Theresa Pettersen-Chu has spent the past twenty years learning and teaching about the BodyMindSoul connection. After a period in her life when she was struggling with feelings of emptiness and exhaustion, she discovered how listening to her body with the help of a Synergist re-connected her to her soul's longings for spiritual connection and lifelong learning. This awakening to her body's wisdom inspired her to become a Synergist.
Theresa is wholeheartedly committed to awakening others to the wisdom of their bodies, so they can remember the beauty and brilliance of their beings, and live passionate and purposeful lives. Her personal foundation is built upon a deep belief in the goodness of humanity and in the power of love and compassion to heal the body, mind and spirit.
Theresa is a Certified Rubenfeld Synergist®, Certified Rubenfeld Synergy® Mentor and has been a faculty member of the Rubenfeld Synergy Training Institute. She was a board member of the International Association of Rubenfeld Synergists for fifteen years. From 2012-2014, she served as president and initiated the "Befriend Your Body" campaign; an endeavor to educate the public about the wisdom of their bodies.
I had very little idea what Rubenfeld Synergy (RSM) was before Theresa Pettersen-Chu opened the door to her office. I had read a little bit but I couldn't really picture what it all meant: Energy messages? Spiritual tension? It was outside of this anxiety-ridden Jew's understanding. What happened after that is one of the most intense therapeutic experiences of my life. Theresa has this warm glow about her - as if a very subtle spotlight is on her at all times. I laid down on a table and she very gently placed her hands on my arms, legs, feet and asked me to say what came to my mind. I felt safe, open, and found myself seeing colors, scenes from my past, exploring places in myself that had never been acknowledged. It all felt like a bit of sorcery. I talked with Theresa a few days after my treatment to learn more about it. - Sarah Klein for Holding Space
Here’s my conversation:
Thanks for taking the time to talk more about your practice. I was really surprised at how much my session with you affected me. It felt like a year’s worth of talk therapy.
Theresa: Wow. I’m so happy to hear you got so much. There can be amazing insights in psychotherapy but the Rubinfeld synergy is a holistic modality. So it's tapping into body, mind, emotions and spirit. I bring together touch and talk to help people heal. As a culture the way we deal with our emotional wounds is very different from our physical lives. We have a physical wound, an injury and we take care of it and we let it heal. Well, we don't necessarily do that with our emotional wounds and so then they sort of go unnoticed.
“Your body is a resource if you listen to it, it knows who you are. It's been with you from the beginning and it has recorded all your experiences.”
That makes so much sense. I was surprised at how much the simple touch brought up so much in me.
Theresa: Yeah, it is so powerful. I think, as human beings we want to be listened to, we want to be heard, we want to be felt by another human being, we want to be understood. And that's what this is about. It's about helping someone to have that experience. When I'm making contact with you, I'm listening; I'm listening with my whole being. I'm listening with my hands; I'm thinking about being present. Sometimes I offer support or compassion, you know, there's all different kinds of touch. How can I, with my touch, invite the possibility of some movement? And also it's also about connecting my clients to their inner resources. Your body is a resource if you listen to it, it knows who you are. It's been with you from the beginning and it has recorded all your experiences. And so when you listen, those things that need to be listened to, those things that are waiting to be noticed, they surface and then we can address them.
“So how can we learn to love ourselves? Right? How can we develop loving relationships with our bodies? When we work on that relationship you can see that little drop in the pond start to ripple.”
It’s strange how disconnected most of us are to our bodies. What are you hoping people begin to find through this treatment?
Theresa: You know, for me it's about helping people to connect with their own beauty and their brilliance. And also it's also addressing that underlying feeling that I'm not good enough. It's part of the human condition. We all struggle with it. So how can we learn to love ourselves? Right? How can we develop loving relationships with our bodies? When we work on that relationship you can see that little drop in the pond start to ripple. We're here for this journey of life and I often say that our body is our map. If we listened to it, we know what's a yes, what's a no. We know when something feels dangerous or safe. It comes from a sensation and informs us and then it moves through our brain and we make sense of it and we respond from that place and we know how to navigate.
“I think what continues to amaze me is the resiliency of human beings and the human spirit.”
What has surprised you about the experiences you have had through this work?
Theresa: I think what continues to amaze me is the resiliency of human beings and the human spirit. I had a new client last week and she had so much pain. I feel a little teary just talking about it. She told me she had been through in her life, and yet here this person is, she's raised children, she's working and she’s surviving - she’s putting one foot in front of the other and that’s something.
Thanks so much for this, one more question - This retreat is called “Holding Space” … what does that idea mean to you.
Theresa: For me, a holding space is a safe container imbued with presence, warmth and gentleness. Like a mother's womb, it is nourishing and nurturing. It promotes growth and development for all aspects of our being; body, mind, emotions and spirit.