Jessa ZimmermanLIOS Graduate College Alumni/a
Jessa Zimmerman was at a turning point in her life. She found herself getting a divorce after being a stay at home mom home schooling her kids for 13 years.
“My attorney said to me, ‘You followed your heart getting a divorce so don’t stop now.’ Those were the right words of wisdom at the right time. I followed my heart to Saybrook, and it was exactly what I wanted: a powerful, experiential, transformative experience. I knew the LIOS program was going to give me a whole person experience, and it was going to change me,” says Jessa.
Jessa had always been analytical, so she had no idea what she had gotten her self into when she encountered an experiential curriculum. “I had to get in touch with the real stuff, immediately,” she says. “I had to step outside of myself, look at my strengths and weaknesses, and hear reflections about myself from others. There were parts of me that were still unknown. A colleague drew a mosaic portrait of me with missing blank parts. I was asked to show up with all of my authentic self to fill in the patchwork. Getting that feedback was a powerful moment.”
Jessa transformed. Over her course in the LIOS MA program at Saybrook University she became comfortable being seen; comfortable in her own skin. “I was changed… absolutely. I cracked open, I gained access to my own experience, my feelings, thinking, and being in the now. In LIOS you work with the people in front of you, you learn by doing and being, not necessarily just reading about the theoretical models.”
Jessa learned how to be present in her immediate experience. “Learning how to get immediate has been the most valuable lesson I take into my therapy practice,” she says. “I use I-Group skills every day in every session. I know how to be in the room with someone and in touch with the immediate experience. I teach my clients immediacy skills. I encourage them to speak to what is actually happening in the moment.”
Right away Jessa knew she wanted to work as a couples and sex therapist. “Intimacy and relationships fascinate me. I met my current partner shortly after starting LIOS and immediately started to use the insight and skills personally; I just ate it up. My partner and I are still together, successful and happy,” says Jessa. “Now I help clients create that same kind of success; I get to change the world one relationship at a time.”
The LIOS MA program at Saybrook fosters a community that grows together. “We got through it as team; it was a good fit for me,” says Jessa. She continues to foster community by sharing her business skills with new therapists. In addition to her own private practice in Seattle, specializing in couples struggling with sex and intimacy, she hosts a support group for therapists to learn the business aspect of being in private practice.