Meet the speaker: Lisa Dion
In the leadup to the 2019 International Speaker Tour, we asked Lisa Dion the following four questions, hoping to gain some insight into the people, places, and experiences that helped shape her and her professional journey.
1. What was a pivotal experience (the “spark”) that started you off in your research and/or practice:
When I was 9 years old, my parents divorced and I went to counseling. I was sitting in my first counseling session with this gentleman who was really nice, but I remember thinking, “Seriously? This is how you work with children?” I then proceeded to tell him everything that I thought he wanted to hear so that I could stop going and it worked!
I went back to counseling a few years later and had a similar experience. These were pivotal moments for me as they left in me a great sense of something is missing. This sense of something missing has fueled me to study and learn how to deeply connect with children and my clients to help them really feel seen, heard and ultimately integrate their challenging thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
2. Who from your childhood would have known that you would do the sort of work you are doing? And why?
This question makes me laugh as I am not sure anyone really suspected this is what I would be doing as most of my family was convinced I would become a lawyer as my desire to argue and make a point as a teenager was well developed! However, the one person that comes to mind is my grandmother, Hallie. She and I would often have deep discussions about people, spirituality, and life. I always felt that she saw in me a deep desire to serve and connect with people.
A fun fact about my family is that I grew up surrounded by psychiatrists, therapists, and teachers. My mother is a therapist, my maternal grandparents are both psychiatrists (my grandfather was actually the first Freudian Psychiatrist to do his residency at the Mayo Clinic in the United States and saw clients up until he passed way well into his 90s), and my paternal grandmother and many aunts were all teachers. I often feel I was destined to be a therapist who loves to teach.
3. What has been the most important insight that you have derived from your work that you hope others would find interesting?
Everything that I study about neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology seems to point to one beautiful conclusion- that the greatest gift we can offer our clients is ourselves. Second to this is that when we look at human behavior through the lens of nervous system regulation, we are immediately connected and connected in a way that transcends race, language, religion, social status, financial status, etc.
We all know what it feels like to be dysregulated and we also all know how challenging the journey can be to find our way back to ourselves. This lens brings us back to our humanity and offers us beautiful ways to heal and integrate separate from labels and barriers.
4. What is one new thought or approach that you are hoping to share with attendees at your speaking tour?
My greatest hope is that my attendees walk away with a deeper appreciation for themselves and their clients while understanding what it takes to help another person (young or old) heal at profound levels. I also hope that they have moments throughout the course where they find themselves in awe of the human capacity as we explore the health and brilliance of the nervous system.
As we explore aggression and trauma, I want participants to walk away with a new paradigm and understanding of what aggression is and how it can truly be one of the most powerful and transformative healing experiences in therapy.