“When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, then we will all be more free.”

Karen Foley identifies as “queer” and specializes in working with the LGBTQ+ community and Trauma. She recently took the lead in forming the Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition (AKA the LGBTQ+ Center) located in our Studios at the Candy Factory Community Hub.  

The ultimate goal of the Center is to create a culturally competent and accessible place that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable populations: the ethnically diverse; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning community.  Ethnic and minority communities, clients, family members, community-based agencies, providers, and other stakeholders are encouraged to become key partners to ensure the success of the Center.

LGBTQ youth described their struggles with rejection by their families and peers and harassment at school by students, teachers, and administrators, and how it often leads to feelings of isolation, hopelessness, despair, self-destructive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, attempts, and completed suicides.

With over fourteen years of professional experience dedicated to working with trauma and the body. Karen has worked with adolescents and adults in hospital settings, VA Medical Centers and World Relief. Her knowledge of the body/mind connection is uniquely informed by her previous practice as a licensed massage therapist, Sensorimotor Psychotherpay, Shambhala meditation practices, and yoga. 

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy looks a lot like “traditional” talk therapy but gives equal attention to the physical information being presented by the client. This approach to trauma therapy enables her to help clients deepend awareness to the body’s subtle communication and utilize techniques to manager traumatic stress responses at micro-level. By building trust in their own ability to regulate their body, clients begin to access a sense of safety in the present day and are less viscerally haunted by the past. 

Karen offers a Trans/Queer donation yoga class at the Studios on Sunday’s at 11:30 am.  She also advocates for Transgender Equality in local school districts. Karen is often accompanied by her dog, May, who specializes in sleeping and snuggling.