EP33: Nikki Coffelt on Addiction, Somatic Recovery, and Soul Work

Nicole Coffelt, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, provocateur and shamanic artist. Nikki has had the opportunity to travel and experience many diverse cultures including her own ancestral American Indian roots and brings this experience and wisdom to her healing work. Nikki has extensively worked through her own addictions and trauma and offers the gift of her capacity to transmute pain and suffering into healing energy. Nikki is the sole owner of a private psychotherapy practice in San Francisco and the artist of Emboldened Expressions:: fine art by + for the Unapologetically Savage.

What She Shares:

  • phD and post doctoral fellow at Stanford University Medical Center by 28
  • her personal journey with addictions and how this has contributed to her work and art
  • a new perspective on addictions and the gifts that can come from them with embodied guidance
  • her identification as a ‘two spirit’ and gender discussion
  • her experience with ancient wisdom and what she describes as ‘primal reclamation’
  • her upcoming exhibition in Australia and a spoken word piece


What You’ll Hear:

  • Nikki shares her journey to a PhD in Psychology at Stanford, getting sober and the “soul fracturing” experience of academia
  • the ‘headiness’ of psychology, her initial goal for education and the disconnect between academia and practice
  • her shift from academia to art, a diagnosis of Complex PTSD and how this label led her to Somatic Experiencing and embodied healing
  • high achievers and trauma, compensation and the lack of whole person healing in our current culture
  • how Nikki’s therapist’s observations led her to deep reflection on her relationships and sexuality
  • Nikki opens up about her addictions and recovery process that included her study of nature, meditation, shamanism and Somatic Experiencing
  • substances as entities and our apprenticeship with them to receive messages/lessons
  • lack of elder guidance and how it leads to compulsion
  • Nikki shares an Alan Watts quote about psychedelic drugs
  • cultural shaming and stigma when it comes to addictions
  • Kimberly shares Somatic Experiencing perspective on addiction, self regulation, self blame and will power
  • the charge of the word CHOOSE when it comes to addictions and the misunderstanding in cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Cohesion and congruence between fight or flight limbic system and the neocortex as it pertains to choice
  • The trauma Nikki experienced within the spiritual community due to a lack of trauma training and the power of her SE training and her art
  • EGO strength definition and how it relates to SE and healing work with clients
  • Kimberly and Nikki discuss Steve Hoskinson’s 3 Phases  
  • Nikki and Kimberly discuss how sharing her story is ‘breaking the rules’ as a psychologist, the importance of  transparency and embodiment in a care provider and the ‘we-ness’ of Somatic Experiencing
  • Nikki’s identification as a ‘two spirit’, the definition and spiritual role of a two-spirit in tribal culture and the history of violence towards them
  • the current violence against transgender and non binary individuals, the biological and social function of binary and non binary and the colonial construction of ‘man’ and ‘woman’
  • Kimberly asks Nikki to comment on the implications of widening the gender scope and how it plays out in her own life
  • gender fluidity, sexuality, healing trauma  and the full circle of healing
  • Nikki shares her personal experience around her sexuality
  • the grey area, the #METOO movement, the loss of nuanced understanding and polarization regarding race, gender and sexuality, the pressure for surgery, Nikki’s support and concern for surgery
  • Nikki talks ancient wisdom, the power of art, soul retrieval, ancestral healing and her journey back to Australia
  • Martin Prechtel and the ‘shimmering amnesiacs’
  • What Nikki recommends to get in touch with a non neocortical existence
  • Nikki’s move from the city and her introduction with nature in Australia, estrangement from the land and rites of passage
  • Nikki’s upcoming art exhibition at The Other Art Fair in Australia Melbourne
  • powerful spoken word!

To purchase an original, custom print, merchandise or watch some live painting videos:



Nikki’s website – www.risedown.com
Gabor Mate – In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Steve Hoskinson – organicintelligence.org

Alan Watts – “If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen.”

Eduardo Duran – soulhealing16.com
Animus Valley Institute – animas.org
The Other Art Fair, Melbourne Australia, August 2-5 @ The Facility, melbourne.theotherartfair.com


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