Afra Moenter, PhD, LPC
Dr. Afra Moenter, founder and clinical director of the Rocky Mountain Center for Epilepsy holds a simple vision in mind: To bring together clinicians and healthcare providers with diverse expertise to support individuals diagnosed with epilepsy and/or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES).
A clinician at heart, Dr. Moenter believes in the healing power of connection. She has witnessed how a deep mindfulness-based psychotherapeutic process can be truly beneficial to individuals diagnosed with epilepsy and PNES, leading to an increased quality of life, freedom of seizures, or at a minimum, reduction in seizure frequency.
Through the Rocky Mountain Center for Epilepsy, Dr. Moenter provides mindfulness-based psychotherapy and respiratory biofeedback, to both individuals diagnosed with epilepsy or PNES and their friends and family. Dr. Moenter, based in her longstanding clinical experience, developed a treatment protocol for epilepsy and PNES which is based on the four foundations of body, mind, emotion, and consciousness. In addition, Dr. Moenter founded Project Seizure Free, an online psycho-educational course for individuals living with PNES. Dr. Moenter is currently in the process of developing a training program for psychotherapists and practitioners in the healing profession who are interested in supporting individuals with PNES.
Dr. Moenter has extensive experience in the realm of human psychology, psychotherapy, epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, bringing over twenty-five years of experience and a wide variety of trainings to her work. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Sciences with a concentration in Psychology and a specialization in Neuropsychology, as well as a M.A. in Therapeutic Psychology.
Her therapeutic approach reflects the synthesis of various psychotherapeutic trainings that she has completed over the past 25 years:
- Gestalt therapy; a method of awareness which enables the client to focus on his/her experience in the present moment.
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy; a process that uses the body (rather than cognition or emotion) as a primary entry point into processing traumatic life-experiences.
- Hakomi Somatics; a psychotherapeutic approach based on the principle that mind and body jointly express and reflect deeply held, often unconscious beliefs about oneself and others.
- Trauma Dynamics, a psychotherapeutic method working specifically with individual, familial and cultural trauma.
Her doctoral research explored the causal relationship between complex partial epilepsy and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), shedding new light on psychotherapeutic approaches to support individuals diagnosed with epilepsy. You may download a free copy of her doctoral dissertation here.
Caroline Leach, MA, LPCC
Caroline Leach, MA, LPCC is a psychotherapist trained in both Eastern and Western traditions of well-being. Training under the supervision of Dr. Afra Moenter in the Four Foundations Methodology, she is inspired by the possibility of accompanying others as they move into a seizure free life. In her clinical work, she has discovered that each individual has the capacity to self-heal but often needs another person to believe in, reflect, and support this capacity in the context of a supportive and nonjudgmental relationship. Caroline brings courage to this work: the willingness to stay present and connected throughout the frightening and confusing experience of epilepsy and PNES that often leaves individuals feeling isolated and lost.
Work with Caroline is integrative and experiential, addressing the physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual aspects of our condition. She is particularly interested in combining her knowledge and expertise in mindfulness practices with the cutting edge work of Project Seizure Free, which is offering resources that are not readily available to individuals suffering from PNES.
Caroline is a meditation instructor in the lineage of Shamatha-Vipashyana meditation. She teaches and guide others in mindfulness techniques that can become lifelong tools to develop more emotional freedom and ease. Caroline is a Certified Ashtanga Yoga teacher trained in Trauma-Informed Yoga. Caroline has worked to bring mindfulness-based approaches to communities in Nepal and assisted in the development of the first Master of Arts in Counseling program in Bhutan.