IMG_4938.jpg

Jennifer Finch, M.A., LPC, NCC, CBCT®, Certified Meditation Instructor

Thank you for stopping by!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

When your mind is with your body, you are in the here and now. And if you meet this moment of awareness with curiosity, kindness and non-judgment, You are fully alive.

“If you want to change the way things are, you have to be willing to do something different.”—Jen

About Jennifer Finch

 

Jennifer is an experienced psychotherapist in the Atlanta area who has dedicated the past decade researching the intersection of trauma and meditation. In her professional trainings and individual client therapy, she integrates modern neuroscience, polyvagal theory, meditation practices, relational and Buddhist psychology to heal trauma, attachment, shame and more. She believes that excavating resources of resiliency is our innate birth right. We have the ability to cope with whatever life throws at us and resiliently bounce back. Jennifer has extensive training in trauma-informed somatic methods to teach you how to recover + heal. 

Since 2012, I have passionately been studying the neuroscience of mulit-faceted meditation modalities including: somatic meditation, compassion, mindfulness, Somatic Experiencing™, and attachment styles. Through increased somatic awareness and an increased body-mind integration people can learn how to find peace amidst the storms of their lives.

At a time when mindfulness meditation is increasingly becoming a mainstream practice, offered in elementary schools, corporate settings, and the U.S. Military, a more nuanced discussion about how we are delivering mindfulness is becoming necessary. Many of us do not fall in the category of “a normal” development path. Some of us are mildly or perhaps, overwhelmingly struggling emotionally or behaviorally, and some of us are devastatingly in active trauma or stress. Trauma-sensitive meditation allows this magical practice to expand to a much wider population than just those seeking change in their lives or whom are just curious about meditation.

As meditation is sweeping through our culture, offering potential for healing, and promoting our body-mind well-being, trauma remains a fact of life. The majority of us will experience a traumatic event, either with a capital “T” or a lower case “t” within our lifetime. Research says that up to 20% of us will develop PTSD. This means that anywhere meditation is being practiced, including yoga studios, the gym, meditation rooms, and psycho-therapy offices, someone in the room is likely to be struggling with trauma.

A while back, I was in a week long silent retreat, and I witnessed the woman sitting next to me enter a dissociative state of mind. She began trembling, and crying out, stating “I cannot get back into my body!” The meditation instructor remained silent and still. When instructed to pay close attention to our inner landscape, trauma can show up, and more clearly stated, anything you haven’t dealt with or examined can show up. One can experience flashbacks, dissociation and even re-traumatize the individual.

It became clear to me that although mediation is a proven tool for reducing stress and helping people cope with residual trauma, if it is practiced without an awareness of trauma it can indeed exacerbate symptoms of traumatic distress. Much like any powerful transformative processes, if it is not well understood, it can be misused and cause damage.

So I went on a quest to discover how we can open the practice of meditation to empower those with trauma, so they can practice in a safe and transformative way. Many people I talked with reported symptoms of: not being able to sit still, shaking and trembling, coming out of my body, feeling like I don’t fit in my body. They generally reported that meditation was defiantly not for them. This raised a critical question for me. Is it possible to minimize the potential dangers of meditation for trauma survivors so they can understand and embody its powerful healing benefits?

I am discovering that yes, it is possible, and my clients are attesting to that through their own discoveries. I have been closely following the way modern neuroscience is shaping our understanding of both trauma and the more skilled and nuanced practice of meditation. I use effective and research-based techniques to help one rewire the brain out of stress, trauma, negativity and the harsh inner critic. In my individual and group therapy, we will work to recover resilience and resources of stability and flexibility, so you can once again become a compassionate agent, harness your life and get back to thriving and flourishing.

If I had one word to summarize my work it would be “Resiliency.” It is truly achievable, teachable and learnable to every single one of us.

About Be Here Now Mindfulness, LLC

Be Here Now Mindfulness is dedicated to inspiring, guiding and connecting anyone who wants to explore mindfulness through both science and experience to enjoy better health, happiness, more caring relationships, and a compassionate society.

Be Here Now Mindfulness is based in Metro Atlanta, GA founded by Jennifer Chase Finch, M.A., LPC, NBCC, Certified Mindfulness Instructor, and CBCT® Instructor. I see mindfulness as a unique, practical and profound approach to social change, and my dedication to teach others in the community as a social innovation initiative.  My classes and workshops promote individual wellness, healthy relationships, and a more mindful and compassionate community. Mindfulness is entering the mainstream and this presents an historic opportunity to transform ourselves, our children, our communities, our world.  

