Writer, herb-lover, rabble-rouser, thrill-seeker. Anti-this-and-that but also dreaming.
I am a grief worker who uses plants, breath, and words to explore survivorhood, body(ies) and healing.
I am an herbalist, a writer & writing workshop facilitator and I also facilitate 1:1 and small group Breathwork sessions. I have the most fun when all of those things come together to support people in their unique healing process.
Most of my work has been directly in service to and with survivors of sexual violence, in particular queer, transgender and gender non-conforming survivors. I am queer and survivor of multiple forms of violence. I began this work raising money for organizations, transitioned into being a rape crisis counselor in an emergency room and worked for a short time in a community organizing project before I left to focus on putting together an anthology highlighting LGBTQ survivors experiences which was released in April 2016. Over time, I became acutely aware that the larger mainstream anti-sexual violence movement is not (yet) equipped to meet the needs of LGBTQ populations.
The first survivor I ever began work with was myself, as I began to realize I hadn’t addressed years on years of trauma resulting in complex PTSD. I love being in community with other survivors. It’s where I feel most at home and seen. I love doing work outside the medical industrial complex that supports healing & supports people as they give language to their own experience.
A queer and trans affirming, trauma-informed herbalist & Breathworker, I offer sliding scale care as a practitioner with The Breathe Network as well as through my own practice. I also offer writing and Breathwork workshops at Maha Rose, Juniper, LGBTQ centers, a Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish healing center, a needle exchange and harm reduction clinic, veterans hospitals, online with the Transformative Language Arts Network,sexual violence resource centers, the collective What Would an HIV Doula Do?, and at colleges and universities. I am tuned in to hearing and translating the stories of our bodies, tuned into somatic and embodied expression to move through the places that are stuck, hurting and grieving.
Editor of the anthology Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement, I have had writing published in HandJob Zine, OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, the Outrider Review, The Establishment and on The Feminist Wire. I am also the creative nonfiction editor for Hematopoiesis Press, an online literary journal focused on bodies and language.
I work towards providing care that is in line with and accountable to healing justice & disability justice spaces (and want to recognize the legacy of activists, writers and healers who have been creating a language and framework for these spaces for a long time as they ground them in queer and trans communities, poor and working class communities and communities of color-- people like Mia Mingus, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Reina Gossett, Stacey Milburn, billie rain, Ejeris Dixon, Dori Midnight, Sean Donahue, Emi Koyama and so many other people). I want to provide care that is accessible in multiple ways; through interrogating how ableism and oppression impacts survivors and how we are able to access care, through recognizing the impacts of racism, transphobia & transmisogyny, homophobia, fatphobia, slut-shaming and classism and on and on. I work through a harm reduction lens meaning I support people where they are at, my process is people-centered, and I bring curiosity, not judgement, to substance use and misuse.
With a past life in fashion design, I now use my hands to map and mark the body through movable states of (dis)embodiment. A graduate of Goddard College's MA program, I am finishing a book project that translates the embodied experience of a queer survivor of multiple forms of violence. In it I weave together theory, social justice movement work, literary sources, creative non-fiction, embroidery, radical somatic and healing arts practices and more.
I feel a kindred kind of love and respect for survivors of sexual violence. I admire our willingness to sit with what is profoundly complicated and difficult. I admire our tenacity and resilience, our searching for healing, our willingness to settle into the life-long continuum of healing. I admire our desires to shift and grow into aliveness.
Additional Training & Experiences
2016 MA in Individualized Studies at Goddard College, thesis on translating embodied traumatic experience through somatic practices and critical and creative nonfiction.
2009 Rape Crisis Counselor Training, St. Vincent's Hospital for overnight on-call patient advocacy
2017 Breathwork Healer Training, Erin Telford
2017 Full Day Training, Psychedelic Harm Reduction & Integration, The Psychedelic Education & Continuing Care Program
2016 Certificate of Completion, Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Andrew Tatarsky, The Center for Optimal Living & The New School for Social Research
Jennifer Patterson is a grief worker who uses plants, breath, words to explore survivorhood, body(ies) and healing. A queer and trans affirming, trauma-informed herbalist and Breathwork facilitator, Jennifer offers sliding scale care as a practitioner through her own practice Corpus Ritual and is a member of The Breathe Network and Breathwork for Recovery. She facilitates writing and Breathwork workshops at healing centers, LGBTQ centers, a Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish healing center, a needle exchange and harm reduction clinic, veterans hospitals, online with the Transformative Language Arts Network, sexual violence resource centers, the collective What Would an HIV Doula Do?, and at colleges and universities. She is the editor of Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti- Violence Movement (2016), lectures across the country, and has had writing published in places like OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, Nat. Brut, The Establishment, HandJob, and The Feminist Wire. New publications are forthcoming. She is also the creative nonfiction editor of Hematopoiesis Press. A graduate of Goddard College’s MA program, Jennifer is finishing a book project focused on translating embodied traumatic experience through somatic practices and critical and creative nonfiction. You can find more at ofthebody.net.