Somatica Institute Faculty

The Somatica Institute 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. as well as group leaders and alumni.

Founders

Danielle Harel, MSW, PhD

Co-Founder and Lead Instructor

Danielle Harel received her Ph.D. and Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. She has a graduate degree in Clinical Social Work (MSW) and a Bachelor’s (BA) degree in Psychology and Educational Counseling. Danielle is on the faculty of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human sexuality where she was a professor and taught the Sexological Bodywork Training and Certification Program. In her previous career as a childbirth educator, she taught individuals and groups approaches to childbirth and has also researched and published a dissertation on women’s experiences of orgasm during childbirth. She is a Co-founder and Co-creator of the Somatica Method and is currently a Lead Instructor at the Somatica Institute. She also has her own private practice where she sees clients in her Sunnyvale office.

Celeste Hirschman,  M.A.

Co-Founder and Lead Instructor

Celeste Hirschman received her Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). At UCSC she was a Teaching Assistant as well as a Dean’s and Chancellor’s Award recipient for her thesis. She taught as a lecturer at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in the Human Sexuality Studies Department and was a Research Assistant and Project Manager at the SFSU’s Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, where she published numerous articles on adolescent sexuality development. She was also an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, where she taught the Sexological Bodywork Training and Certification Program. She is the Co-founder and the Co-creator of the Somatica Method ® and is currently a Lead Instructor at the Somatica Institute. She also has her own private practice where she sees clients in her San Francisco office.

Group Leaders

Elena

Group Leader

Elena believes that the skills for great sex and fulfilling intimacy are learnable and that we tap our greatest potential for healing and change through authentic, connected relationships. The journey begins when we accept ourselves as we are, where we are. Elena is a Certified Somatica Practitioner with a full-time practice in the Bay Area. She has studied Counseling Psychology and Education at the graduate level and chose to pursue Somatica because of the emphasis on pleasure, self-acceptance, and experiential learning. Her practice is inclusive and she especially welcomes folks who identify as part of the LGBQ and trans communities.

Dalia

Group Leader

Dalia earned her Master’s degree in Holistic Counseling Psychology, which informs her perspective that individuals are whole beings shaped through their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences. In addition, she has training in attachment theory and in the Hakomi Method.
Dalia is a Certified Somatica Practitioner. Somatica has been instrumental in transforming Dalia’s life as she once believed she was not a sexual person and was shameful about her sexuality. She deeply understands and empathizes with individuals experiencing a low sex-drive, dissociative behaviors, or emotional overwhelm when engaging in sexual intimacy, and offers her own journey of transformation as inspiration to her clients.

Pam

Group Leader

In her work as a Somatica® sex and relationship coach, Pam facilitates open discussions with women and couples around issues with sexual desire and helps clients explore what is possible emotionally and erotically in their relationships.
Prior to coaching, Pam spent a decade and a half at Apple and Facebook. Her ongoing studies include training with San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI), American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and JFK University’s holistic counseling program.

Kai

Group Leader

Kai’s approach is holistic and has many influences including mindfulness, Tantra, Taoism/Qigong, and sacred sexuality. She has an open multi-cultural perspective and is proud to offer culturally-aware and cross-cultural support. As a Somatica Practitioner, she loves helping her clients learn the tools for better living and loving.
Kai is also a certified Sexological Bodyworker, SkyDancing Tantra Teacher and is a senior faculty member of Ecstatic Living Institute. She is co-founder of the Embodiment Arts Collective, a multi-disciplinary healing arts collective, which has an inclusive social justice mission.

Tori

Group Leader

Moving beyond sexual shame and trauma has been at the forefront of Tori’s personal growth journey since 2013, when she was introduced to courses on sex, intimacy, and pleasure through Lafayette Morehouse and HAI. Since then, Tori has become a Certified Somatica Practitioner and group leader, a HAI assistant, and facilitator of her own personal growth workshops. Tori received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2010 and spent the past 7 years providing counseling and family advocacy in schools and community clinics in underserved areas around the Bay Area.

Jaime

Group Leader

Jaime studied counseling through the Interchange Institute and is trained and certified in Somatica. Her work with women’s and couple’s groups and individuals is rooted in integrating erotic energy into all aspects of life. Her curriculum is built on living an aroused, sexy life. She worked in San Francisco for seven years in Social Service, serving homeless families and training volunteers to work with families affected by HIV/AIDS. After transporting her life to Nevada City, CA, she began to develop her healing arts practice as a CMT and BodyTalk practitioner. Bringing Somatica into her practice has been her focal point of building community.

Leadership Alumni

Dimitry

Leadership Alumni

Dimitry became a Certified Somatica Practitioner in 2010 and leads supervision groups for trained Somatica Practitioners. He received his certification in Sexological Bodywork at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. He is in the process of becoming certified in the Hakomi Method of mindfulness-based therapy. Dimitry has had extensive classroom experience teaching test preparation as well as working as a tutor to support students in academic and life-skills development.

H.R.

Leadership Alumni

H. R. received his Masters degrees in Social Work and Molecular Biology from the University of Toronto. He received his Certification in Sexological Bodywork from the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in 2010 and has been a Certified Somatica Practitioner since 2011. His teaching and facilitation experience includes crisis intervention and self-awareness skills with social service workers, health and sex education with youth, community mediation and peace circle processes, ceremonies (including weddings), sweat lodges and transformational retreats as well as mindfulness-based sexuality workshops.