In addition to leading workshops, retreats, and courses both online and in person, I currently have a small clinical private practice where I use meditation therapeutically. If you are interested in starting one-on-one therapy using meditation, please click here.

I also train the trainers, offering workshops for continued education credits to other practitioners and healers. If you are a psycho-therapist or practicing clinician looking to incorporate more meditation and mindfulness into your therapy practice, details for meditation coaching can be found here.

 

MY MISSION

Be Here Now seeks to help connect the mindfulness community, taking research from the heroic efforts of the leaders in the field to all those new to mindfulness who seek to learn more. This site offers personal stories, news you can use, links to cutting edge research, practical advice, and insights that speak to anyone from novice meditators looking for guidance to corporate managers exploring new ways to cultivate workplace engagement and fulfillment. My classes and workshops teach effective techniques for mindful living, and are based in current neuroscience and psychology that points to their benefits. 

Be Here Now Mindfulness offers innovative programs for children, adults, families, schools and businesses in the Marietta, and Metro Atlanta areas. My mindfulness programs help students cultivate attentional training and emotional regulation that can lead to a successful and happy life. My professional development offerings help reduce burnout and promote more effective, creative and insightful resolutions to conflicts and struggles within the work environment. I teach parents how to parent from a calm and compassionate place even amidst the chaos of raising children and balancing all of life. 

With mindfulness, we have the capacity to change how we relate to the present moment. We have the power to choose how we respond. We can embrace our reality. We can live mindfully and consciously, instead of reacting from an ego run on auto-pilot that is making decisions from a fear-based, scarcity mentality. In this powerful ability to pause, we become more aware of ourselves, more aware of others and we develop greater compassion. From this cultivated mindfulness, we bring a more loving, healthy, peaceful, joyful and kinder way to living our day-to-day lives. 

“Jennifer is an excellent and knowledgable instructor. She taught me how to be kind and loving to myself first and now I can parent my kids from a calm and compassionate place, even when they are pushing all of my buttons." 

— Keri, East Cobb Mom

WHAT WE'VE ACHIEVED

  • Works at Atlanta Center for Wellness as a private psychotherapist for adults. Hosts workshops and trainings to other clinicians world-wide. Hosts workshops for the general public. Offer meditation coaching to other therapists.

  • Has branched out to the world-wide-web, now offering on-line trainings internationally.

  • Worked and collaborated with local agencies to bring outreach programs to the community, i.e. Atlanta Property Group, Santosha Yoga Studio, Sacred Chill West, Club Pilates, Gathered and Grounded, SAMA Food for Balance, ParkAire Consultants, Cre{8} Loft, Whole Foods, The Modern Apothecary, Cobb County Senior Center.

  • Chartered member of Compassionate Atlanta and Charter for Compassion (CFC). www.compassionateatl.org Be Here Now as a Chartered Partner

  • Worked with and initiated and brought programs to Casa Montessori, Montessori school in Marietta, GA teaching to ages 4-12.

  • Worked with mothers in the community, teaching them skills to parent from a calm, compassionate place. Provided them self-care tools they can take with them and use in any moment.

  • Worked with teens ages 12 and up teaching a 10-week mindfulness for teens curriculum.

  • Worked individually with students of all ages to encourage and enhance their unique mindfulness practices and help move through struggles that are thwarting one's practice.

  • Worked with students of all ages who are new to mindfulness teaching a 4 week Mindfulness for Beginners course. Establishing a practice starting wherever you are, is the first step to discovering your true self.

  • Presented workshops and public speaking engagements to numerous psychology agencies, healthcare facilities, businesses and schools.

  • Working on partnering with local groups to bring mindfulness summer camps to children and parents.

  • Working with community Mom's groups to help educate mothers in self-care techniques they can take with them. Helping them discover the courage, strength, and happiness that lies within them.

  • Working with local artists to help cultivate clarity, creativity, and unblock inhibiting forces, replacing them with new insights, artistic confidence and productivity.

  • Cultivated an established Sangha (community) for FREE Meditation Mindfulness Meet-Ups

  • Working with individuals in a therapeutic environment using meditation and compassion as a therapeutic tool for individuals to immediately apply in their everyday lives.

 


 s,

national-certified-counselor-ncc.png

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

The National Certified Counselor is the premier certification for the counseling profession. NCCs have voluntarily met high national standards for the practice of counseling. They are competent in skills such as human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, group counseling, career counseling, assessment, research and program evaluation, and professional counseling.

