What I Do:
Most broadly, I am a fitness and wellness coach and counselor for my clients, and in serving as such, I offer contextual and specific understanding to a wide array of concerns and challenges as well as techniques on how to navigate and/or correct these challenges (when possible). With my professional background, I specialize primarily in movement/exercise, sexuality, and spirituality.
The guiding intention of my work is to assist people in finding joy in their bodies and in their sexuality. Often joy is found in through education and reframing of a person’s experience within systems that are not supportive of thriving, meaning, and joy. For example, the body hatred pushed onto us by failing to meet impossible beauty standards serves consumerism, but it does not serve individuals. I assist my clients in teasing out what it is they are actually striving for and how I might be able to help them reach their goals.
Why People Work With Me:
People work with me because I am knowledgeable and passionate in my areas of professional expertise. I am kind, compassionate, empathetic, unassuming, non-judgmental, and approachable. I do not take the trust my clients have in me for granted.
I practice non-attachment and non-absolutism, meaning I do not assume that my world view, experiences, and understanding are the only Truths. I believe in collaboration while working with my clients and do my best to minimize power differentials. For example, I don’t tell them what to do (yuck), rather we co-create goals and ways to approach them.
I love questions and welcome them from clients; I am never condescending or dismissive of a their questions or concerns. I balance that desire to help and love of questions with the recognition of the limits of my knowledge and ability. My limits are also learning opportunities and areas of curiosity – I will never know everything ,that’s ok (expecting otherwise is an example of supremacy culture), but I will always seek out ways to fill in educational gaps of my own.
People tend to appreciate my way of thinking about a problem (I am a systems thinker) – I take a both/and approach of individualization and systems/culture lens. The systemic lens means I pull social justice into my work with clients through ways of thinking about disability and disease, body acceptance, and sexuality, as some examples. This broader way of analyzing a problem takes a bit of pressure off a client that might feel stuck or limited, offering additional understanding of their concern while situating them in community (ie there are others going through similar struggles).
Where I Practice and How People Find Me:
My services are tailored to those I am serving, so I can work virtually or in-person. Virtual offerings allow me to assist people across the US (even the world, for death cafes). For in-person, I see clients in my home or theirs, travel time and cost depending.
Problems I Enjoy Solving
I light up when discussing things that people can’t discuss or haven’t gotten help with elsewhere: sexuality, purpose/meaning/death (this shows up in all of my clients if I look hard enough), and the physical body.
I love discussing sexuality and being the person that my clients can speak to openly and honestly. Some of my favorite “problems” are orientation and gender identity, sexual communication, relationship dynamics, sex positive parenting, maintaining erotic connection to partner/s, and desire discrepancy. I love being able to offer people a cultural understanding and systems lens to their sexuality concerns, which is a form of empowerment and often allows a sigh of relief from the client – no, they are not alone/wrong/deviant etc. I also love being the safe haven for my clients – the person they can talk to about “the thing” that they have no one else to discuss it with.
Movement is art and a healing modality to me personally and professionally, and I enjoy sharing my love of exercise with others. In particular, I love fine-tuning movement and fitness for folks that have additional challenges that aren’t often supported by other fitness professionals – People that have a complicated medical history, disability, past injuries, have finished physical therapy and don’t know what to do next around their body, want to start exercising and don’t know how, and/or hate exercising and want other ideas on how to support their body, etc.
I know many people go about exercise on their own and get injured from less ideal (for their body and sport) form, rest, etc. I appreciate that most people are athletic in their own way and require some education in injury avoidance, form, posture, rest, program design, etc. I particularly enjoy working with aerialists, martial artists, obstacle course race enthusiasts, runners, cyclists, and swimmers, as these are all movement modalities that I personally practice and therefore have familiarity with.
I really love making exercise accessible to those that have felt it wasn’t in the past, helping people avoid injury through screening and training, and/or returning to sport with additional improvements after fine-tuning form. I also love solving things like mild, nagging pain from activity. Low back pain, for example, is common, but often not easily resolved. With my CHEK training and physical therapy background, I can utilize posture and movement analysis to pinpoint what other providers might have missed and resolve, or at least better support, the back pain.
People I Enjoy Working With
I enjoy working with all kinds of people and am particularly drawn to marginalized populations for our collective healing. That said, much of what I do requires the client to do ‘the work’. For example, I cannot exercise for them, I cannot decide how to label their sexuality for them, I cannot decide exactly what boundaries are best between a partnered couple or what relationship structure best works for them. Instead I offer context, options, and suggestions. What we do together will assist them, but it all takes time, regardless of if we are discussing physical fitness, sexuality, or, ultimately, meaning. So the best clients for me and my style of working are those that are self-motivated, ready for change, and willing to put the time in to their journey.
How I Work With My Clients
This depends on the goals of my clients. I use tools like movement analysis, posture evaluation, exercise program design, sexuality history taking, sexuality education, soft tissue mobilization for movement facilitation, yoga, shamanic practice, meditation, reiki, sleep hygiene, stress management, creation/links to community, and referral to other providers. Some of these tools are hands-on and done in-person, many can be hands-off and completed virtually.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you aren’t ready to work with me directly as a client, please see additional links below for other ways to work or engage with me. I wish you support on your well-being journey.
The above content is written by Dr. Allison Mitch, PT (DPT), RYT500; sex-positive/affirming, trauma-informed sexuality counselor and educator (she/her/they/them); copyright protected, please cite accordingly. The picture is from Pexels.
For more offerings that support well-being, please see: https://ignitewell-being.com/upcoming_events/ or my EventBrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/allison-mitch-41024584863
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