mental or physical health care you are receiving. Please see FAQs for information on the difference between Somatic Experiencing and traditional psychotherapy.
*Education Requirement for Mental Health Professionals:
A Registered Psychotherapist is registered with the State Board of Registered Psychotherapists, is not licensed or certified, and no degree, training or experience is required. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Licensed Professional Counselor must hold a masters degree in their profession and have two years of post-masters supervision. A Licensed Psychologist must hold a doctorate degree in psychology and have one year of post-doctoral supervision. A Licensed Social Worker must hold a masters degree in social work. A Psychologist Candidate, a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, and a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate must hold the necessary licensing degree and be in the process of completing the required supervision for licensure. A Certified Addiction Counselor I (CAC I) must be a high school graduate, and complete required training hours and 1000 hours of supervised experience. A CAC II must complete additional required training hours and 2,000 hours of supervised experience. A CAC III must have a bachelors degree in behavioral health, and complete additional required training hours and 2,000 hours of supervised experience. A Licensed Addiction Counselor must have a clinical masters degree and meet the CAC III requirements.