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Welcome! I'm Valerie; founder of Healing Therapies.
In my youth, the most common word used to describe me was "sensitive." Not only was I experiencing the world first-hand, but my ability to empath the feelings and intentions of others was both a powerful gift and an inundating challenge.
Complicated by child maltreatment and without the tools to adequately navigate, my abilities became increasingly painful.
By my mid 20’s, I was plagued with intolerable distress. During this period of turmoil, I explored many avenues for relief; some of them dramatic, some more subtle. I left my social work job in treatment foster care, which had become increasingly bureaucratic, in search of work I could feel good about again. I traveled cross country staying in youth hostels and meditating in the woods. I scrutinized every aspect of the life I had chosen and feared I’d made many wrong choices.
In a moment of great vulnerability and despair On New Year’s Day of 2002, I asked, out loud, for guidance. What followed was a clarifying ‘vision’. In this revelation I saw myself as a joyful healer in a holistic and integrated practice; my soul fully unrestrained.
And, in being free, I was inviting others to find their own freedom.
Following the marathon labor and life-threatening delivery of my first child in 2004, I was slammed by a severe episode of peripartum mental illness [postpartum depression (PPD)].
I was blindsided.
The psychological effects of childhood trauma, previously pushed beneath the surface, erupted.The depths of my pain and panic were shocking. It was as though my soul had shattered and I was lost.
Through the support of many, my battle with PPD was a brave yet tenuous one. Some days it defeated me, slamming me back into an ocean of blankets and tissues. I fantasized about abandoning my family to disappear in some faraway land.
The possibility of finding purpose and meaning in the depths of misery were of no consolation. But in time, great purpose and meaning did come.
Moving through the deepest layers of my illness offered an invitation to become present to that which I had previously avoided. I was naturally drawn to healers who would help me, not only conquer PPD, but honor and grow my intuitive gifts.
These supports reignited my creativity and vigor. I was, not only emerging from my PPD nightmare, but was grooming myself to be the therapist I had envisioned on New Years Day two years prior.
I did not just access holistic healing so as to find my own greater sense of inner peace, but I studied it passionately so as to be better equipped to support others on their healing journey.
As a result of these experiences, I have dedicated my professional life to a unique form of integrated counseling; uniting traditional and holistic methods with my innate intuitive abilities.
Through my practice, Healing Therapies, I treat clients around a variety of emotional issues including anxiety, depression, distractibility, grief, relationship challenges, work stress, family dynamics, loss/lack of direction and specialize in the treatment of Postpartum Disorders.
None of us are alone on this journey.
Together, we can create a radiant life.
Valerie R. McManus, LCSW-C, founder and clinician of Healing Therapies, received her MSW from the University of Maryland in 1999. She worked in child welfare and advocacy until opening her private practice in 2005.
Valerie's first book, A Look in the Mirror; Freeing Yourself from the Body Image Blues was published by the Child Welfare League of America in 2004.
In 2014 Valerie self-published her second title, The Boy Who Birthed Me. This thoughtful memoir chronicles her own healing journey into renewed self-discovery.
Valerie's first children's book series, Magic Marzipan follows the adventures of 11-year-old Margaret Appleton as she develops and refines her own psychic and intuitive gifts. Publication date TBA.