The Somatica Institute’s faculty consists of two lead instructors, who are also the founders and the creators of the Somatica Method, Dr. Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirschman, M.A. There are also guest lectures offered by Dimitry Yakoushkin, B.S., CSC, where he speaks to the experience of being a male practitioner in the field. Additionally, each year there are several group leaders who have each taken the training multiple times and receive additional leadership training.
Co-Founder and Lead Instructor
Dr. Danielle Harel is the co-creator of the Somatica Method and the co-founder of the Somatica Institute.
She is a clinical sexologist and a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality where she trains professionals in Somatic Sexology. Danielle has devoted the last twenty years to sex coaching and empowering couples, women, men, and groups. She graduated with a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Human Sexuality (DHS) degree from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. Danielle has a graduate degree in Clinical Social Work (MSW) and a Bachelors (BA) degree in Psychology and Educational Counseling.
Danielle brings her passion, depth, intuition, and magnetizing personality to her coaching sessions. Harnessing her extensive training in sexology, psychology and body-based modalities including Hakomi, attachment theory, character theory and neuro-patterning, she leads people into reaching their fullest personal and sexual potential. Danielle is particularly talented in helping her clients release shame and accept themselves fully. She offers her clients a unique, experiential and powerful process to transform their relationships, create deep and loving connections and live their lives passionately.
Celeste Hirschman, M.A. is the co-creator of the Somatica Method and the co-founder of the Somatica Institute. She received an MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. As a project manager at SFSU’s Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, Celeste researched adolescent sexuality development and the social roles that girls and boys learn and continue to play throughout their lives. She is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality where she trains professionals in Somatic Sexology.
In her teaching and coaching, she draws on multiple perspectives, including somatic modalities like Hakomi therapy – a mindfulness-based approach to traditional therapeutic models of personality, character styles, and development. Celeste advocates embodied learning to help her clients tap into their own wisdom and resources, realize their full potential, and deepen their experiences of pleasure and embodiment.
She brings her unconditional love, presence, erotic energy, and insight to her sessions – offering an open, safe and exciting container where her clients can explore every aspect of themselves and create a passionate, joyful, and sexually fulfilled life. She uses her training in attachment psychology, sociology, gender and women’s studies, and body-based modalities to engage with her clients in real-time experiences. This is where they learn to transform old patterns and incorporate new possibilities into every aspect of their lives, including their loving and intimate relationships.
Dimitry is a Sex and Relationship Coach and a Certified Somatica Practitioner since early 2010. Dimitry is also trained in the Hakomi Method – a body-based, mindful experiential therapy method that helps clients get in touch with and live from their deepest self. He holds a Sexological Bodywork certificate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. He is faculty of Somatica Institute, where he assists in teaching the Core Training, and a Certified Somatica Supervisor, supporting Somatica graduates in their coaching skills. His in-depth work has helped countless couples increase fulfillment and joy in their intimate connection and their lives.
Prior to his entering into sex and relationship coaching, Dimitry worked for over ten years as a counselor and tutor to high school and college students in both academics and life skills. Dimitry’s professional track and field career has given him fantastic embodied awareness, and his warm, patient approach creates an atmosphere of safety and acceptance where you can explore your desires, heal from trauma, share passion, overcome shame, and experience profound transformation.
Dimitry’s blog post on Male Edging: The Pleasures and Dangers