Weekend of Recovery Facilitator Team

Richard Sims, a light-skinned man with five o-clock shadow smiles outdoors.

Rich is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator, Movement Therapist, Certified Trauma Professional, Somatic & Mindfulness Educator, Body Awareness, and Aikido Instructor based in the Chicago area.

He’s worked with Somatic (Body Based), Embodiment, and Mindfulness practices for over twenty-five years. Through this experience, he teaches his students to create an open, caring, relaxed, powerful “BodyMind” state.

From here, he shows how they can combine their new tools, knowledge, and abilities, using their bodies and minds together to engage and influence their emotions and how they interact with their world.

He helps with various challenges, including stress, fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma. Situations he also works with involve personal disease, sexual and physical abuse, the illness of loved ones, and other varied experiences that have brought pain, suffering, and dis-regulation.

Rich teaches with an experienced and caring, heartfelt approach partially gained from being a caregiver to a wife and son who are long-term cancer survivors, his own close call with mortality, and many close family and friends who are survivors of sexual and physical abuse.

He’s lived with and helped people through these experiences, walking with them through the long-term challenges they and those closest to them face during their most desperate and triumphant times.

Rich cherishes the lessons he’s learned from nature and the world around him. Whether standing on the cliffs of the Scottish Highlands, hiking through America’s forested northwest, sitting in the desolate plains of Autonomous Inner Mongolia or floating in the waters of Italy, or his beloved Lake Michigan, he marvels at the close connection we hold with nature and all the world’s people. Separate and together while part of a greater whole.

Unfortunately, he also knows things happen that separate us from this feeling of wholeness that leave us isolated, exposed, and afraid. This personal connection, and understanding, fuels his work, empowering people to use their bodies and minds together to become open, relaxed, caring, and powerful, with the ability to be there for themselves and those they care for.

His approach includes trauma-sensitive and broader scope Somatic & Embodied techniques, Mindfulness practices, and “then some” to engage, educate and empower. Being sensitive to the trauma survivor, he uses breathing, meditation, centering, grounding, empowerment, and the principles of Aikido (a non-violent martial art sometimes referred to as the Art of Peace) to help people live in the present with strength, care and comfort.

In the educational field, Rich has worked in inner-city and suburban schools with teachers and students as they work through their own encounters with poverty, drugs, loss of family, illness, gangs or any of the other obstacles they face.

Some of the projects he is most excited about involve: working with first responders as they work through their own unique challenges as they strive to serve the people under their care through these confusing turbulent times, pain management approaches for people dealing with acute and chronic pain, various Speak Out programs for survivors of sexual abuse including the latest designed for trans & nonbinary survivors as well as the HOME (Healing Outreach for Men Everywhere) program designed to work with incarcerated individuals throughout the country.

Rich also serves as an Executive Board and Professional Member of ISMETA, (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association). He holds a 3rd degree Black Belt in Aikido (Sandan) which is recognized by the Aikikai in Japan and the Aikido World Alliance. He blends and enjoys this practice professionally and personally.

When he’s looking for something a little less physical you may hear him as he pulls out his guitar or the banjo he built in the fifth grade to sing a good song with family and friends.

He teaches individual and group sessions, workshops and retreats throughout the US and abroad in person and remotely with male, female and non-binary individuals from childhood through their adult years. He has also presented at some of the worlds leading Somatic and Embodiment Conferences on the subjects of Stress, Fear, Anxiety, Trauma and Social Change.

Some methods that inform his practice include Being in Movement mindbody education, (with who’s founder, Paul Linden, he continues to collaborate and study), countless Somatic and Mindfulness approaches including MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and his own blend of BodyMind Centered Somatic Empowerment Practices.

Rich works tirelessly to expand the field of Somatic Education and its use as a stand alone practice or complimentary treatment path in Psychotherapy, Medical, Integrative Healthcare and the Educational field.

One of the places he enjoys teaching is at the Cancer Wellness Centers where he works with people being treated or who have undergone treatment within the past five years as well as the caregivers of those facing this devastating disease.

Away from the stress and trauma side of his work Rich enjoys working with business leaders and non-profits with issues of leadership, productivity and team building. He also loves helping adults, kids and teens achieve their professional, educational, personal and athletic goals.

Through the years, Rich has lived through, witnessed and walked with people during their highs and lows. He’s used the lessons he’s learned to help himself, his family and those he teaches, through the anxiety and pain brought by circumstance, disease and the everyday bumps we all face.

They continue playing a role in the many meaningful relationships he has with those who’ve helped him create the person he’s become, a father, husband, caregiver, teacher and friend with an undying belief that we all have, should we choose to learn and use them, abilities to help ourselves and those around us grow.

Website: richardesims.com