ABOUT ELIZA













Eliza Combs, MA, LPCC, ATR

Hello I am Eliza. I grew up between the traditional homelands of Creek, Cherokee, Shawnee, Miami and Delaware peoples - Alabama and Ohio. I am of working class, settler, immigrant, refugee, Irish, Cornish, German and ancestral lineages still being learned. I moved to the traditional homelands of Navajo, Pueblo, Tewa peoples - New Mexico, in 2010 to complete my Master of Arts degree in Art Therapy and Counseling. I use they/she pronouns. 

I hold multiple identities and work from a lived experience of understanding mental health through a lens of trauma, history, violence and systems of oppression. I believe we all carry ancestral wisdom that can serve our healing – and that the work and practice can't be done alone- we need each other. I’m passionate about the work I completed in 2019, a 200 hour, year long training on historical trauma recovery and somatic archaeology through Freedom Lodge. This process has allowed me to more deeply explore my own healing and integrate powerful body centered practices with expressive arts modalities in therapy. 

I’m guided in my work by the folks I work with, an intersectional/social justice framework, ancestral and indigenous wisdom, the earth, the body, mystery, deep listening, presence, intuition, play, curiosity and creativity. I believe that personal healing and collective liberation are connected. I am so honored and grateful to be a mental health professional specializing in body centered expressive arts. 

Growing up, I loved creativity, stories, play and dance as a child. I also loved the earth and its deep colors running from dark sienna and burnt umbers to copper and crimson, its holding and its safety. These practices of play, creativity and expression were a refuge and they saved my life and so did the people I was lucky enough to find that were present and clear enough to provide support, inspiration and sanctuary.  

In being loved I found passion – creating sacred space, loving others and supporting connection to the power of presence, refuge and life through self expression, intuition and the wisdom of the body. I have been witness, facilitator and participant in the power of ART to transform, empower and heal for over 20 years. 

I've been honored to be in community and work with folks from many walks of life in varied settings: on the street, in schools, in shelter, half way houses, prisons, residential programs, community organizations, retreat settings, workshops, medical/healthcare settings and survivor advocacy agencies. 

In both personal and professional work I come from an understanding of the intersections of race, class, gender, disability and sexual identities and strive to practice solidarity for shared liberation and social justice in my community and the world. As a clinician I connect experiences of oppression and discrimination with mental health and trauma, explore internalized feelings of hate and shame, encourage reclaimation of identity, feeling emotions and ancestral wisdom as power and see advocacy as integral to my role. 

I am passionate about expressive arts, liberating education, justice and experiential therapeutic work. Every day I practice being with people and connecting with power and healing using presence, relationship, sacred space, naming and dispelling oppressive systems, body centered practices, ancestral wisdom and expressive arts. 

I offer sanctuary, a place to return – a tender opening,  in which you can experience relative safety and relative wholeness and explore what is arising in you. 

Research in neuroscience, attachment and understanding aspects of brain and biology (neurobiology, polyvagal theory) say in those languages what many indigenous peoples, wisdom traditions and healers have known for thousands of years. Humans are wired in the nervous system for love, community, connection and healing. Humans are oriented toward health and wholeness. Wounding takes place in relationship and is healed in relationship and community. Being in the presence of someone who is present is healing. The body holds information and stores emotion that isn’t able to be processed during times of intense stress, trauma, terror and survival. Holding stress and emotion in the body impacts our physical and mental well being.  Art and movement can be pathways toward release and integration.

I practice client centered, trauma conscious, body centered therapy and expressive arts. I see my role as a support person who helps to amplify and draw out the wisdom, healing and wholeness already present within people, their communities and lineages.

A documented process:




Credentials/Training: 


I obtained my Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture and Art History in 2002 from the Art Academy of Cincinnati.  

In 2013 I completed a year long Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program with Chris Zydel of Creative Juices Arts in Calistoga, California. 


In 2014 I completed my Masters in Counseling & Art Therapy from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


In 2019 I completed a 200 hour Historical Trauma Master Class with Dr. Ruby Gibson at Freedom Lodge. 

Clinical Mental Health Counselor, LPCC - License # 0187061

National Registered Art Therapist, ATR - Registration # 16-196

Here are some projects I was a part of and people I have studied with:

Septima Clark Literacy Center Dr. Elizabeth Peavy 
Nonprofit Leadership Development Program Public Allies
A Small Group Peter Block
Documentarist Barbara Wolf
Contemporary Dance Theater INSIDE/OUTSIDE: The Prison Project
Visionary & Metaphysical Artist C.Pic Michel
Public Community Artist Jan Brown Checco 
Henna & Mural Artist John Rapach
Expressive Arts Facilitator Chris Zydel
Founder & Creator of Touch Drawing Deborah Koff Chapin
Co-Founder of Santa Fe Embody Dance Tracy Collins
Mythological and Psychological Astrology Jason Holley
Restorative Resources Amber Elizabeth Gray
Sandtray Training Institute Theresa Kestly
Institute for Sensorimotor & Initiatic Art Therapy Corneilia Elbrecht
Ancestral Medicine Dr. Daniel Foor 
Freedom Lodge Dr. Ruby Gibson 


Deep Gratitude for all who have been my teachers, mentors and guides. They have provided me so much presence, love and wisdom on my journey.  

A deeply healing ritual performed by participants and led by Tracy Collins in her Immerse/Emerge Retreat 2014.

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