Elmo Painter

Therapist, Healer, Life Artist


People often see scars as old wounds, as evidence of damage. I see them as places of healing – a bodily act of self- compassion. The body repairs itself, and the shining stripes are proof that, even when we are the perpetrators of the damage, we love ourselves on a cellular level enough to mend the places where we’ve been wounded.

Elmo Painter, LPC, is a multifaceted queer and trauma-informed healer, guide, and teacher, offering Somatic Psychotherapy at Family Resilience Group, located at 3285 N Arlington Heights Rd Unit 201, Arlington Heights, IL 60004 . Her therapeutic approach is warm, relational, radically accepting, funny, and sincere. Her role is to facilitate peoples’ ability to live creatively and authentically, to help them better understand and listen to their emotions, create and maintain healthy boundaries with others, and help people engage in life with curiosity, openness, and awareness.

Attending to our emotional wellness makes a huge impact on our lives, relationships, careers, creativity, studies, and physical health. It is important to savor small joys, strengths, curiosities, victories, spiritual connection, and moments of calm and stillness so that we can mindfully practice feeling the way we want to feel more often. All emotions are messengers carrying information about what we want and don’t want. More uncomfortable feelings of guilt, anxiety, sadness, grief, fear, insecurity, lonliness are normal, and need to be respected so that they can exhale, knowing that they’ve delivered their messages.

We can thaw from chronic stiffness, stifled vitality, and hushed voices. We can empower our hearts and voices by embracing our inner Sacred Rebel, and the parts of our selves that know we deserve better. We can make peace with our Demons by befriending our Shadows. We can heal from chronic distress by settling overactive nerves though self- and body sensation mindfulness practices, and releasing memories and emotions that are still playing out old stories in our bodies (including the mind).

Elmo holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology since July of 2017, and has completed advanced levels of training in the Somatic Experiencing® program through the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. In 2004, she completed Cleo DuBois’ Erotic Dominance Intensive for Women, and spent years in practice and mentorship in the San Francisco BDSM community, and has been practicing kink and polyamory for over 17 years. She has done research on emotions through the schools of psychology, philosophy, affective neuroscience, spirituality, culture, language, and stories/personal experience.

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a process that utilizes mindfulness and perception of physical sensations, visualizations, and impulses in order to process and heal symptoms of trauma and other stress disorders that stem from any kind of trauma: car accidents, falls, sexual or other physical assault, emotional abuse, betrayal, grief, birth trauma, natural disasters, war, and many other events.

The energy of the body’s response to a traumatic event can become “stuck” in the body, continually causing various symptoms from emotional triggers, panic attacks, dysfunctional relationship patterns, anxiety, “jumpiness” and hypervigilance, and chronic “shutdown”/depression to other physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, repetitive behaviors, and more.

Special interests include the physiological effects of post-traumatic stress and daily emotional distress, shadow work, and performance as therapy. She specializes in helping people process and work with:

  • Radical Acceptance of self and others
  • Mood Management and Emotional Coping
  • Self-compassion
  • Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Self-efficacy and Self-awareness
  • Relationship Issues – especially in non-monogamous/polyamorous, and/or BDSM-centered relationships
  • Post-Traumatic Stress, Panic, and Emotional Triggers
  • Complex/Relational Trauma
  • Attachment Style Shifts
  • Assertive Communication
  • Reigniting Creativity (in art, writing, relationships, style, gender expression, life planning/experiencing, spirituality, or thinking creatively)
  • Self-awareness
  • Recognizing and Utilizing Innate and Learned Resilience
  • Gender Exploration
  • Sensual Empowerment

It is Elmo’s intention to help people from all walks of life, and especially to ethically and compassionately support Romantic, Sexual & Gender Minorities from the Queer, Bisexual, Pansexual, Lesbian, Gay, Asexual/Demisexual, Kink, Polyamorous/Non-monogamous Communities. She is aware of issues that effect the Trans communities and seek to serve people who identify anywhere across the Gender Spectrum.

2 comments on “About

  1. LeKisha
    September 6, 2014

    Congratulations Elmo on such wonderful accomplishments. I enjoyed reading your link and viewing your recent post. Art has a way of speaking to individuals and you have a gift of displaying a profound message in such a beautiful way.

  2. Malcolm robbie
    January 31, 2020

    Thank you for all that you do, Noticed your link on our meditation website (I’m the yellow cat with an iPad). May you be well

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