ABOUT JENNIFER CHASE FINCH, M.A., LPC, NCC, CBCT® Instructor, Certified Mindfulness Instructor

Jennifer Chase Finch was a practicing licensed professional therapist for almost two decades prior to founding Be Here Now Mindfulness. She earned her Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and Addictionology, from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. She has extensive training in crisis counseling, addictions, and trauma-based therapy. Six years ago, she began incorporating meditation, mindfulness and compassion treatment modalities as her therapy of choice. 

She is a Certified .b Instructor through the Mindfulness in Schools Project. She is a Certified Mindfulness Instructor through the Open Heart Project. In addition, she has been educated in The Still Quiet Place curriculum for children ages 4 and up, and Sitting Still Like a Frog for children ages 4 and up. She is a graduate of the CBCT®(Cognitively-Based Compassion Training®) and is now a Certified CBCT® Instructor through Emory University's Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion Based Ethics, and she is currently enrolled as a Level 1 Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner.

She has taught mindfulness techniques to children, teens and adults and has worked in many clinical settings including hospitals, inpatient units, Community Mental Health facilities, University of North Carolina-Asheville, and the Duke Addictions Program--Duke Medical School. 

Jennifer has had a personal mindfulness practice for many years and firmly believes that it has course corrected her life giving her the personal freedom to "not be a slave to my own thoughts anymore. It changed my life for the better and restored my previously lagging open-heart that connected me to the beauty of the world around me. I was once asleep and ghost-walking around on autopilot. Now I can see beauty everywhere and feel connected to the wellspring of humanity. Breathing is everything you need to be able to see!" She is passionate in her teachings of mindfulness to children, teens and adults and sincerely believes that compassion, happiness and kindness can be enhanced and trained through mindfulness. One of her favorite quotes by the Dalai Lama is, "If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation."

If Jennifer is not  reading about the new neuroscience and psychology of mindfulness, writing about mindfulness meditation, or teaching mindfulness classes, she is looking at the world uniquely through a camera lens. She founded Skipping Stones Photography, LLC in 2005. She believes that the practice of contemplative photography is an expression of eye, mind and heart all working together in a mindful harmony. She says, "It's all about learning to pay attention with playfulness." The result of her mindfulness practice and her photography working contemporaneously, creates a map to spiritual creativity and provides a nourishing part of her daily life. 

Licensing and Certifications

Licensed Professional Counselor - #LPC004375

National Certified Counselor - NCC

National Board Certified Counselor - NBCC

Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor - CCMHC

.b Mindfulness in Schools Certified Instructor - Mindfulness in Schools Project

CBCT® Certified Instructor (Cognitively Based Compassion Training®) - Emory University - Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics

Certified Meditation Instructor - Open Heart Project with Susan Piver

SE® Somatic Experiencing --in Training 

Professional Activities and Memberships

Board of Directors Ethics Chair- LPCA GA July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020 Term

Member- American Counseling Association

Member- American Psychological Association

Member- Licensed Professional Counselors Association--Georgia

Chartered Member of Compassionate Atlanta

Active Member of Mindful Mornings—Atlanta Chapter

Founder/Leader of East Cobb Sangha Meditation Meet-Ups

Treatment Approach 

• Meditation, Mindfulness & Compassion Training

• Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, Brief Therapy, Attachment Styles and Attachment-Based, Somatic Experiencing, Addictions, 12-step based, Jungian, Mindfulness-based (MBCT), Buddhist-psychology, Focusing, DBT, Psychodynamic, Somatic, Compassion Focused, Art Therapy, Emotionally Focused, Expressive Arts, Family/Marital, Family Systems, Person-Centered, Play Therapy, Bio/Psycho/Social, Neurological and Biological Approaches, Strength-Based, Trauma-Focused 

Specialties/Issues

• Anxiety • Intimacy Issues • Addiction • Including Sex Addiction • Sex Therapy • Stress • Life Coaching • Life Transitions • Emotional Regulation • Depression • ADHD • Anger Management • Chronic Impulsivity • Chronic Pain • Grief • Parenting • Behavioral Issues • Coping Skills • Peer Relationships • Codependency • Developing the Human Potential • Embodied Emotions • Self-Esteem • Sexual Abuse • Stress • Trauma and PTSD

Professional Presentations:

• 2019 | May 6-11 | 2019 LPCA Annual Convention & Regional Conference—Vision of the Future— Savannah, GA: “Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT®)"

• 2019 | June 7-9 | Families Anonymous World Service Convention—Finding Joy—Atlanta, GA: “Cultivating Compassion and Strengthening Resilience in Addiction Recovery.”

• 2019 | June 11-12 | Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Social Work Staff, All Campuses—Atlanta, GA: “CBCT® Cognitively Based Compassion Training—Confronting Vicarious Trauma and Strengthening Resilience for Healthcare, Emergency and Community Service Workers.”