By Alyssa Pawluk
Youngstown State University’s upcoming TEDx Youngstown event will feature 14 speakers representing a variety of disciplines — 3-D printing, political science, magic, health — and Jamie Marich, a mental health and addiction counselor, will add to the list of “ideas worth spreading” with her knowledge of emotional healing in January.
Marich was from Youngstown, attended Chaney High School and can be considered a woman of many talents: writer, dancer, performer and clinical counselor.
“I love what I do,” she said. “I have a lot of different things that I do. I still provide therapy to people; I teach dance classes to people through this real healing lens; I write and I teach. There’s basically four different parts of my career. I love all four of them. I’m the type of person where if I do just one thing, I get bored.”
Currently, Marich lives in Warren where she has her own private practice as a mental health and addiction counselor. She attended YSU for her undergraduate in American studies and history before receiving her Ph.D. in human services and counseling at Capella University. She started her career working in Bosnia, as an English teacher from 2000 to 2003, before she got her master’s in counseling.
“I started there mostly as an English teacher and then came back having done a lot of social work while I was working over there, which is what got me interested in entering counseling and psychotherapy as a profession,” Marich said. “For the last seven years or so, I’ve gone all over the country doing books and educational workshop about my specialty, which is trauma.”
The title of Marich’s talk is “Healing the Wounds That Keep Us Stuck,” and it will be about how she perceives trauma and helps others to overcome it.
“I’m specifically going to be talking about how we experience trauma, whether it be a major level trauma or something that may not be the kind of trauma that gets you on the news. There are some traumas that have a clinical level of significance, but really we’ve all had trauma because we’ve all had unhealed wounding, and that if wounds we’ve gone through in life remain unaddressed or unhealed, they are going to impair our overall quality of life,” Marich said. “I’m really approaching it at this angle that we as individuals, and really larger society, seems to be stuck from moving forward because these various degrees of unhealed wounds we’ve dealt with have impacted our ability to live.”
Marich said she signed up for the event for a chance to be able to share her passion for healing with the rest of the world, and wanted to take on the challenge of condensing her message to fit into the TED organization’s strict policy that talks not exceed 18 minutes in length.
“TED talks are really becoming all the rage, especially over the Internet, and I’ve just been very impressed with the TED platform. I just think there is something about that format, and I love watching TED talks online and really getting the depths of someone’s knowledge in that short period of time. I just think the format is becoming something that is all the rage,” Marich said. “When I saw Youngstown was doing one, I was more than eager to get involved because I do a lot of major work … talking all day about my subject matter. I really wanted the challenge of being able to put it into a nice concise piece that I can share at the event, and then hopefully in a larger format online.”
Marich, on top of specializing in counseling, has developed a program, Dancing Mindfulness, which helps to develop healing outlets for people through dance.
“I’ve been a musician all my life and a dancer all my life, and one of the angles that I really come at when it comes to healing emotional trauma and other mental health concerns is utilizing creative methods. Basically, anything that you do that is creative is more dynamically accessible in the brain and puts it in a better position to heal,” Marich said. “I’ve been a musician all my life and often used music with my clients, and in terms of dance, the last couple of years I’ve developed a program called Dancing Mindfulness, which is something that I offer in our local area, and I also train people around the world in doing it. It’s basically a method of using dance to teach dedication and mindfulness principles, which can help with my bigger mission here, which is helping people develop outlets for healing.”
Marich has also written three books, “EMDR Made Simple,” “Trauma and the Twelve Steps” and “Trauma Made Simple: Competencies in Assessment, Treatment, and Working with Survivors.” She said that her inspiration comes from her mentor Janet Leff, a social worker, and that she will be talking about Leff during her talk.
“I always credit my whole career to my mentor in Bosnia. She’s an American social worker named Janet Leff. She’s a social worker in Ohio, but I never met her until she moved to Bosnia in her retirement. Not only did she play a pivotal role in helping me doing a lot of my own healing, but she really got me interested in this whole field of helping others,” Marich said. “Every success I have, I credit to having met her.”
Marich added that she wants to keep raising awareness of how emotional trauma can have an adverse effect on one’s health, and to continue to encourage others to find different ways of healing this trauma.
“My goal in life really is to keep doing more of the same of what I’m doing, which is raising more awareness about how unhealed emotional trauma affects people. Whether I’m doing that with other professionals, like I have been for the last seven years, or whether I’m doing that with larger population audiences, I basically want to get people to see that in various degrees we are all kind of stuck in life. Sometimes, it’s really big stuck points, sometimes it’s other points, and so much of it comes down to we have stuff that’s not been healed,” Marich said. “I’m not saying we all have to run into professional counseling, but we all need to take a look at what it is that needs healed that’s holding us back, and just continuing to encourage people to explore creative solutions for giving that health and healing.”
Marich expressed her excitement to be a part of the upcoming event.
“I am more than excited,” she said. “I’ve just been in awe of the TEDx format for so many years now that to be able to have this opportunity is just delightful for me.”